What to do with cherries

It's small wonder cherries are associated with Christmas, considering they are at their peak in December.

Availability: Buy cherries at their peak in December and January.

Buying: Choose cherries that are full and shiny with green stems. Avoid bruised or pitted fruit.

Storing: Keep in the fridge in a paper bag. They will keep for several days. Wash gently just before eating.

Nutrition: Cherries contain potent antioxidants called anthocyanins, which give them their deep red colour. The particular anthocyanins found in cherries are thought to be associated with their anti-inflammatory properties, useful for arthritis and gout. Cherries also contain other compounds associated with maintaining health and slowing ageing.

  • Serve a simple but fabulous dessert platter by scattering cherries with chunks of good-quality dark chocolate.
  • Make a quick and simple dessert alternative with crackers, soft goats' cheese and cherries.
  • Cherry tarts are easy to make. Top filo pastry squares with light cream cheese, stoned cherries and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Bake in a warm oven for 30 minutes.
  • Add stoned cherries to a rocket and feta salad. Dress with balsamic vinegar.
  • Gently cook stoned cherries with a little sugar to make a cherry compote. Serve as dessert with thick, unsweetened Greek yoghurt.
First published: Dec 2008

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