cherries also pack a health-promoting punch. That's because
these ruby-red cherries are bursting with antioxidants that
may relieve the pain of arthritis and gout and may help
prevent cancer and heart disease.
The latest research shows that Montmorency cherries have
high ORAC (oxygen radical absorption capacity) values. These
high ORAC values reflect the many natural compounds in tart
cherries that have antioxidant properties. Tart cherries
have a range of 1,700 to 12,800 ORAC un;its per 100 grams.
Other fruits that have been tested range from 700 to 5,700
ORAC units per 100 grams. Nutritionists suggest that people
consume 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC units per day to have an impact
Melatonin, a powerful antioxidant that attacks free radicals
and may help prevent or reduce brain deterioration asscoiated
with aging, also is present in significant quantities in
There also are three powerful anthocyanins in tart cherries.
These anthocyanins have the potential to prevent inflammation
and may inhibit the growth of cancer tumors. Anthocyanins
are reported to have 10X the power of aspirin to help in
reducing inflammation and the pain of arthritis and gout.
These same anthocyanins also may protect artery walls from
the damage that leads to plaque and heart disease. In fact,
the research whows that anthocyanins do a better job of
protecting arteries than vitamins C and E. For more information
on the health benefits of Montmorency cherries go to www.usacherries.com.
We grow Montmorency Cherries on dwarf trees and semi dwarf
trees for easy picking. We also have a few rows of Danube
and Balatin cherries, which are a sweeter sour cherry. All
cherries are sold "by the pound". You can save
a few cents by bringing your own container to pick into,
just have it weighed in the Apple Barn before you go to
The best way to pick cherries is to pinch the top of the
stem where it meets the branch and pluck downward quickly.
Leaving the stems on the cherries will keep them fresh for
up to a week in your refridgerator. If you do pick cherries
without the stems on, be sure to use the cherries within
the day as they will turn brown at the stem hole.
There are a few varieties of "Cherry Pitters"
on the market. We have tried them all and found that the
ones which allow a tray full of cherries to line up and
be pitted by a spring loaded puncher work the best. We try
to have this model available for sale in the Apple Barn.
Otherwise, an ordinary paperclip works just fine. Just open
the paperclip once. Push the smaller curve into the stem
hole and it will fit perfectly around the pit as you pull
Remember, pitting cherries goes faster when you pit with
a friend, on the porch in a comfy chair with your feet up,
a tall glass of lemonade at the ready, each of you with
a big bowl of cherries on your lap.
Wash, stem, dry and pit cherries. Add approx. 1/2 cup sugar
to 1 quart cherries in a freezer bag. Leave appropriate
head room, seal and freeze. You may also add less sugar
if you use ascorbic acid (sold as "Fruit Fresh"
in the grocery store). The sugar and ascorbic acid help
preserve the red color AND the flavor of the cherries in
the freezer. Cherries frozen without adding the above will
turn brown and be tasteless after freezing.