I love cherries. I'll be honest, Maraschino canned cherries are my "candy" of choice... but I never buy them. I only indulge in them around Thanksgiving when Maraschino cherries are a must on my fruit pizza. I also enjoy fresh cherries. Come to think of it, I probably like fresh cherries a bit better than the canned version because they are much more satisfying and "real" tasting.
Nutrition facts of Maraschino cherries:
19.4 g sugar
10.5 mg potassium
Nutrition facts of fresh cherries:
10.5 g sugar
182 mg potassium
Here are some fun facts about cherries that I found on the internet:
*Cherries are part of the Rosaceae family. Other fruits in this family include almonds, apricots, plums and peaches.
*Cherries are easily perishable and rarely ripen after harvest. Cherries will remain fresh in the refrigerator for at least 2 days. Always refrigerate fresh cherries right when you purchase them.
*Red cherries contain melatonin, anthocyanins, quercetin and antioxidants.
*Red cherries have been shown to help with inflammation, pain and arthritis.
*Cherries are low in fat, cholesterol and sodium and a very good source of fiber and Vitamin C.
*Cherries can be a healthy alternative to the banana for potassium.
*Sweet cherries are recommended for jams while sour cherries are recommended for pies, souffles and recipes which require cooking the cherries.
*Cherries are a rich source of pectin (soluble fiber) which can help lower cholesterol.
*Sour cherries are known to contain a higher level of beta carotene compared to sweet cherries.
*75% of tart cherries produced in the US are from Michigan. Washington grows more sweet cherries than any other state. 70% of US cherries (sweet and tart) come from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Utah.
*Broadway in NY shifts west at East 10th street because a cherry tree once stood there.
*There are more than 1,000 varieties of cherries in the US but less than 10 are commercially produced.
*Utah is the Cherry State.
Well, enough about cherries. How about my healthy version of cherry almond bread. So moist, naturally sweet and filling. I know I am biased but it is REALLY good, especially warm. I hope you enjoy my latest creation!
Cherry Almond Bread
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 tbsp white sugar
1/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp smart balance butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp flax seed
1/4 cup chopped sliced almonds
15 fresh cherries (chopped into small pieces)
*preheat oven to 325 degrees.
1. In a large bowl, add eggs and sugar.
2. In a small bowl, add banana, applesauce, honey, Greek yogurt butter, milk and vanilla.
3. In a seperate large bowl, add flours, baking powder, baking soda, oats and flax seed.
4. Starting with your egg bowl, beat eggs and sugar for 5 minutes on high until light and fluffy.
5. Add small bowl ingredients containing banana mixture, to your eggs. Beat in ingredients until well-combined.
6. Stir in your flour mixture bowl ingredients to your banana + egg mixture. Stir until evenly mixed.
7. Fold in cherries and almonds.
8. Pour batter into a 9x5 baking bread pan, sprayed with non-stick spray.
9. Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees.
(you will begin to smell your bread around 35-40 min and you will think it is done. However, wait the full hour before removing your bread from the oven, unless the top of your bread begins to turn from golden brown to dark brown. Remove before an hour if the top of your bread becomes dark on top)
Serving size: 1/2 inch slice
Sodium: 93 mg