Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cherry Amore

When I was asked to blog about cherries, I was thrilled! 
Who doesn't love cherries? Thoughts of cherry topped sundaes filled my mind. 
Uh-oh...Do you see where this is heading?
Then I thought, "Hmmm...How about a flourless chocolate cake with cherries?"

It just goes to show how much of losing weight (aka gaining a healthy lifestyle) is in the mind. It's no wonder I have chosen to take a holistic approach to this journey. I obviously wouldn't succeed any other way.

Okay, back to the cherries. First, let's talk about the health benefits. 
Cherries are high in potassium, Vitamin C, and B complex vitamins. To me, this means that cherries will help regulate my blood pressure, help keep my immune system strong, and help keep my metabolism going. 
Can we say, "Winning!"
LOL! I couldn't resist. 

According to www.life123.com, "Sweet and tart cherries contain pigments called anthocyanins, antioxidants that give cherries their dark red color. Tart cherries are among the top fruits as far as antioxidant levels go. Tart cherry juice and dried tart cherries are even higher in antioxidants than blueberries and more powerful than Vitamin E. Anthocyanins have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and according to the American Chemical Society, eating 20 tart cherries (or drinking the equivalent in juice concentrate) a day could provide the same pain relief that aspirin or ibuprofen do."

In addition to this, tart cherries are said to contain significant amounts of melatonin. Melatonin helps to regulate sleep and also helps to keep you looking young by slowing down the aging process. 

This was enough to sell me on the health benefits of cherries. I bought a bag of frozen cherries. 


*Disclaimer. Fresh cherries were not available at my local grocer at the time, and I did check to ensure that the only ingredient present in my bag was cherries. 
Next was the research for recipes. 

These were my favorites.
Cherry Fruit Slump (Slump is another word for cobbler. Don't let the word scare you, this recipe looks yummy!)
Cold Cherry Soup (A delicious Hungarian treat)
Cherry Soup with Dumplings (A fun spin on cherry soup)
Cherry Chocolate Goodness (Simple and satisfying way to cure a sweet tooth craving)
Cherry Salsa (Yum-yum!)

With all of these choices, which recipe would I choose? Well, ladies and gentlemen, I simply ate them. After allowing them to defrost for a bit (not completely), I enjoyed them along side my homemade turkey pesto panini. Since they weren't completely defrosted, the cherries almost tasted like some sort of all natural cherry slushie. Next time, I think I may the cherry salsa. 

However, sometimes good-for-you food tastes good as is.


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