Desserts

 

 

Fresh Cherry Crisp 

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Description:
What says summer more than cherries?
A fruit crisp offers the luscious flavor of a fresh fruit pie without the fuss of making a crust. Celebrate the arrival of cherries with this rich-tasting crisp. The nut-studded topping works great with other fruit combinations too.
This is a delicious cherry crisp made with fresh cherries instead of canned. It may take a little longer to make because you need to pit the cherries, but it is well worth it when you taste the finished product.

The nutritional benefits of cherries are pretty big, particularly when you consider their small size. Many of the health benefits of cherries are related to the natural chemical that gives them their color.

Anthocyanins give flowers, berries and other fruits the colors ranging from red to blue. Some of the best food sources of anthocyanins are red grapes, chokeberry, eggplant and, of course, cherries.
These pigments attract pollinators, act as a “sunscreen” and protect the plant from radicals formed by UV light, so they act as antioxidants. The antioxidant benefits are transferred to people when the fruits or vegetables are eaten.

Anthocyanins are also natural pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. They inhibit the production of COX-2 enzymes, as do over the counter and prescription pain relievers. Natural anti-inflammatories are believed to reduce the risk of many types of cancer. But, there are more nutritional benefits of cherries.

Cherries contain melatonin, another natural pain reliever and COX-2 inhibitor. Melatonin also helps to regulate sleep cycles and has been sold as a natural sleep aid. Reduced levels of melatonin have been associated with heart disease and increased cancer rates in night workers. The human body naturally produces melatonin, but primarily in darkness.
Constant artificial lighting present in most homes and work places reduces the amount of melatonin that the body produces. So, one of the health benefits of cherries to modern day man has to do with replacing some of the melatonin that has been lost to artificial light, unhealthy work schedules and unnatural sleep patterns. And, there are more nutritional benefits of cherries.

Cherries, like most fruits, contain vitamin C. The proven and suspected health benefits of cherries and other vitamin C rich foods are too numerous to be covered in this recipe.


Ingredients:
Filling
1 1/2 pounds sweet cherries (5 cups), fresh or frozen, pitted
1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon kirsch or brandy (optional)

Topping
2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
1 tablespoon chopped almonds or walnuts


Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking dish (or similar 1 1/2- to 2-quart dish) with cooking spray.

2.To prepare filling, combine cherries, raspberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and kirsch (or brandy), if using, in a large bowl; toss to coat. Place the filling in the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes.

3.Meanwhile, make topping. Mix flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl with a fork. Add butter and blend with a pastry blender or your fingertips. Add oil and stir to coat. Add orange juice concentrate and blend with your fingertips until the dry ingredients are moistened.

4.After 20 minutes, stir the fruit filling and sprinkle the topping evenly over it. Sprinkle with almonds (or walnuts). Bake, uncovered, until the fruit is bubbly and tender and the topping is lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes more. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Servings: 8


Nutrient Information:
Per serving: 245 calories; 5 g fat ( 1 g sat , 2 g mono ); 4 mg cholesterol; 51 g carbohydrates; 22 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 4 g fiber; 36 mg sodium; 331 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (38% daily value) Carbohydrate Servings: 3 Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fruit, 1 carbohydrate, 1 fat


Notes: Active Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


Special Diet: Low Sodium, Low Fat, High Fibre


Category: Desserts


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Cherry Smoothie
Category: Raw Foods
Description: Cherries can be sweet or sour, red or black. My favorite varieties are the big black ones. We used to enjoy “Bing” cherries I commonly now see a variety called “Lapins”. Cherries contain anthocyanins, the red pigment in berries. Cherry anthocyanins have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation. Anthocyanins are also potent antioxidants. In addition, they appear to significantly lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. Cherries are considered a warm food and are great for increasing circulation. They make an excellent detoxifying food, helping the body eliminate uric acid and cleanse the kidneys. They contain ellagic acid, an anticancer compound. So, not only do they taste fabulous, they are also very healthy. A word of caution, cherries are considered to be part of the “”Dirty Dozen” when it comes to fruits and vegetables that have been found to contain the highest levels of pesticide residues. So, it is vitally important to choose only organically grown cherries. They may be considerably more expensive, but your health is worth every extra penny you spend.
Fresh cherries are best stored in a bag in the fruit drawer of your refrigerator. They can also be pitted and frozen into serving sized portions.
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