Fresh fruit is an absolute must for us and one of my favourite fruits are cherries. Cherries are absolutely bursting with vitamins and antioxidants and it only takes 14 cherries to count for a full portion of your 5 a day. They’re very seasonal and can be found in the UK from June to early September, depending on our weather, so when they’re around I make sure I grab them. Cooking is not one of my strong points, so I’ve found some simple ways to use cherries and pair them with other flavours to enjoy them in different ways.
My top 5 simple ways to enjoy fresh cherries
1. Overnight Cherry Oats
Cherries go wonderfully with oats and if you haven’t tried overnight oats you really need to because they are such a fantastic way to start the day. Take 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of plain yoghurt and 1/2 a cup of cherries. I add a pinch of cinnamon as well as it’s one of my favourite flavours – but that’s up to you! You can experiment with a lot of fruit and flavour which makes this a fun and flexible breakfast for everyone.
Add the four ingredients one at a time in a jar until they’re layered, place them in the fridge in the evening and enjoy them in the morning. Leaving them overnight allows the oats to soak up all the yummy flavours and become incredibly soft and creamy. Best of all, you’ll save time in the morning so if you’re stumbling around trying to drag the kids out of bed and get ready for school, you can take breakfast out of the fridge and have it on the table in three second flat.
2. Cherry and Berry Yogurt Sundae
Yogurt is a healthy dessert or snack, but kids often find it a bit plain and unappetizing. Presenting it as a yoghurt sundae in a jar or sundae dish will perk them right up. You can layer yoghurt – plain or flavoured – with fresh berries. Cherry is absolutely ideal for this, along with raspberries, blueberries, strawberries or whatever is in season and to hand!
3. Cherry Ice Lollies
I love making my own ice lollies. It’s so much better than buying them, as they’re not packed with loads of sweeteners and preservatives and other things and you can choose your own flavours. You will need some ice lolly moulds, but these can be reused time and time again and are a very useful addition to any kitchen. This will depend on the size of your mould, but for mine, will make 6 lollies. Combine 250g cherries with 200g of greek yogurt. Add 1 tablespoon of honey to sweeten. You’ll need to stone the cherries and then blend them with the yogurt and honey in a liquidiser until relatively smooth. This helps the mixture thicken and freeze easily. Pop your mix into the moulds and let them freeze for about 2 hours, then add your lollipop sticks, then continue to freeze until solid – I leave mine overnight.
4. Cherry Scones
I love afternoon tea, and scones are an essential part of that. I usually opt for a fruit scone if it’s available, but cherry is something different that works really well. Use your regular recipe for scones, but replace the fruit with chopped cherries. Serve with jam (again, cherry if you can but strawberry or raspberry will also work) and clotted cream. I won’t tell you whether to put the jam on or the clotted cream first, because I don’t want to start a scone-war!
5. In a Fruit Cocktail
You might think this one is a bit too simple but there’s something about the presentation of a fruit cocktail that I love. Combining loads of different shapes, colours and textures – with cherries in the mix – is a great way of getting an absolute mega ton of vitamins and antioxidants into your diet, and I’ve found that giving my son the choice of a small quantity of lots of different fruit really encourages him to eat and enjoy it. Serve it in half a coconut shell as a bowl for extra authenticity that the whole family will love.
I hope you’ve liked these five simple ideas to enjoy more fresh cherries in your daily diet.
This post is an entry for the BritMums #lovefreshcherries Challenge, sponsored by Love Fresh Cherries (Instagram: @LoveFreshCherries)