Cherries, fruits that are among the most popular types of fruit.
They are not only tasty, but also contain vitamins, minerals and plant compounds that have positive effects on the human body.
What else should you know about them? You will learn all this in the following article!
Cherry, stone fruit full of beneficial nutrients
The cherry is a fleshy drupe of the genus Prunus. A number of species are grown for ornamental purposes and also for the wood from which quality furniture is made.
Most types of cherries come from the northern hemisphere, where they are widely cultivated. About 10 to 12 species are recognized in North America and a similar number in Europe. However, the largest concentration of species is in East Asia. It is believed that the original environment from which cultivated cherries come is Western Asia and Eastern Europe.
Cherry trees reach a height of up to 11 meters. The fruits are heart-shaped to almost spherical with a diameter of about 2 cm. They can be yellow, red or almost black.
Cherries are grown in all areas of the world where winter temperatures are not too high and summer temperatures are mild. They require winter cold to bloom in spring.
Why consume cherries?
Different types of cherries will offer you a sweet or sour taste.
High in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, they can reduce chronic disease and promote overall health.
They are low in calories and full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. They also contain antioxidants such as beta-carotene and the essential nutrient choline.
A number of studies have been carried out, which confirmed that the consumption of cherries helps the proper functioning of the metabolism, to reduce the level of sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol in the body.
If you like sports, try adding cherry juice to your diet. Some studies say it helps fight muscle damage and promotes muscle recovery.
Cherries are low-calorie fruits that can be considered an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and fiber.
Additional nutritional values, minerals and vitamins can be seen in the following table:
|Nutritional values||Raw cherries 100 g|
|Vitamin B3||0.154 mg|
|Vitamin C||7 mg|
Types of cherries
Bird cherry, Latin Prunus padus. Native to northern Europe and northern and northeastern Asia, it is grown as an ornamental plant in North America.
Its appearance resembles sour cherries. It is a deciduous tree that requires full sunlight and moist, well-drained soil.
The fruits of this variety of cherry are often used in baking or making compotes.
Latin called Prunus avium “Bing”. This is the most common type of dark cherry found in the grocery store, both fresh and frozen.
They are firm, juicy and sweet. Their shape resembles the shape of a heart. The leaves are green, drooping with serrated edges. It has white flowers.
Bing cherries are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
The Yoshino cherry (Prunus x yedoensis) is a type of cherry native to Japan. It is mainly grown as an ornamental tree.
It grows to a height of around 8 meters, with a wide crown also 8 meters. It is often planted in parks, mainly because of its pale pink flowers.
The tree requires full sunlight and very moist, well-drained soil.
This type of cherry, Prunus sargentii in Latin, does not do well in warm areas.
It is known for its beauty, providing all year round. In the spring, leaves sprout with a purple or bronze color and the flowers are striking pink. In autumn, the leaves turn red and orange.
It requires a lot of direct sunlight and moist, well-drained soil.
Difference between cherry and sour cherry?
The two crops are very similar in appearance. How do they differ from each other?
- The acid content in cherries is low, which is why sour cherries have a more sour taste.
- Cherry trees are smaller, growing to a height of about 5 meters.
- The fruit color of sour cherries is dark red, while cherries are yellow, red to black.
Cherries have a short growing season and can grow in most temperate latitudes. They start blooming in April and the peak season for harvesting is in summer.
Cherries generally require plenty of sunlight, ideally a location where they can receive more than 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. They should be planted in well-drained soil.
Unlike other crops, cherries have two planting seasons. They require relatively moist soil to establish well. Therefore, plant them in late autumn or early spring. Young cherry trees may appear small, but eventually grow to a height of 6 to 9 meters.
If you are going to plant more cherries, space them 10 to 12 meters apart. The required spacing allows pollination between trees.
Processing of cherries
You can use cherries in sweet and savory dishes, for example in:
- duck breast with cherry sauce
You can also freeze, preserve or process the cherries into jam. To make cherry jam you will need :
- 500 g of sugar per 1 kg of cherries
- lemon juice
- Rinse, drain and pit the cherries.
- Cut the pitted cherries into small pieces, according to your needs.
- Combine cherries, sugar, salt and lemon juice in a large saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a full boil.
- Let it boil for two minutes.
- Pour the finished jam into clean jars and close with a lid.
- Turn the jars upside down and store in the fridge after cooling.
You can also preserve cherries. If you don’t know how, get inspired by some recipes for canning cherries.
Dried cherries – you can use dried cherry fruits in baking and cooking, they give dishes a sweeter taste
Cherry ice cream – the sweet, slightly sour taste of cherry ice cream is guaranteed to refresh you
Cherry BBQ sauce – an ideal sauce for meat, it adds a sweet and sour taste
A number of studies have shown that cherries reduce inflammation in the body and promote muscle regeneration. In addition, they reduce the level of sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure in the body. That’s why you too include cherries in your diet!