Cherries in Wisconsin

Cherries are Wisconsin
When we were in Door County, Wisconsin a few weeks ago, I was ready to see bags of cheese curds in every store and at every roadside stand, and  I was not surprised that restaurants served them almost universally.  It’s what they have in Wisconsin.  But, I had forgotten in the 5 years since we’ve been there that there are just as many avenues for procuring and enjoying ruby sweet cherries as there are cheese curds.  And for this raw foodist, the cherries trump the cheese bits any day.
Seriously, the cherries were everywhere. In restaurants we visited many of our friends enjoyed a slice or three of cherry pie, there were dried cherries in salads, and cherry juice options either all by itself or mixed with other fruit juices.  When we reluctantly drove out of town after a week of very pleasant biking and relaxing, we stopped at an outdoor market and loaded up on cherry jams, jellies, preserves, and salsas, all locally grown, prepared, and packaged.
Plump, sweet, and ruby red
I, of course, just enjoyed them whole and raw.  So delicious and spectacularly colored.  I knew they were probably a wonderful thing to be eating, so guess what?  Here comes the good news.
Cherries have been shown to combat cancer, improve sleep, balance pressure and ease gout.  Compounds found within cherries also relieve pain as well as aspirin.  They have anti-infammatory properties, and can help to ward off disease. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, and anti-oxidants, and should be enjoyed often.

There’s more good news.  Cherries are a circulatory stimulant that dispel stagnation in the bloodstream and impart a rosy glow to the complexion.  They are detoxifiers, helping the body eliminate uric acid and cleanse the kidneys. They have been used traditionally to remedy anemia, arthritis, asthma, constipation, cramps, fatigue, gallstones and kidney stones, gout, and many other ills.  What’s not to like? 
Avoid contamination – buy organic
The bad news is that cherries are one of the most contaminated fruits, so it’s best to buy organic ones whenever possible.  Although they get cooked and put into jars, mentioned above, they can be enjoyed plain or in fruit salads, puddings, smoothies, and  juices.  They can also be dried for year-round consumption.
Their growing season is almost over for another year, but cherries are still in the stores.  Here’s a recipe you may want to try before they are gone until next year.  I will certainly be ready for them then!  Enjoy!

 

Cherry Soup – A Seasonal Delight
(Yield: 4 servings) 

¼ cup dates, soaked for 20 minutes
2 cups cherries, pitted
2 ½ cups water
2 Tbs lemon juice or lime juice 

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and liquefy.

From Rawsome, by Brigitte Mars

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