I get positively giddy about summer produce; from raspberries to peaches and everything in between. Generally I gravitate towards the aforementioned berries and peaches, but this year I have become completely enamored with cherries.
Cherries, if you pick the correct kind, they can be rightly referred to as a superfood. Montmorency cherries are renowned for their medicinal value, as they are rich in antioxidants and a powerful anti-inflammatory food; useful in the prevention of gout. And because of their natural melatonin, they help to treat insomnia and jet lag.
Now tart cherries also come with a slew of health benefits; they are anti-diabetic and may be useful in treating diabetes. An abundance of anthocyanins can increase insulin production, and help regulate blood sugar levels. However, I’m here to reflect on my love of Rainier cherries.
Rainier cherries are summer cherries that I refer to as gems; very sweet, with a useful amount of vitamin C and beta carotene! The rainier cherry season is short. They appear at summer markets for a part of the season, but when they’re gone- they’re gone. Which is why I’ve been eating them as much as possible.
The thing with rainier cherries, and most fruit for that matter, is that when they are purchased organic, in season, and as local as possible, their nutrient content is the highest; however, these little beauties can be picked from your local farmer, pitted and frozen for use all year in smoothies, jams and the like. Another major benefit of cherries, of all kinds, is they don’t lose their medicinal value when cooked- what’s not to love?!
I take pride in the fact that my Vitality Juice Cleansing Programs utilize local, in season produce for both the juices and post cleanse meals; and this little ditty is something I came up with for this week’s lucky cleansers. Coming off a juice cleanse is a crucial time, as easing the body back into the world of solid food should take priority; but I also believe that healthy IS delicious, and this roasted summer tomato and rainier cherries recipe is just that!
This whole recipe was picked during my weekly farmer’s market trip, tomato, basil and rainier cherries; paying true homage to seasonal eating. Apply a drizzle of olive oil, minced garlic and some heat; and VOILA, the perfect adornment to any summer meal!
Roasted Summer Tomato and Rainier Cherries
180g cherry tomato, halved
85 g rainier cherries, pitted and halved
1 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 450F.
Toss all the ingredients together, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; roast in oven for 30 minutes. Serve in salad, on burgers, or eat with a spoon.