Cherries are the new superfoods. They offer a host of health benefits. Cherries are one of those summer fruits that you wouldn't mind waiting for all year long. The cherry season lasts for just a couple of months, and when they are in peak season, they are sweet, juicy and irresistibly delicious. According to the book Healing Foods by DK Publishing, cherries have high medicinal values because they are rich in antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties, and are useful in the prevention of gout. They are one of the few fruits to contain melatonin, which can help reduce insomnia and jetlag and further encourage good sleep. Cherries can be used in puddings, salads, pies, ice creams, jams, cakes and various sauces. Basically, these tiny delights are not only tasty, but they are also a visual treat. Cherries contain pits that are inedible. If you wish to use cherries in your delicacies, make sure you pit them well.
There are two ways to pit cherries; one is to pit them using a cherry pitter and the other is to pit them without using the latter. Here's how to pit cherries without using a pitter; but first, how to buy fresh cherries.
(Also Read:8 Hidden Health Benefits of Cherries for Weight Loss, Heart Health & Good Sleep)
How to buy and store fresh cherries?
- Select plump firm cherries with smooth and shiny skins.
- Cherries with stems attached spoil less rapidly as compared to those without stems. Look for fresh green stems rather than dried out ones.
- Avoid any cherry that is sticky or soft with brown spots or broken skins, as it may turn out to be sour.
- Since cherries do not ripen further once they are plucked, so always pick the ones that are red in colour and avoid small, poorly coloured or hard cherries.
- Once bought, store the cherries in refrigerator by covering with a plastic wrap for upto three days.
- Make sure you store them in the refrigerator unwashed and dry so they don't spoil easily.
(Also Read:6 Benefits of Tart Cherries: Little Berries That Pack a Punch)
How to pit cherries?
While pitting cherries becomes an easy job when you have a pitter, you can pit without using the same. We tell you how.
1. The twist method
Take a toothpick, paper clip or a hair pin; insert whichever tool you choose, into the stem end of the cherry. You should feel it hit the pit. Now, twist the tool around the pit and pop it out. It will take a few cherries for you to get a hang of it. Don't lose patience, experiment a bit to find the right twisting motion that works best for you. There is a chance, this process may create some mess, but the cherries will taste as good.
2. The poking method
Take a chopstick, straw or a pastry tip and insert one of them into the stem end of the cherry and push it through. Ideally, the straw should come clear through the other end along with the pit.
(Also Read:Why You Should Eat More Cherries)
3. Cutting out the pit method
Wash the cherries thoroughly and remove the stem. From the stem end, carefully place the knife and press down; stop once you hit the pit. Roll the cherry along the knife edge and finish where you began. Gently twist both sections until they come off the pit easily. Don't twist the two ends too hard, or you will lose out on the juice.
Here are simple and quick ways to pit cherries that you can use for cooking and baking. Now that you have learnt how to pit cherries without using a cherry pitter, experiment with these recipes and get going.
1. Plum and Cherry Roasted Free Range Chicken Recipe
2. Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe
3. Cherry Tomato Onion Crostini Recipe
Now that we have shared the right way to pit cherries, try making these dishes and impress your guests like never before!