National Cherry Day: 16 July
16 July is National Cherry Day. If you are anything like me then you will enjoy indulging in juicy red cherries during the summer season. They are one of my favourite fruits and I find them so tasty and refreshing. This bright red fruit has an amazing blend of sweet flavours, with a hint of sourness, and adds the perfect pop of colour to your desserts.
Cherries can be eaten raw, or used in a variety of recipes such as cakes, tarts, pies and cheesecakes. They make a great topping for a bowl of yogurt or your breakfast cereal, too.
Did you know that just 14 cherries make up one of your five a day? But not many people know that this delicious fruit has lots of health benefits, too. Often called a superfood, cherries are rich in antioxidants, potassium and vitamin A. They are also one of very few fruits to contain melatonin; some studies have shown that cherry juice may aid sleep.
The Romans first brought cherries from Persia and introduced them here in Britain. Rumour has it that ancient roads can be traced from the spots where marching Romans spat out their seeds and caused a new cherry tree to grow!
Over the last 50 years we’ve sadly seen a decline in our cherry orchards, which means that we now import around 95% of all cherries. So the main goal of National Cherry Day is to raise awareness about the need to maintain our traditional orchards. If everyone eats home-grown cherries, the future of British cherries will be looking up in no time!
So, why not try one of our delicious cherry recipes? If you’ve got the lockdown baking bug and are short on time, our Chocolate Cherry Muffins make a great teatime treat. Because they use dried cherries, they can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
Our dairy-free, vegan Cherry Smoothie with tofu and oats is an antioxidant-packed drink, great for breakfast or a tasty snack. Enjoy!
Chocolate Cherry Muffins
Time to prepare: 10 mins
Time to cook: 25 mins
Dietary requirements: Vegetarian
- 250g/9oz self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 150g/5oz dried sour cherries
- 100g/4oz white chocolate chips
- 100g/4oz dark chocolate chips
- 100g/4oz caster sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 150g/4oz natural yoghurt
- 100g butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas mark 6 and line a 12–hole muffin tin with some paper cases.
- Sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl, then stir in the cherries, chocolate and sugar.
- Add the beaten eggs, yogurt and finally the butter, and fold in to combine. (It’s OK if the mixture looks a bit lumpy, it’s more important not to over–mix because the muffins will turn out tough).
- Fill the paper cases and bake for 20–25 minutes until risen and golden brown.
- Transfer to a rack to cool.
Time to prepare: 5 mins
Dietary requirements: Dairy-free, Egg-free, Vegan
- 100ml cherry juice
- 200ml almond milk
- 50g/2oz silken tofu
- 150g/5oz pot cherry soya yoghurt
- 75g/3oz frozen cherries
- 2 tbsp porridge oats
- Add the ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth, or use a jug and a stick blender.
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