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Food pick – Cherries!
Cherry season came a bit later this year, due to our lagging summer, so there are still plenty available at the Farmers Markets throughout BC as well as in quality grocers such as Whole Foods. If you are heading out for a meal, there are plenty of places that have the fruit on their menu.
Raudz – If you are in the Okanagan, don’t miss this Kelowna gem. Chef Rod Butters has pickles cherries and serves them with his Duck Confit with scalloped potatoes, pickled Cherries and salad greens.
At the bar, Gerry Jobe, mixes up cherries in “The Longview” (Okanagan Winefest Mixology Competition Judges Choice+People’s Choice winner)
1oz Spirit Bear Gin
1.5 oz Cherry/Rhubarb Reduction
1.5 oz Lavender/ “Brainy Bee” Wildflower Honey Reduction
1oz The View Winery’s “Distraction Frizzante”
Shake Gin, and both reductions over ice in a Boston shaker, strain into coupe glass, finish with an ounce of The View Frizzante
Go Fish makes their own cherry ice cream.
Steveston’s Tapenade– serves up a cherry and thyme compote with duck pate with their house made charcuterie platter
Restaurant – Tapenade – While Steveston may be known for it’s fish and chips, there is a fine dining scene worth the journey. Tapenade’s Chef Alex Tung makes a killer brunch with items such as Duck Confit Poutine, made with Kennebec frites, free range eggs, duck confit, Gruyere, grape tomato, duck jus and truffled hollandaise, along with a variety of egg benedict, frittatas and crepes. Lunch and dinner are equally tasty, there’s lots of fresh fish (all oceanwise), pastas and dishes for meat lovers such as the steak frites, and Fraser Valley duck breast.
Tapenade has patio for sunny days and a bright interior when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Great service and a descent wine and drink list complete the experience.
Drink – Rustic Roots Cherry
Made with a blend of 3 Varieties of Cherries. This delicate cherry wine, imitates a light pinot noir with a hint of Almond, and Peppery Red Fruit. It has beautiful aromas of butterscotch and sweet cherry, with a dry almond and earthy finish.
Pairs wonderfully with a Spinach Salad and Goat Cheese, Roasted Duck or a Venison Loin.
Health Benefits of Cherries
Anthocyanin is also good for the brain and has been shown to improve memory.
Cherries have gained fame as one of nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatories, which means they’re beneficial for many different conditions. This is due to the anthocyanins in cherries that researchers have found prevent free radical damage and inhibit cyclooxygenase enzymes better than many anti-inflammatory drugs.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, drinking tart cherry juice mixed with water three times a day may be beneficial for people with arthritis. This is due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
A study at the University of Michigan found that a diet that includes a lot of cherries lowers all the overall risk factors for heart disease, including inflammation, body fat, and cholesterol.
Researchers have found sweet cherries to be cancer fighters thanks to their high level of an antioxidant called cyanidin. Cyanidin is an important free radical scavenger and may also promote cellular differentiation, an important process in the body’s fight against cancerous cells.
High in Beta Carotene
Cherries are high in beta carotene, containing 19 times more than blueberries or strawberries.
Cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that regulates the body’s sleep cycles.
How to choose cherries (tips from Whole Foods)
- Check the stems—fresh cherries have green stems
- Give them a feel—cherries should be firm, no soft spots or bruising
- Look for good color—ideally deep, bright red to mahogany
- Give them the once over—fruit should be free of insect damage and pitting (little indentations caused by dehydration)
- Give them a taste—be sure the amount of sugar in the fruit is high (also called the Brix Test)
Cherry Muffins with Crunchy Tops (BC Tree Fruits – lots more cherry recipes here)
Fresh cherries add colour and tangy flavour to these yummy muffins. Pack them along on summer road trips or picnics!
Makes 12 Muffins
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) white sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup (125 mL) melted butter
1 cup (250 mL) B.C. Brand cherries, pitted, chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) white sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp (7.5 mL) butter
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Spray muffin tin with cooking oil spray.
- In bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt.
- In separate bowl, mix egg, bananas and melted butter until well blended.
- Carefully add dry ingredients to banana mixture, stirring just to combine. Lightly fold in cherries.
- Place approx 1/4 cup of mixture into each of 12 muffin cups.
- Sprinkle muffins with topping made by combining 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp flour and 1/2 tbsp butter.
- Bake for 22–24 minutes until golden.