North America’s ruby red, year round superfruit

Why Eat Cherries?

Low in calories,  High in vitamin A and C, contain ncholesterol and almost No fat.

cherry

The riper the better: as cherries darken, they produce more antioxidants.

Cherries a natural source of melatonin, a regulator of the sleep-wake cycle. They reduce insomnia and promote a longer, better quality of sleep.

Tart cherries are one of the richest sources of anthocyanin, a natural compound that inhibits inflammation and contributes to the ruby-red color and distinctive sour-sweet taste.

Sweet and Tart cherries are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, anthocyanins and quercetin, which may work together to synergistically prevent genetic mutations and fight cancer.

Sweet cherries are loaded with potassium, a natural blood-pressure reducer.

tart-cherry-vs-sweet-cherry

Both type of cherries offer a number of health benefits, however the Tart cherry has a higher concentration of antioxidants.

Tart: Approximately 310 milligrams in 100 grams of fruit.
Black (Sweet): Approximately 100 to 150 milligrams per 100 grams.
**The tart taste is an indication of the amount of anthocyanins inside

 

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 What do Cherries do for your health?

Increase sleep time duration and quality

Boost production of detoxifying enzymes

Strengthen immune function

Combat cancer and limit production of cancer-related hormones

Help balance your blood pressure and reduce hypertension

May help lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides

Reduces uric acid levels

Inhibit the aggregation and adhesion of platelets in blood

Reduce risk of stroke, myocardial infarction, and heart disease

Fight inflammation linked to arthritis and gout

Decrease muscle pain and damage

Lower risk of gout attacks

Ease post workout soreness

Help manage osteoarthritis

 

Nutrient Profile – Macronutrients

Macronutrients

 

Nutrient Profile – Micronutrients

micronutrients

micronutrients cont.

 

 Growing and Harvesting Cherries:

Tart cherries are harvested in July, but you probably won’t find them fresh unless you live in one of the growing regions.

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It takes about five years after a Tart cherry tree is planted before you can mechanically harvest the fruit. Otherwise, the trunk is just too fragile to withstand the shaking from the equipment.

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The equipment (a shaker) goes through the orchard and literally shakes the trees to make the cherries fall off and into a rolling conveyor belt.

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The cherries gently tumble in the trough-like container

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And are immediately plopped into cold water.

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The cherries are left in the tankfuls of water to cool down and soften, before being trucked to a processing plant where they’re pitted and then typically frozen, before they’re turned into all sorts of different products.

This clip illustrates the passion behind those who grow and harvest cherries: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw08cbVT0bE#t=35

 

How to prepare and eat Cherries:

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Cherries can be enjoyed year-round

and can  be eaten raw, dried, frozen, or juiced

Tart cherries are rarely sold fresh, the fruit is highly perishable and the gems simply won’t hold up to the shipping

Due to the higher natural sugar content, many people prefer to eat the fresh Black(Sweet) cherry over the fresh Tart cherry

However, when baking the Tart cherry is best. The majority recipes suggest to use Tart cherries when making cherry pies.

The Choose Cherries Website recipe database offers plenty of nutritious options to help you include dried and frozen tart cherries and cherry juice in a variety of dishes for any meal, occasion or season.

Remember, the darker the color, the bolder the taste, the more anthocyanins inside.

*** Also, that 2/3 of the phytonutritients are found in the skins

The Choose Cherries recipe: Warm Salmon, Cherry and Arugula Salad

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 Interesting Facts:

Montmorency is the varietal of tart cherry (Prunus cerasus) most commonly grown in the U.S. and Canada. The name comes from a valley in the northern suburbs of Paris, France, where tart cherries were first cultivated in the 18th century.

Now, more than 94 percent of tart cherries consumed in the U.S. are grown in the U.S. In fact, Traverse City, Michigan, is considered the Cherry Capital of the World. Utah, Washington, New York, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are other prominent tart cherry-producing states.

A newer variety of tart cherry that’s being grown in Michigan is called the Balaton, named after a lake in Hungary. The new tart cherry variety that would bloom later and be less vulnerable to Michigan’s occasional late spring freeze, which devastated last year’s crop.

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Sources:

1st image credit: http://a57.foxnews.com/global.fncstatic.com/static/managed/img/Health/876/493/Cherries.JPG?ve=1&tl=1

2nd image credit: http://www.cherryaffiliates.com/resources/images/bg/cherry.png

Health Benefits: http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/cherry_nutrition_benefits

3rd image credit: http://www.traversebayfarms.com/images/tart-cherry-vs-sweet-cherry.jpg

4th image credit: http://www.choosecherries.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/cherries3-700×465.jpg

Health Benefits: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Phytochemicals-and-Cardiovascular-Disease_UCM_306020_Article.jsp

Health Benefits: http://www.choosecherries.com/

Health Benefits: http://www.livestrong.com/article/489201-the-role-of-iron-in-bone-density/

Health Benefits: http://www.aicr.org/reduce-your-cancer-risk/diet/elements_phytochemicals.html

Nutrient Profile: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1861/2

Health Benefits: http://www.nutritionunplugged.com/2013/07/a-visit-to-cherry-country/

5th image credit: http://www.nutritionunplugged.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/P1010026.jpg

6th image credit: http://www.nutritionunplugged.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/P1010037.jpg

7th image credit: http://www.nutritionunplugged.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/P1010038.jpg

8th image credit: http://www.nutritionunplugged.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/P1010041.jpg

9th image credit: http://www.nutritionunplugged.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/P1010053.jpg

10th image credit: http://www.driedworld.com/fruits/99-dried-cherries

Health Benefits: http://www.traversebayfarms.com/tart-cherry-vs-black-cherry.htm

Recipe: http://www.choosecherries.com/recipe/warm-salmon-cherry-and-arugula-salad-2/

11th image credit: http://www.choosecherries.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Warm-Salmon-Cherry-and-Arugula-Salad-700×455.jpg

12th image credit http://www.choosecherries.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Cherries_Website_FastFacts_v01.jpg

13th image credit: http://www.choosecherries.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Cherries_Website_FastFacts_v01.jpg

 

 

 

 

Brightly colored, well “rounded” and savory: Brussel Sprouts

Why eat Brussel sprouts?

Low in calories,  High in complex carbohydrates, contain No cholesterol and almost No fat.

close-up of fresh brussels sprout, isolated

They are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K, a good source of vitamin A and folate. Brussel sprouts are a source of fiber, potassium, iron, vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium and thiamin.

High amounts of antioxidants and phytochemicals may offer some protection from cancer.

They are a good source of beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that are a large class of natural plant pigments responsible for the dark green color of Brussel sprouts.

What do Brussels sprouts do for your health?

heartHelp prevent  cancer and heart disease with powerful antioxidants

 May inhibit cancer cell growth,  induce detoxification of carcinogens, and improve immune response

 Limit production of cancer-related hormones, block carcinogens and  prevent tumor growth

May reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration

May help prevent birth defects because they are high in folic acid

May protect bowel cells from cancer-causing damage

Nutrient Profile – MacronutrientsNutrient Profile – Macronutrients

Nutrient Profile – MicronutrientsNutrient Profile – Micronutrients

Nutrient Profile – Micronutrients

Brussels sprouts growing in a garden:

Brussels sprouts are a slow-growing, long-bearing crop, that require cool weather; and should be planted in early spring, or mid- to late summer for a crop that matures in the fall.

**Be aware that sprouts maturing in hot or dry weather will be flimsy and bitter.

Additionally, Brussels sprouts also need more boron than most other vegetables, without it they develop hollow stems and small buds.

bud

field

Sprouts first form at the bottom of the plant and continue forming toward the top for several weeks. Brussels sprouts are ready to harvest when the tiny heads are firm,  green,  and 1 – 2 inches in diameter.

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The plant continues to grow upward, producing more leaves and sprouts. The plant will withstand frost and can be harvested until a hard freeze strikes. The best-quality sprouts are produced during sunny days with light frosts at night. As winter approaches, you can trick the sprouts into maturing all at once by cutting off the top of the plant about 3 weeks before you want to harvest.One full-sized, healthy plant can bear 2 to 3 pounds of sprouts.

How to prepare and eat Brussels sprouts?

Fresh is Best

 Store fresh, unwashed sprouts in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Fresh sprouts taste best, though, so try to limit refrigeration to a day or two.

Brussel sprouts are not eaten raw, but boiled

The key to cooking Brussel sprouts is in not overcooking them. When Brussel sprouts have lost their bright green color, they are overcooked and have lost a considerable amount of nutritional value.

Eating Well Recipe: Brown Butter & Dill Brussels Sprouts

recipe

 

Sources:

Health Benefits: http://www.freshvegetablesontario.com/index.php?action=display&cat=3&v=8

1st image credit: http://www.doctorsolve.com/blog/uploaded_images/foodchart.php-718040.jpeg

2nd image credit: http://pushupsandcarrots.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/brussel-heart.jpg

Health Benefits: http://www.aicr.org/reduce-your-cancer-risk/diet/elements_phytochemicals.html

Health Benefits: http://www.livestrong.com/article/489201-the-role-of-iron-in-bone-density/

Health Benefits: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Phytochemicals-and-Cardiovascular-Disease_UCM_306020_Article.jsp

Nutrient Profile: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2362/2

Planting and Harvesting: http://bonnieplants.com/growing/growing-brussels-sprouts/

3rd image credit: http://bonnieplants.com/wp-content/uploads/brussels-sprouts-on-stalk-web.jpg

4th image credit: http://paulsproduce.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/sprouts-new_7_1.jpg

5th image credit: http://microfarmgardens.com/storage/brussels-sprout-millennium-f1-seeds-average.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1344476835481

6th image credit: http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/standard/recipes/SD7405.JPG

Recipe: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/brown_butter_dill_brussels_sprouts.html

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