If you want to add superfoods to your diet in the new year, Montmorency tart cherries may be perfect for you.
Montmorency is the variety of tart cherries grown in America, primarily on small family farms. Compared to sweet cherries that are typically eaten fresh during the summer season, tart cherries are available year-round as dried, frozen, canned, juice and juice concentrate.
Decades of scientific research has shown Montmorency tart cherries are deserving of their superfood reputation. Here are five reasons to enjoy them more often:
- Sleep: Tart cherries are one of the few food sources of melatonin and have been the focus of multiple sleep studies.
- Exercise recovery: Tart cherry juice has become a popular exercise recovery drink for athletes.
- Arthritis and gout: Studies have explored the impact of Montmorency tart cherry juice consumption on gout attacks and arthritis symptoms.
- Heart health: Montmorency tart cherry research has examined blood pressure and blood lipids.
- Versatility: Although they remain perfect for pie, tart cherries can easily transition from sweet to savory, adding complex flavors to oatmeal, smoothies, salads, granola bars, trail mix and grain bowls.
Look for dried U.S.-grown tart cherries at the store and online for enjoyment at the start of your day and at night in recipes like Tart Cherry Overnight Oats and Tart Cherry Bedtime Bites.
Find more recipes and scientific research at ChooseCherries.com.
Tart Cherry Bedtime Bites
6 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup finely shredded coconut flakes
3/4 cup unsalted cashews
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 pinch fine sea salt
In food processor, process dates until broken into pea-sized bits. Add dried tart cherries, coconut flakes, cashews, almond extract and sea salt; process until combined. Form into 12 balls and chill 2 hours.
Tart Cherry Overnight Oats
1 cup dried tart cherries, plus additional for topping (optional)
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup slivered almonds, plus additional for topping (optional)
2 tablespoons tart cherry concentrate
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
honey, for topping (optional)
In a large jar or container, mix cherries, oats, milk, almonds, cherry concentrate, chia seeds and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Spoon into bowls and enjoy cold or warmed up. Drizzle with honey or sprinkle with extra dried tart cherries and almonds, if desired.
A Dark, Colorful Clue
The deep red color is your clue to the science-based benefits of Montmorency tart cherries. The vibrant hue is due to the concentration of anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol in the flavonoids family that has been widely studied.
Source: Cherry Industry Administrative Board