Hy-Vee at Midday: Choose Cherries!

By Jen Heringhausen, Hy-Vee Dietitian

Choose Cherries!
Summer screams cherries! These delectable super fruits are not only delicious, but provide many health benefits as well. Cherries contain many antioxidants and valuable nutrients that make them a powerful super food. Whether you are fighting pain and inflammation, trying to regulate those sleeps patterns, or wanting to give your brain a little boost, choose this small and flavorful fruit for your next healthy snack!
Why Cherries?
Antioxidants: Sweet cherries are considered among the top 20 foods with the highest concentration of antioxidants. Antioxidants occur naturally in some foods and may protect cells in the body from future damage. Cherries have many different antioxidants, including melatonin, quercetin and a flavonoid called anthocyanin.
Heart healthy: Today, heart disease is the single leading cause of death in America. Anthocyanin and quercetin may decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by protecting the heart and preventing plaque formation within the body.
Natural pain and inflammation relief: Do pain and inflammation get you down? We've got great news – a bowl full of cherries may help relieve discomfort related to arthritis and gout. Cherries contain anthocyanins – natural pigments responsible for the red, purple and blue colors of many fruits and vegetables. Cherries act as pain relievers by blocking inflammatory enzymes in the body, which may help to reduce pain.
Bone health: Cherries contain a valuable mineral called boron, which supports bone health and helps to maintain a good calcium balance.
Insomnia: Cherries are one of the few foods that contain melatonin, a natural hormone in the body, which helps control when we fall asleep and wake up. Eating a handful of cherries before bed may be a great, natural way to regulate sleep patterns.
Brain function: Not only does melatonin aid in falling asleep, but it also supports and maintains brain function. Anthocyanins may protect cells found in the brain and promote brain health as well.
Want more than just a handful of cherries? Go to Hy-VeeHealth.com to get delicious recipes, nutrition tips and look for the closest Hy-Vee dietitian near you.
Cherry Berry Fruit Salad
Serves 10

All you need:
2 (6 oz.) containers fresh raspberries, rinsed
1 (16 oz.) container fresh strawberries, hulled, rinsed and diced
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon Hy-Vee white sugar
1 tablespoon Hy-Vee light brown sugar
Juice and zest of 1 lemon

All you do:
1. In a large bowl, combine raspberries, strawberries and cherries.
2. In a small bowl, combine basil, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix well and drizzle over the fruit. Toss to combine.
3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Source: Jen Heringhausen, RD, LD


Grilled Chicken with Cherry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
Serves 8

All you need:
1 cup fresh dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup Hy-Vee reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup Hy-Vee cherry preserves
1/3 cup Hy-Vee ketchup
2 tablespoons Hy-Vee apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, or more to taste
1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 pounds Hy-Vee 100% natural boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
All you do:
1. Stir cherries, broth, preserves, ketchup, vinegar, chipotle peppers, thyme and allspice in a small deep bowl. Transfer to a shallow nonreactive dish large enough to hold chicken. Add chicken and turn to coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. Preheat grill to high. Oil the grill rack. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Transfer the marinade to a medium skillet.
3. Bring the marinade to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced by about half, 12 to 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, reduce the grill heat to medium and grill the chicken until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 7 to 9 minutes per side. Let the chicken cool slightly; serve with the sauce.

Adapted from: Eating Well
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