With a Cherry on Top

We all know they taste delicious, but did you know that if you suffer from arthritis or gout, cherries can be a much more potent painkiller than aspirin? Anthocyanins — the nutrient that gives cherries their beautiful red color — found in cherries block inflammatory enzymes, reducing pain. In fact, 20 cherries are 10 times as potent as aspirin and have positive effects on gout and arthritis pain.

Fresh cherries are now at the peak of flavor, so take advantage with one of our tasty recipes. Be sure to pick up our new multiple cherry pitter to make quick work of pitting your fresh cherries for these recipes.

Cherry & Turkey Salad

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

4 cups leafy greens: romaine, spinach or baby greens

12 ounces smoked turkey slices, cut in strips

2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and halved

1 mango, peeled and sliced

1 kiwi, peeled and sliced

Combine water and sugar in small saucepan; add halved cherries. Bring mixture to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Strain syrup into an airtight container and discard cherries. Refrigerate syrup until cold.

Fill a tall pitcher with ice. Pour lemon juice and 1/3 cup syrup over ice and top with seltzer. Drop in whole cherries and mint. Leftover syrup may be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Cherry Crumb Cake

For the crumb topping:

2/3 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup canola oil

1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the cake:

2 1/2 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

10 tablespoons margarine, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup orange juice at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 pounds fresh dark cherries, pitted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch springform pan or a 9” x 13” pan.

For the crumb topping, combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl; add oil and vanilla extract, and toss mixture with a fork until crumbly. Chill topping in the freezer until needed.

For the cake, whisk together flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Beat margarine and sugar in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add eggs one at a time. Add juice and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, mixing after each, just until combined.

Scrape batter into prepared baking pan and smooth with an offset spatula. Tap pan sharply on the countertop to remove air bubbles, and top with an even layer of cherries, pressing slightly into batter. Sprinkle with crumb topping and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until edges are golden, cake springs back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes before removing sides from pan (if using springform); let cool completely.