It's cherry season: How to include the healthy fruit into your diet

Healthy Eating: Cherry season in Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - It's cherry season in Michigan, meaning it's the perfect time to include the miniature wonder into your diet this summer.

Cherries have a ton of health benefits, from showing signs of anti-aging to reducing arthritis pain -- it's safe to say, eating as many as you can is a good thing.

►Related: Blueberries linked to improved brain function in older people

WZZM 13 Health Reporter Valerie Lego is joined with Grace DeRocha, a nutritionist with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to share a few recipes that will help you get a few more servings of the sweet fruit.

Dark Chocolate-Covered Cherry Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup almonds or walnuts, chopped, divided
  • 2 cups cherries, pitted and halved, divided
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips, divided
  • 2 cups Silk chocolate soymilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375F. Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, half the nuts, half the cherries, and half the chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining hazelnuts, cherries, and chocolate chips on top.
  4. In a second bowl, whisk together the chocolate soymilk, egg, and vanilla extract. Pour over the oats, shaking the pan around slightly so that it is evenly distributed.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until set. Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

 

The BLC: Bacon, Lettuce and Cherry Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 4-6 slices of turkey bacon
  • 2 slices of whole grain bread
  • 1-2 Tbsp. chevre, at room temperature
  • 8 cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1-3 leaves of lettuce or a small handful of arugula or your preferred leafy green

Instructions

  1. Weave the bacon into a square or “bacon blanket. Microwave, bake or fry turkey bacon until crisp. Transfer it to a plate lined with a paper towel or brown paper to briefly drain.
  2. While the bacon is frying, lightly toast your bread. Spread half of the chevre on each slice of bread, while the bread is warm.
  3. Carefully arrange your cherry halves on top of the chevre on one slice of bread, then the bacon blanket and finally add your leafy green of choice. Top with the other piece of toasted bread. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

 

For more recipes and health and wellness tips, visit AHealthierMichigan.org.

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