When I started at Stemilt five years ago, I was a bit naïve when it came to all the different ways you could enjoy cherries. I knew from my childhood that they tasted great right out of the bowl (they were always featured that way at our family’s 4th of July potlucks) and I have always been a huge cherry pie fan, but I rarely thought much beyond that for other, unique ways to enjoy sweet cherries. My how that has changed! Now, it seems as though I’m dreaming up different ways to enjoy cherries – and testing them out at home – almost daily when they are in season.

Without further ado, I present to you my list of 5 ways for enjoying sweet cherries this summer. Some are personal favorites, while others go with tips or interesting health facts about cherries. All end with a great result – enjoying one of the best gifts Mother Nature delivers us each summer – cherries!

5 Ways to Enjoy Stemilt Cherries This Summer:

  • To Start the Day: Add a cup of pitted and sliced fresh Stemilt cherries to your morning cereal or oatmeal. The sweet flavor of cherries takes the bland out of a hearty, whole grain breakfast, while at the same time giving you a fiber and antioxidant boost.
  • In a Green Smoothie: My latest food obsession is making green smoothies. Busy mornings led me into the horrible habit of not eating breakfast, and we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. To combat this and get extra servings of fruits and veggies, I started making smoothies for the whole family to enjoy. But not just any smoothie – a green smoothie! For parents of picky eaters, green smoothies are a great way to “hide” the good stuff we all want our kids to eat. Blend up your choice of fruits, greens, and liquid, and you have a perfect breakfast to sip on the go. My favorite green smoothie blend right now combines cherries, blueberries, banana, strawberries, and kale with ice, almond milk, and plain yogurt/kefir. It’s so good!
  • As a Healthy Snack: To me, one of the best things about sweet cherries is that they are the perfect out-of-hand snack to satisfy a sweet craving. One of my go-to snacks during the summer is a handful of sweet cherries and raw almonds. The two foods go great together, are incredibly filling, and fuel the body with fiber, protein, and much more.
  • In a Delicious Dessert: I couldn’t talk about the uses for cherries without mentioning dessert. There are so many delicious summertime desserts that feature cherries – from classic pies to unique versions of upside-down cake. Browse our cherry recipes to find a dessert that appeals to you.
  • To Aid in a Good Night’s Sleep: Cherries are one of the few natural sources of melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain that helps regulate the body’s internal clock. Research suggests that consuming melatonin 30 minutes before going to bed can help improve sleep, especially when altering a schedule through shift work or traveling. Consider eating cherries before bed during your next business trip to help adjust to the new time zone and sleep soundly.

Help me add to this list. Share the ways you enjoy sweet cherries each summer in the comments below!