February is National Cherry Month -- We wouldn't tell a lie!
The ruby-red color of cherries is perfect for patriotic celebrations on Presidents? Day and for romantic offerings on Valentine's Day. In fact, cherries are perfect for any special occasion throughout the month.
Compared to other fruits, cherries have the highest levels of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and copper. Tart cherries are high in antioxidants, which may prevent the oxidation of unwanted cholesterol. Some food folklorists claim that cherries help relieve the pain of arthritis or gout; thousands of people believe this to be true, but researchers are continuing to check the validity of these claims.
Cherries are best known in desserts, especially cherry pies and cobblers. However, this tangy, colorful fruit is also tasty in main courses, side dishes, salads and beverages.
There are many ways to use the newest member of the cherry family -- the dried tart cherry. You can find them in gourmet and specialty food stores, selected supermarkets or by mail order. Try adding dried cherries to cereals, pancake batter or meat sauces. Serve over poultry, pork or wild game. Slip them into rice pilaf or rice pudding, or add about 1/2 cup dried tart cherries to your favorite apple or peach pie recipe. Give trail mixes new flavor with the addition of dried tart cherries. As a party treat, combine them with whole cashews, smoked almonds or roasted walnuts. And anything made with raisins, currants or dried apricots becomes more exciting when substituted with the tantalizing taste and natural color of dried, red, tart cherries.
One thing for sure, cherries make healthy treats which can all be worked into your diabetic eating plan -- morning, noon or night!
IMPORTANT RECIPE NOTE: We DO use small amounts of refined sugar per
serving in our recipes, which is in keeping with the revised guidelines for
people with diabetes, issued by the American Diabetes Association Committee On
Nutrition in 1994. We strongly urge that you check with your physician, health
care team, primary diabetes health care provider, or registered dietitian or
nutritionist on how to incorporate our recipes, or any recipes from our
cookbook reviews, into your daily meal plan.
Recipes with refined sugar may not be suitable for ALL diabetics. Your blood sugars should be under control and your daily meal plan MUST include the carbohydrate allowances per serving for each recipe containing refined sugar.
Marilyn Helton is a regular contributor to Fabulous Foods as well as the Diabetic Gourmet. She firmly believe that a diabetes diagnosis does not have to mean a culinary death sentence. Click here to visit Marilyn's website Cinnamon Hearts for more diabetic recipes and information.