About Bulk Dried Cherries
Bulk dried cherries come from vibrant red cherries considered ‘stone fruits’. They are members of the “Prunus” family of plants along with peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, and almonds. Similarly, cherries are moist with a fibrous texture. A sweet and tart flavor, depending on the species.
What Climate Is Needed For Cherries To Grow?
A warm, sunny climate is preferred for cherries to abundantly grow. Cherry trees are planted in heavily moist, well-draining soil.
Sweet cherries grow best when planted 30-45 feet apart while tart cherries can be planted closer together (20-35 feet apart). The farmers make sure that there is no overlapping in the root system. Sweet cherry trees begin to bear fruit around five to seven years of age and tart cherry trees begin bearing fruit around three to five years. Cherry trees can produce berries for up to forty years.
A Little History Of Cherries
Cherries originated somewhere in China, with the first documentation of the crops’ cultivation dating back to 4000 B.C. In the United States, Bing cherries originated in the Pacific Northwest, where they still grow today all along the Pacific Coast.
Where Are Cherries Grown?
The majority of cherries today come from Turkey. The United States is the second largest producer of cherries globally, with Michigan producing 203 million pounds annually, followed by Utah at 51 million pounds, and Washington at 24.3 million pounds, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Following the United States, cherries are also grown in Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Iran, Syria, Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Israel, Russian, and Ukraine.
Harvesting And Drying Cherries
Once cherries are firm and bold red in color, they’re ready to be picked. Sweet cherries are taste-tested to ensure they’re fully ripe Sour cherries have a sign of their ripeness; their rich red hue. In contrast to other fruits, cherries do not continue to ripen after being picked from their trees.
The process of drying cherries involves stemming them, sometimes pitting, and then placing the cherries on trays in a dehydrator, where they are heated to 135 degrees for twelve hours to a full day. Once dried, they go into airtight packaging or containers to keep them fresh.
Bulk dried cherries come in several types, called cultivars. Cultivars give variety to the cherries’ overall appearance and taste. Some of the more important cultivars grown in the United States are the Bing, a sweet cherry indigenous to the West Coast, and the Sour Cherry, which is more acidic than the Bing and native to Europe and southwest Asia. Other sweet cherries include the Rainier, Ulster, and Sweetheart cultivars. The Royal Ann, grown in Michigan, is a light colored cherry often used to make maraschino cherries.
A maraschino cherry is not a cultivar of cherry, but describes a process of brining and bleaching the fruit to produce the familiar cocktail and dessert garnish.
Bulk Dried Cherries Nutrition
Low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, these bulk dried cherries contain pain and cancer-fighting properties, antioxidants, and loads of fiber. It is the fiber that helps the digestive system move things along. For this reason, dried cherries also offer benefits to heart, skin, and brain health.
A 100 gram serving of raw cherries contains approximately 82% water, 16% carbohydrates, and 1% protein.Dried Cherries Are High In Fiber
Fiber is the nutrient responsible for keeping the digestive system running smoothly. While it is present in most fruits, fiber is particularly high in cherries, giving them a mild laxative effect.
A type of fiber, known as ‘pectin,’ is a naturally occurring remedy for those suffering from constipation because of its detoxifying, water soluble properties. Pectin binds to waste and fatty substances like cholesterol, and advances their elimination from the digestive tract. In addition, studies show that cherries are beneficial in fighting colon and prostate cancers and keeping triglycerides at healthy levels.
Cancer-Fighting, Pain-Relieving, Heart Health Boosting
Due to their high antioxidant content, bulk dried cherries are linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer, decreased muscle pain after exercise, and improved cardiovascular health.
Dried Cherries Are Antioxidant-Rich
Cherries are notable for their high levels of flavonoids. Specifically, the flavonoid known as “anthocyanidin,”. The substance responsible for giving berries their beautiful dark hue. Flavonoids play a key role in communicating with cells to produce antioxidants. Adding these antioxidants to any diet strengthens the immune system, sending it into overdrive. Antioxidants will fight against internal or environmental threat. Another use of dried cherries is for maintaining healthy skin, fighting inflammation, and recovering after strenuous exercise.
Dried Cherries Are A Natural Sleep Aid
Melatonin is the phytochemical responsible for controlling the body’s sleep-wake cycles. Daily disturbances and certain illnesses can interfere with the brain’s ability to produce melatonin. Subsequently, making falling and staying asleep difficult. Luckily, dried cherries have an abundant source of melatonin, which may prove beneficial if you eat them an hour or so before bedtime.
Vitamins And Minerals In Cherries
Vitamins in bulk dried cherries include vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Vitamin A supports healthy eye function and cell growth, and it prevents glaucoma and macular degeneration. The vitamin A in dried cherries is 19 times the amount found in strawberries and blueberries.
Vitamin E keeps the skin hydrated as it stimulates the regrowth and repair of new cells. Vitamin C defends against viral and bacterial infections, especially the common cold and flu virus.
The mineral content of cherries is significant, as they contain copper, iron, and an exceptional amount of potassium – the electrolyte mineral known for preventing dehydrated muscles from painful cramps and spasms. Specifically, it is copper that supports new tissue growth and collagen production. This helps our skin feel firm and toned.
Culinary Uses of Dried Cherries
Dried cherries are not only healthy but delicious and versatile. In particular, they are perfect for baked goods, smoothies, and salads. With the perfect balance between sweet and sour, you can pair them with just about anything.
- Sprinkle our bulk dried cherries onto salmon or fish before broiling or baking it.
- Add dried cherries to savory dishes such as chicken and pork for a sweet flavor.
- Incorporate dried cherries into tuna and chicken salads.
- Pair dried cherries – sweeter versions, with cheese and crackers for a balanced set of sweet, savory, and salty flavors.
- Make Hungarian chilled cherry soup.
- Throw them into trail mix for added variety.
- Toss bulk dried cherries into salads for added texture and sweetness.
- Add them to pies, cakes, and other sweet treats such as brownies.
- Enjoy bulk dried cherries alone as a quick on-the-go snack.
- Use them to garnish drinks.
Storage and Shelf Life
Like many dried fruits, you can store our bulk dried cherries in the fridge or pantry for up to a year. You can also freeze dried cherries and they will remain fresh up to a year and a half.
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