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Fresh Cherries: How to Make the Most of Them

Sweetest and never better right now, here’s how to make the most of their short but sweet season.

Fresh cherries are a juicy-sweet summer treat, whether they’re a snack, a salad topping or smoothie mix-in. Their season is short, from June to August, so be sure to stock up while they’re in our stores. Plus, a one-cup serving of these well-rounded fruits is a good source of vitamin C while delivering potassium and fiber. Below, find buying tips and delicious recipes to make the most of cherries this summer.

How to Buy Fresh Cherries

Cherries can range in color: From the light blush of Rainier cherries to bright red to deep, dark purple. But how do you pick the best quality cherries? Here are some tips to follow when shopping our Produce department:

  • Check the stems: Fresh cherries have green stems.

  • Give them a feel: Cherries should be firm, no soft spots or bruising.

  • Look for color: Depending on variety, ideally they should be deep, bright red to mahogany.

  • Give them the once over: Cherries should be free of insect damage and pitting (little indentations caused by dehydration).

  • Give them a taste: You’re looking for a sweet, slightly tart flavor.

Our Favorite Ways to Enjoy Fresh Cherries

Here are some great ways to put those cherries to delicious use.

More Cherry Desserts:

How to Freeze Fresh Cherries

Fortunately, you can never have too many cherries. If you find yourself with more than you can use, don’t let them go to waste! Freeze the rest and you’ll always have cherries on hand to add to your baked goods, salads, salsas, mains and desserts all year long.

The easiest way to freeze cherries? Arrange pitted cherries on a sheet pan and place in the freezer until completely frozen. Then, transfer to a plastic zip-top bag. Label and date, then store in your freezer. For the best quality and flavor, Foodsafety.gov recommends using cherries within 8 – 12 months of freezing.

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