Did you know that 95 per cent of the cherries grown in Canada are grown right here in British Columbia? Most of them come from the Okanagan Valley, Similkameen Valley, and Creston Valley. Which means the Kelowna area is literally a cherry mecca!
Cherry Quick Facts
- They’re nutritious! Cherries are packed with vitamins (like C, A and K), minerals (like potassium), and they also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.
- Harvest begins in the South Okanagan in early June, according to BC Cherry. As the summer goes on, cherries are harvested by variety, location, and altitude, finishing in early September.
- U-Pick farms are scattered throughout the region! The City of Kelowna has a great resource full of U-Pick farms, which can be found here.
- Buying: Select plump, glossy cherries with green stems intact. Avoid dull, bruised, small or hard fruit.
- Storing: Keep cherries in your fridge, unwashed, to maintain optimum flavour and texture, according to BCTreeFruits.com. Or freeze to use instead of ice cubes in summer drinks.
- Cherry stains? To remove cherry stains from your hands, rub with a wedge of fresh lemon!
Fun Ways to Use Up Your Surplus Cherries
Cherries for Breakfast!
Cherry Breakfast Smoothie
- 14 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup frozen cherries
- 1 banana
- 2 tbsp chia, flax and/or hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp honey
- sea salt
- To a blender, add all ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Pour into 2-3 glasses, and garnish with granola.
- Recipe will serve three 8-oz cups, or two 12-oz cups.
Cherries for Lunch!
Buckwheat Cherry Salad with Lemon Dressing
Recipe and photo: Kelowna-based nutritionist and food photographer Lindsay Young | Eat Young Nutrition
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Juice of half a large lemon
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 cup uncooked buckwheat
- 1 cup baby kale
- 1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 small cucumbers, chopped
- 1/2 cup almonds, sliced
- Buckwheat: add 2 cups water and 1 cup rinsed buckwheat into saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Rinse excess water and douse cold water over top, allowing it to strain through a colander.
- Dressing: add ingredients to a bowl and whisk until combined. Pour over cooked buckwheat.
- Prepare cherries and vegetables, then add to the buckwheat and mix. Add almonds.
- Let sit in fridge for 1-2 hours to chill, then serve cold.
Cherries for Dinner!
Chicken, Fish or Tofu with Cherry-Wine Pan Sauce
- 4 chicken breasts, fish filets or tofu filets
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp butter, divided
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup chicken or veggie broth
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 12oz fresh or frozen pitted sweet cherries
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Cook protein to your liking.
- Melt 1 tbsp butter in skillet, add shallots and saute until tender. Add wine, broth, balsamic vinegar, and fresh cherries (if using), simmer until sauce is reduced by half. If using frozen cherries, add now with thyme then continue to reduce sauce until slightly thickened.
- Remove skillet from heat, stir in remaining butter and lemon juice. Spoon over your protein and serve.