With all of the benefits that come along with cherries, not to mention they are absolutely delicious, home canning cherries is so much fun! Especially during cherry season in Michigan! Now is the perfect time to visit a local farmer’s market while cherries are in-season.

Five top health benefits of cherries:

  1. Cherries fight arthritis. Arthritis is a pain, literally, and sometimes the severity increases during the dry days of summer. The pain and inflammation associated with arthritis is caused by excess uric acid in your bloodstream. Eating 2 cups of cherries a day will decrease the uric acid in your bloodstream by at least 15 percent.
  2. Cherries are rich in antioxidants. The cherry is one of the foods that rank highest in antioxidants. This means the cherry is a superfood because the cherry is loaded with anthocyanins. Anthocyanins aid in reducing the chances of heart disease, help prevent cancer and protect against obesity.
  3. Cherries offer aid in weight management. Depending on the type of cherry, one cup contains from 70 to 100 calories and is loaded with fiber. Eating foods high in fiber keep your body feeling full for a longer period of time, hence consuming cherries is a huge contributor to weight loss. The cherry also contains a variety of B-vitamins contributing to a healthier metabolism.
  4. Cherries help you sleep better. Are you one of those who has trouble sleeping at night? Tart cherries contain melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone that affects your sleep and wake cycle. Enhance your melatonin levels by drinking a small glass of cherry juice or enjoy a serving of cherry salsa before bed time.
  5. Cherries aid in beauty and eyesight. Melatonin not only helps you regulate sleep, it also contributes to healthier looking skin. Melatonin guards the formation of wrinkles which help you look younger. Cherries also contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant, packed with A-vitamins which are crucial to maintaining healthy skin and good eyesight.

Now you have five amazing reasons to preserve cherries this summer canning season! So where should you get started? I shared four easy cherry canning recipes in another blog a while back from pie filling to jam and also a delicious salsa.

Here is a delicious cherry chutney you may use as a condiment to any summer grilled meal or serve this delightful chutney alongside this summer’s cheese and meat charcuterie board.

Gingered Cherry Chutney
Makes approximately 4 pints or 8 half-pints

2 pounds/6 cups cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped

1 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 cup raisins

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons ginger root, peeled and grated

½ cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1 teaspoon sea salt

  1. In a large stock pot, combine cherries, red onion, raisins, garlic and ginger root. Over medium high heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often to avoid scorching.
  2. Add red wine vinegar, brown sugar, ground mustard and sea salt and mix well. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Using your funnel, ladle hot chutney into clean jars leaving a ½ inch of headspace. Wipe each jar rim with a wet washcloth dipped in vinegar. Apply your lids and rings and hand tighten.
  4. Process filled jars in a water bath; 10 minutes for half-pints and 15 minutes for pints. Do not start your timer until the water is at a full rolling boil.
  5. When the timer goes off, remove the canning lid and allow your jars to rest in the canner for 5 to 10 minutes before removing them onto a cutting board to cool. Cool jars for a minimum of 8 hours before cleaning, labeling and storing.

Ingredient Tip: If you would like to naturally sweeten your chutney more, use dried cranberries instead of raisins. If you prefer a bit of ‘tang’ to your chutney, use your favorite balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar.

Thank you for visiting me at canningdiva.com and for taking time to learn some of the healthy benefits of tart and sweet cherries, and some fun, creative ways to preserve and serve cherries! Be sure to follow @CanningDiva on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube for more recipes and canning techniques. No time to read? Not to worry, you may tune into my Podcast, Canning with The Diva!, on every major podcast software!

Happy Canning!
xx

Diane, The Canning Diva®

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