Healthy Eating: Cherries are Delicious and Nutritious
Cindy Collins, Ph.D., R.D., Raquel Rivera, S.A.
Cherries are such a wonderful fruit, full of vitamin C, fiber and even potassium. They also contain anthocyanins, a bioactive compound which affords potential health advantages such as reduction of cancer risk, heart disease and inflammation. Cherries even contain melatonin which is to find in foods. Melatonin is beneficial for regulation of natural sleep cycles. In its simple elegance, the cherry provides such a tremendous nutritional advantage.
The best part about this tiny wonder fruit is it does not matter how you choose to eat them; they come fresh/ frozen, canned, dried or juiced. It also does not matter when you decide you would like them! They are superb for snacking, meal time, or as a treat. Here are a few creative ways to include them in your meal time!
• Add cherry juice to seltzer
• Add a few cherries into your salad
• Next time you make oatmeal cookies, try adding dried cranberries to them
• Add them into your favorite grain to give it a nice savory flavor (oatmeal, rice)
Here is a suggested recipe from American Institute of Cancer Research:
http://www.aicr.org/, (Issue # 395, April 10, 2012)
Fruit-Infused Pork Tenderloin
Pork is a versatile meat that goes well with a variety of fruits and vegetables. This recipe features cherries and pomegranate juice that give the meat a tender, sweet taste. Cherries contain vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber. Tart cherries actually have nearly 20 times more vitamin A than strawberries and blueberries. Lab studies are also looking at the phytochemical anthocyanin, credited with giving cherries their notable red hue, for its powerful antioxidant properties. Pair with a light, spring salad for even more phytochemicals.
Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Cherry Sauce
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
3/4 cup pomegranate juice, divided
1 lb. pork tenderloin
4 tsp. canola oil
1/2 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. coarse seed mustard
2 tsp. unsalted butter, optional
Salt and ground black pepper
Place cherries in small bowl. Add 1/2 cup pomegranate juice and let sit until cherries are plump, about 20 minutes. Drain, setting fruit aside and reserving liquid.
Cut tenderloin crosswise into 8 pieces. Using your palm, gently flatten each piece to an even thickness.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook until it is browned on both sides, turning meat once, about 6 minutes in all. When instant read thermometer reads 150 degrees F. or meat resists slightly when pressed with your finger, remove it to plate, cover loosely with foil, and set aside.
Pour broth into the pan. As it boils, use wooden spatula to scrape up all browned bits. When broth is reduced by half, 4-5 minutes, add cherries, shallots, pomegranate juice and reserved juice from soaking, thyme and mustard. Simmer vigorously until liquid is reduced by one-third, 4 to 5 minutes. Return meat and any juices that have collected to pan and cook until meat is barely pink in the center or instant read thermometer registers 160 degrees F. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place 2 pieces of tenderloin on each of 4 dinner plates. If using, swirl butter into sauce until it melts. Spoon sauce over meat. Serve immediately.
Note: If the tenderloin has a silverskin membrane, remove it or at the meat counter, ask the butcher to do it for you.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 238 calories, 5 g total fat (4 g saturated fat), 43 g carbohydrate,
7 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 155 mg sodium.
For more information on cherries please refer to:
• ADA Times, Volume 8, Issue #4, Summer 2011