Cherries are in season! I’ve waited all year for this. There’s something special about cherries that’s similar to the first buds of spring. It’s like you know that the abundance of summer is upon you! It won’t be long before peaches, apricots and pears make their arrival. Thus, I look forward to getting my first green stemmed bounty of wonderful stone fruit.
The other day one of my daughters picked up 10 lbs or so at her local fruit stand. She got a great deal – a fraction of the ‘$5 a pound’ cherries that you find around here. And, they are even better – at least I like to think so.
Last year for father’s day I received a pitter as a gift.
It’s been patiently sitting in the pantry awaiting the work of early summer. Well, I’ve finally got to dig it out.
I love this little pitter. It makes fast work of removing the seeds from the fruit – mostly. As it turns out, about 1 in 20 cherries will have a problem being pitted. Thus you have to watch closely as the seed pops through into the catch basin (the handle stem points down towards the little catch basin. You can kind of see it in the picture above). Sometimes, the seed is too big to push through (rarely) so you have to deal with that. And, even after all this checking, I pressed a pair of pits out of one cherry the other morning! I’ve never seen two pits in one fruit before. That explains why I’ve gotten some ‘wood’ in my green smoothies.
Ultimately wash the cherries, pick off the stems, place them on the pitter and then press the pits out. Afterwards, inspect the berries to make sure all the seeds have been removed.
Oh, also, last year I learned how to tell the fresh picked cherries from the cherries that have been sitting in the store’s fridge for a long time – it’s all about reading the stems! When cherries are picked, the stems are green. The longer the time they’re off the tree the browner they get. Thus, always look for cherries with green stems.
Now what about breakfast?
This one gives me a new appreciation of lettuce. At the farmer’s market I found a vendor selling absolutely HUGE heads of romaine lettuce for a couple bucks. Thus, what you see here is only half that plant – yet it still fills the bowl. Next to that is more cherries then you’ll need. I washed these up and only pitted ½ of them.
- ½ head huge romaine lettuce (one regular store head)
- About 3 cups pitted cherries
- 8 little dates (like this one sweet)
- 1 banana (thought I might need two, but I pitted enough cherries)
- ¾ cup coconut milk (or juice or water)
- 1 little probiotic.
Just pile the ingredients in the blender and grind away. It might take a couple spins to get all the lettuce fed into the blender. I usually grind up the fruit first – just to get it turning and add a big handful of lettuce. I spin that in and then add more lettuce until I’ve got it ground in the roughest sense. Then, I flip the blender on high and start counting. About 60 seconds is good.
When all’s said and done, you end up with a browner “green smoothie”. And my signature green smoothie container with finished product…
The key to this smoothie is adding enough cherries. The taste of cherries is fairly mild, thus you have to really go overboard. If you think adding 3 cups cherries will be more than enough, you might be in for a surprise when you add another cup or so.
I can’t wait for the cheaper boxes of cherries to come on sale! At that point, I’ll take a Saturday afternoon to pit, package and freeze what I’ll need for the entire year.
Give this one a try – you’ll be surprised.