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Guilty-free, superfruit snacking: Treats to make it permissible to indulge

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(Family Features) For many, enjoying a small indulgence can serve as a reward for a job well done or a mood-boosting pick-me-up. In fact, mindful snacking is on-trend for a majority of consumers.

According to Mondelez International’s Fourth Annual State of Snacking Global Consumer Trends Study, 78% are choosing small indulgences to pamper themselves and 68% are checking nutrition labels on snacks.

With today’s changing palates and the growing demand for sour, less sweet foods and beverages, a superfruit like tart cherries can help snackers permissibly indulge without the guilt. Primarily grown on small family farms in the United States, Montmorency tart cherries – also referred to as sour cherries – are available year-round in dried, juice and juice concentrate, canned and frozen forms.

More than 110 scientific research studies show Montmorency tart cherries are a superfruit. In addition to their sweet-sour taste and unique nutrient profile, research suggests tart cherries – one of the few natural food sources of melatonin – may help improve sleep, aid in exercise recovery, reduce inflammation, ease arthritis symptoms, improve gut health and promote heart health. In fact, in one study published in the “European Journal of Nutrition,” adults who drank Montmorency tart cherry juice slept about 40 minutes longer on average and had up to a 6% increase in sleep efficiency.

While increasingly featured in functional beverages and health-positioned foods, tart cherries can also add drool-worthy flavor to superfruit-infused snacks, such as these Tart Cherry Superfood Banana Splits and Tart Cherry Brownie Bites. Plus, using tart cherries as a favorite ingredient in recipes like these adds a health halo to sweets – reinforcing the trend of permissible indulgences.

As an ideal superfruit snack that makes snacking more satisfying, tart cherries provide delicious flavor and potential health benefits in these recipes and beyond so you can savor the moment and cherish every bite.

Find more tart cherry snack recipes at ChooseCherries.com.

Tart Cherry Superfood Banana Splits

Recipe courtesy of Hannah Zimmerman of Bite Sized Studio on behalf of the U.S. Tart Cherry Industry
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cups tart cherry juice
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup granola
  • 1/4 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup frozen tart cherries, thawed
  1. Place chocolate chips in bowl.
  2. In saucepan over medium heat, bring tart cherry juice to simmer about 20 minutes until reduced to 2/3 cup.
  3. Pour juice into bowl and mix until chocolate chips are melted and sauce is smooth.
  4. Cut bananas in half lengthwise and place on two plates. Spoon 1/2 cup Greek yogurt on each banana then drizzle with 2 tablespoons almond butter and 2 tablespoons tart cherry chocolate sauce.
  5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons granola, 2 tablespoons dried tart cherries and 1/4 cup thawed frozen tart cherries on top of each banana split.

Note: Leftover tart cherry chocolate sauce can be stored in airtight container in refrigerator for later use.

Tart Cherry Brownie Bites

Recipe courtesy of Hannah Zimmerman of Bite Sized Studio on behalf of the U.S. Tart Cherry Industry
Prep time: 10 minutes
Yield: 12 bites

  • 10 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon chia or hemp seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
  • 4 tablespoons tart cherry juice
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • cocoa powder (optional)
  • melted chocolate (optional)
  1. In bowl of food processor, combine dates; dried tart cherries; walnuts; oats; cocoa powder; seeds, if desired; salt; and nut butter. Pulse 30-60 seconds until ingredients are ground into tiny pieces.
  2. Add tart cherry juice in 1 tablespoon additions, pulsing mixture after each addition, until crumbly dough forms.
  3. Transfer dough to bowl and fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Roll dough into 12 balls. Serve plain or finish balls with dusting of cocoa powder or drizzle of melted chocolate, if desired.


SOURCE:
Cherry Marketing Institute

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United loved ones with a luscious dessert

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(Family Features) Celebration-worthy treats are perfect ways to cap off days spent with those you love, whether there’s a special occasion or you’re simply looking for creative ways to share more moments together. As a beloved staple in American households for generations, pie provides a sweet, delicious way to bring family and friends to the table.

By bringing some of the most popular pie flavors together, the Tart Cherry Unity Pie offers the familiar, distinct sweet-tart flavor of Montmorency tart cherries that pair well with pecans, apple and pumpkin pie spice for a sense of nostalgia representative of family, tradition and celebration.

In this unique recipe, the bold and vibrant flavors of tart cherries take center stage, complemented by the subtle sweetness of apples and crunch of pecans. With their burst of brightness and acidity, tart cherries perfectly balance the other flavors to create a pie fit for any occasion.

U.S.-grown tart cherries are a particularly versatile ingredient that makes them an ideal partner for other beloved ingredients and flavors. In fact, as the demand for sour, less sweet food and beverages continues to gain momentum, they provide a multi-faceted, sweet-tart profile for favorite foods and drinks. While tart cherries are increasingly featured in a wide array of recipes, they remain a favorite ingredient in confectionary items and baked goods like pies.

Slow down your fast-paced world and savor a slice of this timeless dessert alongside loved ones for a moment of respite. With its sweet and tangy filling, flaky crust and tart cherry topping, you can indulge in life’s simple pleasures for a sense of coziness and comfort.

Visit ChooseCherries.com to find more celebration-worthy tart cherry desserts.

Tart Cherry Unity Pie

Recipe courtesy of the U.S. Tart Cherry Industry
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8

Pie:

  • 1 pie crust (9 inches)
  • 2 cups canned tart cherry pie filling
  • 2 cups canned apple pie filling
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Fit pie crust to 9-inch pie dish. Crimp edges and use fork to poke holes in bottom. Place pie crust in freezer to chill.
  3. In large bowl, combine tart cherry pie filling and apple pie filling. Set aside.
  4. To make streusel: In bowl, use fork to mix flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, pecans and salt. Pour butter over dry ingredients and mix until ingredients come together in clumps.
  5. To assemble pie: Pour cherry-apple filling into prepared pie crust and sprinkle streusel on top. Brush beaten egg onto exposed pie crust edges.
  6. Bake 25 minutes. At 10-minute mark, cover pie dish with foil to prevent crust from over-browning. After 25 minutes, lower oven temperature to 375 F and bake 30 minutes.
  7. To make pumpkin spice whipped cream: In large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, add heavy cream, powdered sugar and pumpkin spice. Use hand mixer or beater attachment on stand mixer to beat on medium-high speed 3-5 minutes until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate whipped cream until ready to serve.
  8. Let pie cool 2-3 hours then dollop pumpkin spice whipped cream on top, slice and serve.
  9. Substitution: Storebought whipped cream topped with pumpkin spice can be used in place of homemade pumpkin spice whipped cream.


SOURCE:
Cherry Industry Administrative Board

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Sweet solutions to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

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(Family Features) From fajitas and tacos to everything in between, fueling your Cinco de Mayo fiesta starts with delicious food that brings everyone to the table. Traditional dishes and new twists on classics can be equally satisfying whether you’re feeding your nearest and dearest or hosting the entire neighborhood.

Start with these Vegan Apple and Black Bean Fajitas for a plant-forward spin on a popular dish that features sauteed apples, peppers, zucchini, jicama, onion and jalapeno. The craveable texture and crunch of Envy Apples – a leading apple variety available at Whole Foods and other major grocery stores – shine both in the mixture of sauteed produce and sliced raw into sticks for a crunchy finish with added sweetness. Plus, their flesh remains whiter longer, even after slicing, so this dish looks as good as it tastes.

For those seeking some added protein, turn to Crisp Apple Tacos featuring pork tenderloin topped with cabbage, apples, carrots and a honey-infused homemade dressing. Ideal for a crowd, you can split the sauteed tenderloin, sliced produce, dressing and other favorite toppings among serving bowls to let guests create their own Cinco-inspired masterpieces.

These moments among friends and family can be uplifted with the aroma and flavor of Envy Apples that offer an invitation to savor special occasions. Their balanced sweetness provides the ultimate apple experience from holidays and family gatherings to quiet evenings at home.

To find more recipes for family meals and beyond, visit EnvyApple.com.

Vegan Apple and Black Bean Fajitas

  • 1 bell pepper, sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 small jicama, sliced
  • 3 Envy Apples, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper (optional)
  • salt, to taste (optional)
  • pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 lime
  • 3 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 4 small flour tortillas
  1. In skillet over high heat, saute bell pepper, zucchini, jicama and half the apple slices. Set aside.
  2. In same hot skillet, saute onions, jalapenos and garlic until lightly caramelized. Combine with sauteed apple mixture. Season with cumin and oregano. Add chili powder and salt and pepper, to taste, if desired.
  3. Add cooked black beans to saute mixture. Top with squeeze of lime. Garnish with cilantro and remaining raw apple slices.
  4. Serve with tortillas.

Crisp Apple Tacos

  • 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided
  • 2 Envy Apples, divided
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 12 soft taco shells
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. Cut pork crosswise into 1-inch medallions.
  2. Coat pork medallions with olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper then add to saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Slice half of one apple into thick wedges and add to saucepan. Slice remaining half into thin wedges and set aside.
  4. Add rosemary to saucepan and heat 2-3 minutes. Flip pork and heat 2-3 minutes until pork is slightly golden and cooked through.
  5. Let pork rest 3 minutes then slice into strips.
  6. Thinly slice half of remaining apple into thin sticks around same size of shredded cabbage. Reserve remaining half.
  7. In serving bowl, toss apple sticks, carrots, red cabbage and green cabbage.
  8. In bowl, mix honey, mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar into dressing. Add additional salt and pepper, to taste.
  9. Mix dressing and cabbage; refrigerate at least 1 hour prior to serving.
  10. Cut remaining apple half into thin wedges.
  11. Top taco shells with pork, slaw, sour cream and squeeze of lime juice. Top with apple wedges.


SOURCE:
Envy Apples

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Make Mom’s day a craveable brunch

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(Family Features) There’s perhaps no better occasion to show off your kitchen skills than Mother’s Day, a perfect opportunity to turn the tables on mom and let her relax while you handle cooking duties. A homemade breakfast – or better yet, letting her sleep in for brunch – is a sure way to win her over and show how much you care.

Show your delicate side by working up a batch of Apple Ricotta Crepes, which require a soft touch to cook the light, silky batter to golden perfection. This rendition of the beloved thin pancakes calls for a ricotta spread and apple-cinnamon topping for a delightful pairing of savory and sweet.

If a full Mother’s Day celebration is on the menu, something a bit heartier may be required. A frittata provides the best of both worlds, as it’s a filling meal that’s also easy to make – just let the oven do the work. This Apple, Tomato and Goat Cheese Frittata is no exception as it calls for a handful of everyday ingredients you can whisk together in a cinch. While it’s in the oven (about 30 minutes, give or take) you can put the finishing touches on your last-minute decorations and handwritten cards.

Special occasions with those you love can be uplifted with the aroma and flavor Envy Apples that offer an invitation to savor small moments around the table. Available at Whole Foods and other major grocery stores, the craveable texture and crunch of this leading apple variety provides balanced sweetness as the ultimate apple experience for Mother’s Day gatherings. Along with their delicious flavor, the flesh remains whiter longer, even after cutting, slicing, dicing or cubing, so that homemade meals look as good as they taste.

Visit EnvyApple.com to find more Mother’s Day brunch inspiration.

Apple Ricotta Crepes

Crepes:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • butter, for cooking

Apple Topping:

  • butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Envy Apples, sliced or cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt, to taste
  • maple syrup

Ricotta Filling:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice only
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  1. To make crepes: In bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add milk, eggs and vanilla then, using whisk, combine thoroughly. Mixture should be silky smooth. Refrigerate.
  2. To make apple topping: In pan over medium heat, heat butter and brown sugar until bubbly and golden.
  3. Add apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, to taste; cook over medium-low heat until apples are soft. Turn off heat and finish with maple syrup.
  4. To make ricotta filling: Combine ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar, mix well and set aside.
  5. In nonstick pan over medium-low heat, melt small amount of butter.
  6. Add one ladle crepe batter, cook until bubbles form, flip and cook until golden. Repeat with remaining batter. Stack crepes to keep warm and soft.
  7. Spread ricotta mixture thinly onto crepes and fold into quarters. Top with apple mixture and serve.

Apple, Tomato and Goat Cheese Frittata

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 20 turns fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 Envy Apple, small diced
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, hot pepper sauce, salt, pepper and milk until well combined.
  3. Stir in apples, tomatoes, goat cheese and chives until well combined.
  4. Using 1/3 measuring cup, spoon frittata mixture into oven-safe large skillet or 9-by-9-inch pan.
  5. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until eggs are set.
  6. Let cool slightly then serve.


SOURCE:
Envy Apples

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