The tart cherry is originally from Hungary and originally wasn’t even considered the same fruit as a sweet cherry! The original, Hungarian name for the tart cherry is Pándy and it was discovered in the mid-1800s along the rivers of Hungary. They become in season late in the summer and sometimes into the first week of fall.
Sour cherries are very acidic and have a very intense, tart flavor. Their texture is very similar to the sweet cherry however, their coloring is slightly darker and almost blackened.
An Endurance Athlete’s Dream!
Tart cherries are perfect for endurance athletes and runners because they help decrease inflammation and soreness naturally. A study by the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports proved tart cherry juice’s effectiveness on marathon runners with their study done in 2011.
Matt Fitzgerald said, about the study, “Twenty recreational runners consumed either cherry juice or placebo for five days before running a marathon, then again on race day, and for two days afterward as well. The lucky runners who got the cherry juice exhibited less muscle damage immediately after the marathon. They also showed lower levels of inflammation and recovered their muscle strength significantly quicker.”
Tart cherries and their juice are perfect for any athlete going through a lot of training for increased endurance, muscle repair, and recovery time!
Sour cherries are great for use in all sorts of summery dishes and juices, but also wintery desserts! To freeze them properly, just pit them and lay them all on a baking sheet or large plate. Make sure they aren’t touching so they don’t freeze together. Once their outer layer has frozen, put them all into a larger, reusable container for long-term storage.
You could also preserve them by turning them into a jam. All you need is enough water to cover your cherries in a pot, chia seeds, and sweetener. Just bring the whole thing to a boil and wait for it to slowly thicken!
If you decide to go the juicing route, do it by hand and save the leftover shells! You can dehydrate them between 10-20 hours depending on elevation and freshness. Once they’re done, they make the perfect snack to add to granola, oatmeal, or even just on their own!
How to Cook With Tart Cherries
Cherry Blueberry Galettes / One Green Planet
We highly recommend these adorable Cherry Blueberry Galettes for a delicious, summery pie- this would be ideal for the 4th of July! If you’re looking for a super nutritious way to get all the benefits of these little superfood berries, you could try this Nutty Cherry Smoothie that includes two cups of tart cherry juice! This recipe would be perfect for a post-workout snack! If you’re looking to be extra fancy, try making a classic Black Forest Cake that is traditionally made with a tart cherry filling.
Where to Buy Tart Cherries
You can find sour cherries at your local farmer’s market or supermarket anywhere from July to early September. If you’re looking for dried tart cherries or tart cherry juice, you can find them all year long on Amazon.com! This Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice, 32 Ounce (Pack of 3) gives you 12 servings for about $2 per serving! It is mixed with apple juice to add natural sweetness to the juice for those not used to the tartness of the sour cherry. If you’re looking for dried cherries, you could pick up these Trader Joe’s Dried Pitted Tart Montmorency Cherries on Amazon as well. They contain no preservatives or artificial flavors, however, they may contain pits so be cautious!
Cherries are so good for you in general. If you’re curious about the many benefits of sweet cherries, check out The Many Benefits of Cherries for Your Heart Health, Weight, and More! If you just love the taste and want more plant-based recipes with sour cherries, check out our cherry archives for tons of options!
Love to buy fresh? Check out Tips for Shopping at the Farmers Market on a Budget by downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
Lead image source: Shutterstock