Health Benefits of Cherries

Monday, 28 November 2011

Hi everyone!! I hope you are well!! I should really have done this as my first post seeing as my blog is all about cherries but I was so excited about getting the blog up and running and about my fig and cherry tart that I figured it wouldn't be a big deal if I did it second.
So cherries...As well as their absolutely lush sweet juiciness they are actually a superfruit and sooo good for you! I went travelling for about 5 months last year all over SE Asia, India and Australia. While I was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia I had to go and see the famous Petronas the bottom of the towers there is a big shopping mall called Suria KLCC. While we were walking though, there was a stand selling a juice called Cherriwell with a big poster listing the health and beauty benefits of cherries and of course I had to take a quick snap (see below). This is what really inspired me to look into this in more detail for this blog post. Even I didn't realise this until I began doing my research but cherries have so many incredible health benefits. Here are some of the reasons to indulge in the sweet cherry goodness...

1. Nutritional Value - One cup of raw cherries contains 87 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein and 3 grams of fibre.

2. High in Vitamins and Minerals - Cherries are rich in vitamins C, E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fibre.

3.  Anti-Inflammatory - Cherries are one of natures most powerful anti-inflammatories and are beneficial for many different conditions. Cherries are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins which researchers have found prevent free radical damage and inhibit cycloxygenase enzymes better than many anti-inflammatory drugs.

4. Arthritis Benefits - According to the Arthritis Foundation, drinking tart cherry juice mixed with water three times a day may be beneficial for people with arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. The anthocyanins contained in cherries can reduce inflammation and symptoms of arthritis and gout.

5. Hearth Health - A study at the University of Michigan found that a diet that includes lots of cherries lowered total weight, body fat (especially 'belly' fat), inflammation and cholesterol. All of which are risk factors of heart disease.

6. Cancer Protection - Researchers have found sweet cherries to be cancer fighters thanks to their high levels of the antioxidant cyanidin and also contain queritrin. Cyanidin is an important free radical scavenger and may also promote cellular differentiation, an important process in the body's fight against cancerous cells.

7. Memory Booster - Cherries are also referred to as 'brain fod' due to the anthocyanins aiding in brain health and the prevention of memory loss.

8. High in Beta Carotene - Cherries are high in beta carotene (vitamin A) containing 19 times more than blueberries or strawberries. 

9. Sleep Aid - Cherries are one of the few food sources than contain melatonin, an antioxidant that helps regulate heart rhythms and the body's sleep cycles.

10. Beauty Benefits - Reduces pigmentation, balance skin tone, reduces appearance of dark eye circles and brightens complexion.

I hope you enjoyed this post and learnt something new! Research references are listed below but I would like to say a special thanks to fellow blogger Alison Lewis of ingredients, inc for allowing me use her information ( See you soon!!

Cherry Lane xoxo

Information Sources and copyright:

Fig and Cherry Frangipane Tart with my favourite Harrods Cherry Jam

Thursday, 24 November 2011

So I went to Coventry with my mum a couple days ago to sort out her Indian Visa and decided to do abit of shopping while we where there. I found these lovely figs which were just 4 for £1 in an indian grocery store so I just had to pick them up! Instead of just eating on their own I wanted to try making a yummy dessert with them so I thought I would try it out with my favourite Cherry Frangipane Tart recipe...turned out pretty good even if I do say so myself!

Here the recipe....

250g shortcrust pastry (homemade or shop bought)
6 fresh figs
80g butter
75g caster sugar
2 eggs
75g ground almonds
1/2 tsp almond essence
3 tbsp cherry jam

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
2. Roll out the pastry until around 4mm thick. Line a 23cm round tart tin/dish with the pastry and set to one side.
3. Cut the figs into quarters and set to one side.
4. Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth and fluffy, then add the eggs, beating well until incorporated.
5. Stir in the ground almonds and the almond essence. The batter should be kinda thin.
6. Spread the cherry jam over the base of the pastry base then pour the frangipane mixture on top.
7. Arrange the sliced figs decoratively on the tart before placing into the oven. Bake for 10 mins before reducing the oven temperature to 160C and continue baking for an additional 20 mins until slightly risen and golden brown.

Allow to cool before removing from the tin/dish and serving in big yummy slices.

Cherry Lane xoxo