Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Delicious and Nutritious Way to Eat Cherries......Cherry Homefries!

5 medium waxy potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes
1 onion, sliced
2/3 (160 mL) or 1 cup (250 mL) dried tart cherries
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil (plus 1-2 extra if needed)
1-2 tsp (5 -10 mL) crushed red chilies (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste 

Sauté the onions and cherries over low-medium heat for 15 minutes or until the onions become a deep brown (but not burnt).

At the same time as the onions are cooking, boil the potatoes in salted water until fork tender.

Add the potatoes to the skillet with the onions (with the extra oil if needed) and sauté for 5 minutes on high to crisp up the potatoes.

Season with salt, pepper, and chilies, to taste. 

Nutrition Info:
Nutrition Facts per 278 g serving: 380 calories, 11 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 69 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 6 g protein, 5 g fiber, 10 mg sodium; Daily Values: 25% vitamin A; 45% vitamin C; 4% calcium; 15% iron 

Recipe courtesy of choosecherries.com http://www.choosecherries.com/recipes/Cherry_Homefries_906.aspx 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Galen Volckhausen: The "Big Water Bandit”

Some of us are born to play sports, excel and even make the news. Some of us are born with a dedication to succeed, rising above and beyond our greatest expectations. Some of us are born to ride the waves of Mother Nature, taking on the rushing water of the river. Very few of us take on this kayaking challenge and win. Galen Volckhausen does.

His nickname is the “Big Water Bandit” for his river tackling talent, and it is Galen’s goal to become a world champion in kayaking. At only 16 years old, Galen has been kayaking his entire life (well, since he was about 3), and is on the water almost every day, even during the cold winter months. He travels to train and compete in various competitions almost every weekend, and when he’s not kayaking, he dreams about the day when he will try out for the US Kayaking Team. 

Photo Courtesy of Scott Martin
Galen not only spends his time becoming better at navigating Mother Nature’s waterways, he is also dedicated to sharing his knowledge on kayaking with other aspiring kayakers. Galen is an assistant kayak instructor at Cornell University and during the summer months he teaches wilderness tours. With training, teaching and school, Galen is one very busy young man, and his body definitely takes a toll.

To treat his aches, pains and sore joints, Galen finds that drinking tart cherry juice helps him recover faster from training, and allows him perform at his peak performance. What does he like most about it? The fact that it’s an all natural way to help your body repair itself.  He enjoys the fact that it doesn’t contain caffeine, like beverages other kayakers drink, and isn’t a fad “energy” booster. Tart cherry juice is what it is – tart cherry juice, pure and simple.

In addition to cheribundi, when asked what keeps him going, Galen responded, “No fear.” His motto? Just go for it. Galen approaches kayaking, and life, with a ‘can do’ attitude, knowing that if you work your hardest, putting all your effort towards fulfilling your goals, good things will happen. Hey, if Galen can do it, can’t we all? He is truly an inspiration.

So this should be the rule: whatever frightens you, go into it. Just put aside all safety measures, securities; just gamble. The whole of life belongs to the gambler, and the whole mind has become a business man: calculating, thinking of profit and loss, never taking a risk -- and risk is needed. Life comes to those who risk, who live dangerously, almost on the verge of death.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Head LSU Strength and Conditioning Coach Tommy Moffitt Talks Cheribundi

If you are an athlete, or someone that enjoys exercise, you may have heard that tart cherry juice can aid in muscle recovery after sports performance. Researchers attribute the benefits of tart cherries to anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compounds they contain called anthocyanins, also responsible for cherries' bright red color. If you haven’t tried tart cherry juice for yourself, how do you really know that it works? Head Louisiana State University Head Strength and Conditioning Coach is a believer in the power of tart cherry juice for muscle recovery, and from his personal success with the juice he now provides cheribundi to all LSU athletes – over 400 of them!

So Coach Moffitt, as the Head LSU Strength and Conditioning Coach, what does your job entail?
“It is my responsibility to increase athletic performance of LSU athletes, reduce injuries, help athletes rehab after surgeries and maintain health and activity of all sports teams.”

How did you discover cheribundi?
“I discovered cheribundi (at the time cherrypharm), at a sports conference. Among all of the booths at the event, there was always a crowd surrounding the tart cherry juice booth. After a while, I started to wonder what the fuss was all about, and decided to take a look for myself. The gentleman at the booth encouraged me to drink the juice and come back to him the next day to report how I felt. Surprisingly enough, after drinking the juice my normal aches and pains weren’t as bad as they usually are. From then on, I was hooked.”

How long have you been using cheribundi with LSU athletes?
“I’ve been using cheribundi with the teams for about three years.”

How do you prescribe tart cherry juice to athletes?
“The doses we give to athletes vary depending on height, weight, body mass and amount of aches and pains. Football players are big guys and need more juice than athletes with smaller builds.”

What results have you witnessed in athlete muscle recovery and sports performance?
“From anyone that has played football, or any sport for that matter, you know that your body can take a beating.  As a coach, I implement various strength conditioning and recovery methods, however, the athletes that drink cheribundi seem to find that they recovery faster than when they don’t.”

Do you drink cheribundi yourself?
“Yep, Skinny Cherry!”

What advice do you give to new LSU athletes or non tart cherry juice drinkers?
“I recommend tart cherry juice to a lot of people. It’s worked for LSU, and I can speak from personal experience that cheribundi is the real deal!”

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cooking with Cherries….Oh the Possibilities!

If you’re reading this, you are probably aware of the health benefits of tart cherry juice. However, did you know that incorporating tart cherries into your diet through your favorite foods is another way to reap the delicious and nutritious health benefits of tart cherries? Here are some easy ways to preserve fresh tart cherries, cook with cherries and add cherries to your favorite recipes for an additional antioxidant kick!
Freezing – Enjoy tart cherries all year long by freezing! Pit tart cherries, spread on a cookie sheet in a single layer and freeze, then dump them a plastic bag or container to store them.

Soak in alcohol - Marinate tart cherries in liqueur (vodka, bourbon, Amaretto, Maraschino liqueur, whatever), then add cocktails for a delicious kick! 

Make jam – Remember when grandma made fresh jam? Make your own out of tart cherries and enjoy the summer goodness all year long! 

Hot cherry sauce – Drizzle this delicious sauce over pancakes, French toast or waffles for a warm cherry sensation! Put pitted sour cherries in a saucepan with sugar to taste, bring to a boil, and thicken slightly with cornstarch dissolved in a little cold water. Enjoy!

Chilled soups- Create a chilled cherry soup to cool down on a hot summer day. Here is a great recipe:

1 lb., 2 oz sour cherries, stoned
5 oz sugar
Pinch cinnamon
Lemon peel (a couple of grates)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp flour

In 2 1/2 cups water, combine cherries, lemon peel, cinnamon, and sugar. Bring to a gentle boil, then lower heat and simmer, maybe 20 -25 minutes. Mix the flour and sour cream. Stir in to the simmered soup. Return to a gentle boil and cook for another 3 - 4 minutes. Cool to room temp, then refrigerate.

Salsa – Mix in tart cherries with diced tomatoes, onions and other salsa ingredients for a festive, fruity treat!

Smoothies, parfaits – Add tart cherries to your smoothies or yogurt parfaits for a healthy change.
Add to Desserts- pies, crumbles, tarts, ice cream, cookies – need we say more?

Baked goods – muffins, bread, scones – Add dried or fresh cherries to kick up these traditional recipes!

Meat roasts – Throw in tart cherries to veal or turkey roasts for a savory and fruity finish.

Vegetable side dishes – Dice tart cherries and add to green beans, sweet potatoes, or other side dishes for a delicious addition.

Salads – Throw in dried tart cherries for a sweet and sour punch!

How do you like to cook with tart cherries? Share a recipe or some delicious tips!