This Fresh Sweet Cherry Crisp is a great way to enjoy all the deliciousness of fresh sweet cherries and their amazing health benefits, too. Make sure to grab all the fresh sweet cherries you can hold while they’re still available in stores! Get them before they’re gone! This post is sponsored by Northwest Cherry Growers.
One of my favorite things about the summer is all the beautiful fresh cherries available at the stores. They are so amazing, delicious, and the perfect sweet treat. I can eat a whole handful and still want more.
The window of time fresh cherries are available is so short, though, and it leaves me making all the fresh cherry recipes I can before time runs out. We all know how cherries have a sweet, amazing flavor, but did you also know they also carry a TON of health benefits? From reducing diabetes risks to enhancing sleep, research shows that cherries are basically a super fruit with health benefits for everyone.
So since fresh cherries are usually only available until August (sigh), I stock up to ensure this healthy treat is available to me and my family beyond the summer months. Yep – you can easily freeze, dry, or can fresh cherries to enjoy them year-round.
HOW TO MAKE A HEALTHY SWEET CHERRY CRISP
Wondering how to make a healthy sweet cherry crisp? Good news: It’s super easy and only requires a few quick alterations to your typical crisp recipes. So, how do we do it?
- First off, we’re using naturally sweet cherries so we barely need any additional sweetener.
- Fresh cherries are practically a candy that is very low in calories, and high in fiber, which makes them the perfect base for your desserts if you’re trying to eat healthy and clean.
- I replaced any bleached flours with high fiber, heart-healthy rolled oats and sliced almonds. Bonus: if you’re using gluten-free rolled oats, that means this is actually a gluten-free cherry crisp recipe, too.
- To make this Cherry Crisp as light and as healthy as possible, I didn’t use any processed sugars or artificial sweeteners.
Follow all these easy tweaks and you’ll be able to enjoy your healthy Sweet Cherry Crisp dessert guilt-free!
ARE SWEET CHERRIES GOOD FOR YOU?
Besides being absolutely addictive and delicious, cherries are definitely one of the best fruits you can add to your diet. Cherries offer the perfect dose of sweetness to your dessert without the excess sugar and calories. Cherries can also help you maintain a steady blood sugar as they have a low glycemic index. That also means that they will leave you full for longer. Delicious and good for you!
Eating cherries can help you reach the current dietary recommendation of two cups of fruit daily and can contribute to healthy weight maintenance, diabetes prevention, and improved cardiovascular health.
Still not convinced about adding cherries to your diet? Well, cherries also possess cancer-fighting properties since they contain ellagic acid, which appears to be a potent inhibitor to the growth of cancer cells.
Check out the rest of this post for more great health benefits of cherries. Cherries are pretty amazing, guys. And you can easily make pretty sweet cherry desserts!
DO SWEET CHERRIES HELP YOU SLEEP?
You know how when you were a kid your parents wouldn’t let you eat sugar before bed? Well, believe it or not, fresh sweet cherries for dessert can actually help you sleep better. Why do cherries help you sleep better? They are a natural source of melatonin, which helps you control your internal clock and regulate your sleep patterns. Cherries for dessert, anyone?
ARE SWEET CHERRIES GOOD FOR INFLAMMATION?
To be honest, I really had no idea about this before. But I know this is a very frequently asked question so I wanted to make sure to include it here. Did you know that eating cherries daily may help reduce your need for anti-inflammatories? Research appears to show that cherries actually shut down the enzymes that cause tissue inflammation in the exact same way as the drug, Ibuprofen. Of course, cherries are absolutely good for you, but the more I read about them (while snacking on them) the more they surprise me!
ARE SWEET CHERRIES A GOOD SOURCE OF FIBER?
Trying to add more fiber to your diet? Eat cherries! Eating fruit is a great way to boost your daily fiber intake and sweet cherries are a great source of fiber. That means they are absolutely great for your digestion. Did you know that 1 cup of pitted cherries contains 2.5g of fiber? This means we should eat more fresh cherry crisps, if you ask me!
HOW TO STORE CHERRIES FOR LATER
How To Keep Cherries Fresh In The Fridge
When buying cherries in a store or at the market, follow theses tips for keeping the cherries as fresh as possible once you get them home:
- Always look for the shiny, firm fruits with green stems and avoid the ones with major bruises.
- Store them in the coolest part of your refrigerator.
- Don’t wash them before storing them in the fridge.
- Leave them uncovered.
- Keep them as far away as possible from the really strong-smelling foods as they can easily take on the odor.
Follow these tips and you’ll make your fresh cherries last as long as possible, which means more tasty cherry eating time!
How To Freeze Cherries
I love freezing fresh cherries to store for later. Not only do they make a great addition to a quick cherry smoothie, but they also allow me to enjoy summer cherries all year round. Here’s how to freeze cherries:
- Wash the cherries.
- Remove the stems.
- Pit the cherries (I use a cherry pitter, but you can also use a knife and cut out the pits).
- Spread the pitted cherries out in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
- Place cherries in freezer and freeze for 4-6 hours, until fully frozen.
- Remove from freezer and place, together, into freezer-safe bags.
- Place cherries back in freezer.
Frozen cherries will last all year, if stored appropriately so this is a great way to keep those summer cherry vibes all year long! In addition to freezing cherries, you can also can them as preserves or dry them to make the most of your fresh summer cherries.
CAN YOU FREEZE CHERRY CRISP?
I’m betting there’s absolutely no way you will be able to resist eating all this fresh Cherry Crisp, BUT in case you want to keep some of it for later, it’s good to know that you can easily freeze your Cherry Crisp and pop it out of the freezer and thaw whenever you feel you cherry cravings coming on. Just store it wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
When you’re ready to reheat, just thaw and then reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F until heated through and bubbly.
2 HEALTHY CHERRY RECIPES
If you’re anything like me, you can’t resist buying ALL the fresh, ripe cherries when they’re in season. The great thing about cherries is you can eat them raw, cook them in so many desserts, toss them into smoothies and even turn them into a sauce to drizzle over your pancakes. Here are a few of my favorite cherry recipes:
DARK CHOCOLATE ENERGY BITES
Treat yourself with these deceptively healthy dark chocolate and cherry energy bites made with delicious, dark chocolate and cherries. These Energy Balls are a perfect sweet snack that’s packed full of energy. If you haven’t tried making your own homemade energy ball recipe before, it really couldn’t be easier!
CHERRY VANILLA FRUIT SMOOTHIE
Learn how to make a Cherry Vanilla Smoothie Freezer Pack for an easy smoothie recipes any time you want. Discover my tips on how to make the perfect smoothie every time and how to freeze them for later. Sweet cherries and vanilla are a match made in heaven.
- 3 cups fresh Sweet Cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup sliced raw almonds
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, softened
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease 2-4 (depending on size - I use two 4.5 oz. ramekins) ramekins with coconut oil and then set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine pitted and halved fresh sweet cherries, pure maple syrup, arrowroot starch, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sea salt. Toss to coat. Set aside.
- To make the crisp, in a small bowl, add the sliced almonds, oats, pure maple syrup, coconut oil, ground cinnamon, ginger, and sea salt. Toss to combine.
- Add the cherry mixture to the bottom of the ramekins, divided evenly.
- Sprinkle the oat mixture over the top of the cherries.
Bake until hot and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes. You can place the ramekins on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper, in case of spillage.
- Allow to slightly cool.
- Top with a dollop of plain greek yogurt and fresh mint, if desired.
This post is sponsored by Northwest Cherry Growers. This post contains affiliate links for products I use often and highly recommend.