Cherry Margaritas

Cherry Margaritas

Find a handy spot to place the blender and make these Cherry Margaritas. Start with a mix of fresh sweet cherries, a little tequila and a hit of citrus, all whirled in the blender, and you will enjoy the perfect summer frozen cocktail creation. Cherries are so healthy for you!

One cup of raw cherries has 87 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Enjoy cherries now while they are at their peak.  Cherries are a nutritional powerhouse fruit with so many incredible health benefits.

Eleven Health Benefits of Eating Cherries 

1. Cherries, known as a “super-fruit”, are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins which aid in the reduction of heart disease and cancer.

2. Cherries can help aid in hormonal health. Cherries are one of the few food sources that contain melatonin, an antioxidant that helps regulate heart rhythms and the body’s sleep cycles.

3. Cherries contain magnesium which help regulate sleep quality, and Vitamin C which is essential for regulating estrogen and progesterone.

4. Cherries are an excellent source of beta carotene (vitamin A). In fact they contain 19 times more beta carotene than blueberries and strawberries.

5. Cherries are rich in vitamins C, E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fiber.

6. Cherries are referred to as “brain food”, aiding in brain health and in the prevention of memory loss.

7. Because cherries contain anthocyanins, they can reduce inflammation and symptoms of arthritis and gout.

8. Eating cherries reduces the risk of diabetes.

9. Cherries are a good source of fiber which is important for digestive health.

10. Cherries are a great snack or dessert choice important for weight-maintenance.

11. Because of their powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, cherries are said to reduce pain and joint soreness for runners and athletes after workouts.

Grilled Salmon with Cherries

Grilled Salmon with Cherries

Sweet Northwest cherries are abundant right now, and this is one superfood that will be a constant in our refrigerator for the next few months. The Northwest Cherry Season is short, lasting from now until the end of August so be sure to take advantage of them while you can. Not only are cherries an irresistible summertime treat, but research suggests that they may reduce the risk or modify the severity of chronic diseases. Acting to lessen inflammation, cherries may be beneficial in combating arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, blood pressure and cancer. Cherries are so nutritious as they are considered a good source of dietary potassium, important for reducing the risk for hypertension and stroke. Cherries are also a good source of vitamin C and fiber, and are a natural source of melatonin, a compound which helps regulate the body’s sleep cycle. Enough said? If you’re not sold yet, try this Grilled Salmon with Cherries recipe is one of my newest favorites for a light and healthy dinner. Serve with a side of sautéed spinach or kale and you’ll have an incredibly lovely and healthy meal!

Cherry-Coconut and Kale Smoothie: Budget Friendly and Packed with Antioxidants

I am so honored and excited to announce my partnership with the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association & Easyhomemeals.com. As a busy mom of three very active children, it is fabulous to be a part of the new food panel for Easy Home Meals. To kick off the new year, Cherry-Coconut and Kale Smoothie is healthy, filled with antioxidants and tastes great. We absolutely love kale smoothies for breakfast or afternoon snacks, and this new kale smoothie uses frozen cherries, Birds Eye frozen coconut and Dole frozen pineapple. I also love to use Yoplait frozen Greek yogurt in my smoothies to boost protein in my diet as well as the kids. Using frozen foods are a lifesaver. They are budget friendly, healthy and convenient. People often ask is frozen fruit as healthy as fresh? With shipping and storage, fresh fruit can sit around for as long as two weeks before it gets to your local supermarket. In contrast, frozen fruits are often picked and frozen at the peak of freshness. It’s great to use frozen fruits in smoothies because the fruits are already cold, and there won’t be a need to add any ice. I hope you’ll like this recipe as much as we do and stay tuned for more recipes this coming your with NFRA and Easy Home Meals.

Gluten-Free Fresh Cherry and Almond Muffins & Gluten-Free Muffin Cookbook Giveaway

Gluten-Free muffins? Yes! It’s hard to believe that making muffins gluten-free can taste fabulous, and Cookbook Author, Camilla Saulsbury, shows us how in one of her latest cookbooks “150 Best Gluten-Free Muffin Recipes”. This book is a collection of great recipes, expert baking tips, expert baking techniques and even a gluten-free ingredient glossary to help the novice as well as the expert gluten-free baker. Recipes such as Rocky Road Muffins, Bacon Scallion Muffins, Indian Spice Coconut Muffins and Sour Cream Muffins are just a few calling my name. These Fresh Cherry Almond Muffins (pictured above) were out of this world. Before I could turn around, my 3 kids devoured them. These are perfect for this time of year when fresh cherries are at their peak. For a chance to win a copy of this book, leave me a comment telling me what type of muffin is your favorite. For additional chances to win, follow the steps below and leave me a comment telling me you did so. Good Luck! Winner will be drawn June 12th at 8 a.m CST. 

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Tweet the following link “I just entered 150 Best Gluten-Free Muffin Recipes book giveaway by @alisonlewis”

So Unbelievably Great Snack Mix: Sesame-Wasabi Cherry Mix

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I had this snack mix last week at my friend, Debbie’s house, and I was addicted. It’s so simple and basic, with the sweet dried cherries, spicy wasabi peas, crunch of the walnuts and salty sesame sticks. This is a great holiday snack as well. The green and red colors are perfect for Christmas. You may want to double or triple the recipe, by the way. Enjoy!

Five Ingredient Low-Fat Pear-Cherry Crisp for St. Patrick’s Day

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Coming up with five ingredient recipes can be really challenging as a Recipe Developer, especially when it comes to desserts. I love warm desserts such as cobblers and crisps. A crisp is a dessert of fruit that is topped with a crumbly pastry mixture, usually oats, brown sugar and butter. Using low-fat granola is a great way to cut down on the amount of ingredients. This recipe is very simple, low-fat, great for kids, and it works well in individual baking dishes, such as this clover for St. Patrick’s Day.