Cherries are my family's favorite summertime treat. In fact, my five-year-old eats them like candy! But I don't have to feel bad about letting her indulge. Cherries are just 90 calories per cup, have 3 grams of fiber and 15 percent of the Daily Value for vitamin C! Talk about a super fruit! Unfortunately, cherries don't continue to ripen after they are picked, and underripe cherries are not as tasty or healthy. So channel your inner Goldilocks at the supermarket and find cherries that are just right (and ripe!).

 

How to choose ripe cherries

  • Look: Look for cherries that are glossy and rich in color. Of course, the color of the cherry will vary depending on the variety. For example, Rainier cherries are a golden pink while Bing cherries are dark red. No matter the variety of cherry, check the stem. A ripe cherry's stem should be bright green—not brown. Be sure there are no blemishes, brown spots or bruises on the fruit, which indicate overripeness or damage.
  • Touch: Ripe cherries will feel plump and firm but give just slightly when touched. Avoid cherries that are rock hard (which means they are likely underripe) or mushy (too ripe!).
  • Taste: One of the best ways to test cherry ripeness is by taste! Of course, you should always check with the produce manager before doing this. A ripe cherry will taste sweet and juicy. It should be firm, but tender enough to bite into.

How to store cherries

  • When stored at room temperature, your cherries should last up to two days. Want to enjoy them for longer? Pop them in the refrigerator where they'll last up to two weeks!
  • Don't wash your cherries before you store them in the refrigerator. This will speed up the deterioration process—and nobody likes moldy fruit!

How to use cherries

  • Cover your cherries with chocolate and freeze them for a sweet treat. You can also use them in classic desserts like cobbler or a cherry pie.
  • If savory dishes are more your thing, add chopped cherries to chicken lettuce wraps or chicken salad. Or pair them with tomatoes, vinegar and herbs for a unique take on a marinated tomato salad.
  • Cherries are also a refreshing way to spice up drinks. Add them to your favorite sangria, freeze them to make a yummy cherry smoothie, or blend them up and add some lemon-lime soda to make your own cherry limeade!
How to Choose Ripe Cherries