Two Recipes Using Northwest’s Own Superfruit, Cherries

From backyard barbecues and family picnics to a bright addition to seasonal recipes, sweet cherries not only provide a boost of flavor but also pack a punch when it comes to nutrition, helping keep you and your family healthy during busy summer months.

Cherries can help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure, as well as relieve stress and gout, and can improve sleep quality.

The perfect time to take advantage of the goodness of Northwest-grown sweet cherries is through August. Eat fresh cherries straight out of hand as a snack, bake them into a pie or pair with ice cream for a sweet summertime treat.

The rich fruitiness of sweet cherries helps blunt the sharp edge of dried fruit in a quick and easy Cherry Sauce recipe. Low in sugar and versatile, this sauce can be used as a base ingredient for cocktails, a glaze for meats, a spread for sandwiches, a topping for yogurt and more. Add some ginger or orange peel to complement your menu and you may have a new, nutritious summer favorite.

Or, for a sweet, simple snack, use cherries to make an appetizer like Cherry Bruschetta.

Find more recipes and ways to use cherries at

Cherry Sauce (Photo courtesy Getty Images)
Cherry Sauce (Photo courtesy Getty Images)

Cherry Sauce

Servings: 16


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 4 cups fresh Northwest-grown sweet cherries
  • 4 cups dried cranberries
  • 4 peels (2 inches each) fresh ginger (optional)
  • 3 tbsp citrus zest (optional)
  • Black pepper (optional)
  • Fresh herbs (optional)
  • Raspberries (optional)


In medium sauce-pot, add water, syrup and sweet cherries. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally and more frequently as sauce begins to form.

Add cranberries; continue stirring. Once reduced, remove from heat and add fresh ginger, citrus zest, black pepper, fresh herbs and raspberries, if desired.

Cool 30 minutes to 1 hour before transferring to wider, shallow pan for speed cooling.

Once cooled, store refrigerated in airtight container up to two weeks.

Cherry Bruschetta (Photo courtesy Northwest Cherry Growers)
Cherry Bruschetta (Photo courtesy Northwest Cherry Growers)

Cherry Bruschetta

Servings: 6


  • 18 slices (1/2-inch thick) small baguette-style bread
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted Northwest fresh sweet cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow sweet pepper
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped green onions
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp grated lime peel
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange baguette slices on cookie sheet and toast one side 5 minutes. Turn slices, brush with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and bake 5 minutes.

Combine cherries, cilantro, sweet pepper, green onions, lime juice, lime peel, garlic salt, pepper and remaining olive oil; mix well.

Top each baguette with thin slice cheese, 1 tablespoon cherry mixture and sprinkle of basil. Serve warm or cold.