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What Are Dried Cherries?

Dried cherries are sweet or tart cherries that have been dehydrated, concentrating their flavors and nutrients. They're a versatile, chewy snack packed with antioxidants and can be a delightful addition to recipes. Their tangy taste and health benefits make them a pantry staple. Curious about how to incorporate dried cherries into your diet? Let's explore their delicious possibilities together.
Geisha A. Legazpi
Geisha A. Legazpi

Dried cherries are those that have undergone the process of drying. The dried version is then used in a number of recipes, mostly desserts. Cherries are usually popular in the summer, because the sweet taste is a great complement to the sun and sand that are so prevalent in the summertime. Most people dry cherries to enjoy this treat for all seasons. Dried cherries are good to the taste and good for the health.

Usually, the cherries that are selected for drying are ripe and blotch-free to ensure that the fruits remain sweet after being dried. The stems are then removed, and the cherries are washed in water. Before they are dried, the cherry seeds are often removed. Cherries can be dried in the oven or out in the sun.

Fresh Rainier cherries.
Fresh Rainier cherries.

To oven-dry cherries, the fruits are set in dehydrator trays and then placed in the oven. The degree of heat and the number of hours will depend on different factors. To dry cherries under the sun, what one just needs to do is to set the cherries on trays, put them in a location where there is maximum sun exposure, and leave them to dry for 2 to 4 days. The trays should be covered with cloth to keep the birds at bay.

Pork loin stuffed with cherries is a popular main course dish.
Pork loin stuffed with cherries is a popular main course dish.

Many well-known recipes include dried cherries as main ingredients. Some desserts with dried cherries include dried cherry oatmeal cookies, dried cherry heart scones, dried cherry orange muffins, and apple and cherry strudel. These dehydrated fruits are also incorporated in a number of main dishes, some of which include pork chops cooked in and stuffed with sweetened dried cherries and barbecued pork loin with cherry stuffing. Many people also prefer to consume these food products directly as dried snacks. An interesting food in which dried cherries are usually added is called pemmican, a nutritious, high-energy food that consists of lean meat and bone marrow fat, and consumed mostly by North American Indians.

Dried cherries also have health value. They are said to have a diuretic effect, which means eating them regularly can help increase the production of urine. Increased urination is beneficial for people with high blood pressure or edema, because the regular release of fluid means the constant removal of excess salts from the body. Studies also show that cherries, in general, have antioxidants that would benefit those who have heart disorders. Furthermore, research indicates that eating cherries may help reduce the pain of those burdened with arthritis or gout, as the red compounds in the fruit have a pain-easing effect.

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    • Fresh Rainier cherries.
      By: Harris Shiffman
      Fresh Rainier cherries.
    • Pork loin stuffed with cherries is a popular main course dish.
      By: Natalia Mylova
      Pork loin stuffed with cherries is a popular main course dish.