Friday, August 8, 2014

Tart Cherry Juice

As a baby boomer starting to have problems both falling asleep and staying asleep, I recently read that the sour (tart) cherry is one of the few sources of natural melatonin. I was very excited to read about natural sources of melatonin and noticed many articles about tart cherry juice.

My Mom, who was born and raised in Germany, loved sour cherries. We planted a sour cherry tree in her backyard. The tart cherry is the cherry in commercial "cherry pie filling." Unlike a sweet cherry tree, the sour cherry tree does not need two trees to produce wonderful cherries. Unfortunately, the deer in our area get most of the cherries these days, along with the birds and other animals that love this treat.

Here is a photograph of my Mom at age 94 with the sour cherry tree blooming in the background. The tree was loaded with tart cherries. I made several cherry pies from the cherries in the tree and froze the cherries too as the tart cherry freezes wonderfully.

Per the pits in the cherry, one must always be careful, same true when eating commercial products made with these wonderful cherries, one might find a pit among the pitted fruit. It is interesting the sour cherry is used in many German recipes. I know that my mother never had any sleeping difficulties, but her three daughters do. Maybe some of the German recipes, like Schwarzwälder kirschtorte, named for the Schwarzwald  or Black Forest in Germany, might have a secret to sleeping like a baby?

Karlsruhe, Germany, my birthplace, is considered the northern area of the Black Forest region in southern Germany. The cake named after the forest is the "Black Forest Cherry Cake" or "Black Forest Gateau". This cake is a most famous German dessert, one of the few that I have never made. I wonder if the cake holds some secrets per sleep? It is heavy in whipped cream. In the authentic cake, one must use only tart cherries as my Mom told me many times. The cake also includes Kirschwasser, a clear liquor made from the same tart cherry! The cake is a light chocolate alternating with sour (tart) cherries layered with whipped cream. The cake is frosted with whipped cream and has more sour cherries as an adornment on top of the cake. It is not unusual to go out for dessert in Germany and just buy a piece of this cake. I can not imagine trying to eat even a slice of the cake after a meal, but the cake is an afternoon delight in many places in southern Germany.

After reading about tart cherry juice, I called my youngest sister and I learned that she had been drinking some tart cherry juice. I found a bottle of "First Pressed" juice at Whole Foods and then at a local fruit market, I found the true tart cherry concentrate and cherry preserves.

I am giving tart cherry products to both of my sisters whose birthdays are in August. I am shipping juice to Georgetown, Texas, via and my local sister will get the tart cherry preserves and bottle of the concentrate.

I think the juice tastes better than any wine. It is not as sour as I would have expected.

Per the concentrate, it says to take 1-2 tablespoons. Per the juice, I drink about 4-6 ounces per day, but I could drink the entire 32 ounces as it is so very delicious!

From here forward, there will be no wine in our house, only tart cherry juice!

Here is a link to research articles on tart cherry juice:

Dr. Oz also did a show on the juice and termed it an amazing antioxidant!

If juice is in your diet program, this is one that you might enjoy both for its taste and for any health benefits.

I am flavoring my plain, nonfat Greek yogurt with the cherry preserves. The concentrate would be wonderful over ice cream. If one makes cherry juice from the concentrate it is to be diluted by seven
times it volume with water!


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