There’s nothing like a big glass of thirst-quenching sparkling cherry lemonade on a hot summer’s day. Easy to make and so refreshing. Best of all, it’s a non-alcoholic drink. So, it’s perfect for kids, too!
After a stretch of almost 100 degree sunny days here, reality came crashing in on us and I’ve been enjoying nothing but watermelon juice and this sparkling cherry lemonade.
It started when I did grocery shopping and bumped into Northwest Cherry Growers which are sweet, red, and seductive. Ahem. So sweet that you don’t even need additional sugar when making this cherry lemonade. But hey, let’s talk about cherries.
7 Great reasons to eat cherries
- Cherries are a good source of potassium. Increasing evidence shows that a diet rich in potassium may help to control blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.
- Cherries are a source of melatonin. Melatonin is an effective means for reducing jet lag and promoting overall healthy sleep patterns.
- Cherries have anti-inflammatory properties which studies suggest may help to control arthritis and gout.
- Cherries contain antioxidants. Antioxidants found in cherries may help to reduce the risk of cancer.
- Cherries contain antioxidants. Studies show that the antioxidants found in cherries may help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Cherries are a healthy snack. The serving size of 21 cherries has less than 100 calories.
- The anthocyanins found in cherries may help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Although cherries are available from May to August, there are actually many ways to enjoy cherries.
- Fresh is best: Enjoy while on-the-go or at home. Sweet cherries are an easy and portable fruit, making them the perfect refresher on a hike, in picnic or barbeque dish, topping on a cool treat or road trip snack.
- Bake to impress: Pies, bars, crumbles, and cobblers – the options are endless and always delicious. Northwest-grown cherries make baked desserts oh so sweet, and their naturally high sugar content makes it easy for bakers to cut down on added sugar. Northwest Cherry Growers has some recipes for inspiration here.
- Cook and create: Enhance everyday dishes with a sweet cherry sauce, or use cherries to turn light appetizers, fresh salads, or heartier dishes into a summertime delight.
- Freeze for the future: Looking to keep sweet cherries around longer than summertime? Freezing is quick and easy, so you can enjoy the taste of summer all year long. Here are some tips on how to freeze Northwest-grown sweet cherries.
- Sweet preservation: Another way to enjoy sweet cherries past their season is to preserve them. Grab those empty mason jars and some cherries to can and preserve for use later in the year. Find canning instructions here.
- Dry for later: A great addition to trail mix, salads, baking, or by the handful are dried sweet cherries. Drying cherries is a simple solution to keep them around throughout the year. See how the Northwest Cherry Growers do so in only a few steps here.
Other ideas to enjoy fresh fruits
- Vietnamese Grilled Steak with Peach Salsa – A fresh take on a Vietnamese classic grilled steak over fresh peach salsa. Fast, fresh, and full of flavor!
- Fig & Ricotta Bruschetta – Fig & Ricotta Bruschetta makes a simple yet delicious savory fig ricotta toast for an appetizer. Super quick and incredibly easy to make that’s really impressive with a sweet and salty combination that will impress your guests!
- Breakfast Salad – Start the day with a bright, fresh, and delicious veggie-packed breakfast and crunchy savory cheese crisp. This breakfast salad is easy to assemble with a few pre-prepped ingredients and makes a delicious side dish!
Sparkling Cherry Lemonade
- 1 lb fresh or frozen Northwest cherries
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon from about 6 lemons
- 1- liter sparkling water to taste
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- Ice cubes
- Rinse, drain, and pit your cherries.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients, except ice cubes in a blender and blend until smooth or no more pieces of cherries.