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How to Pit Cherries + 7 Spring Cherry Recipes

Spring is cherry season! Check out the health benefits of cherries along with how to pit cherries and some recipes to take advantage of this spring’s cherry bounty.

How to Pit Cherries

If you’re planning to cook with your sweet cherries, you may need to remove the pits. This can be a total pain, but I found a cool trick that makes it easier. You don’t need a cherry pitter to pit cherries quickly and easily. All that you need are a bottle with a narrow mouth and a chopstick or kitchen skewer. Here’s what you do:

  • Remove the cherry’s stem and place it on top of the bottle.
  • Use the chopstick to push the pit out of the cherry.

That’s it! You can even do this without the bottle, but it’s messier. You can see this technique in action in the video above.

Health Benefits of Sweet Cherries

Sweet cherries are related to the wild cherry, and they’re packed with nutritional value. They contain a special sort of antioxidant – anthocyanin glycosides – that’s a powerful anti-inflammatory. There is research linking sweet cherry consumption with a reduction in alzheimer’s disease and showing that they may help protect your body from cancer.

Another small study showed that cherries may help manage blood cholesterol.

Like many other fruits, cherries are a good source of fiber and vitamins. Some of the research above needs further study, but what you don’t need is a study to show is that cherries are delicious. That means the worst case scenario is that you get a delicious, whole food, healthy snack.

How to Pit Cherries + 7 Spring Cherry Recipes

7 Sweet Cherry Recipes

Of course you can eat your sweet cherries by the handful, but sometimes it’s fun to mix things up! Here are some fun recipes to help you incorporate healthy cherries into your snacks and meals. Some of the recipes below call for tart cherries, but sweet cherries will work just as well.

1. Sweet and Spicy Trail Mix - Nuts, a little candied ginger, and dried cherries make a yummy on-the-go treat. This recipe includes a free printable card, in case you want to give a batch of trail mix as a gift.

2. Toasted Quinoa Salad with Cherries – Cherries add a nice sweetness and depth to this grain-based salad.

3. Wild Rice Salad with Cherries and Pecans – Another grain salad starring cherries. This makes a tasty side dish or light main meal.

4. Raw Cherry-Chocolate Cookies – These raw cookies are a healthier treat, and the cherries in this recipe really shine.

5. Dark Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal – A little breakfast decadence, perhaps?

6. Grilled Cherries – This sweet and spicy side dish features an unexpected ingredient: curry powder!

7. Cherry Salsa - Don’t you love a fruit salsa? This version is simple and delicious.

Do you have a favorite recipe for sweet cherries? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her lifes mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


+ add your own
11:23AM PDT on Apr 9, 2015

Very expensive and only in season for a short while in Western Australia but I absolutely love them.

4:08PM PDT on Jul 28, 2014

All that for one cherry. That utensil did not look like a chopstick.

5:02PM PDT on Jul 27, 2014

All that for one cherry. That utensil did not look like a chopstick.

9:14PM PDT on Jun 22, 2014

Cherries are delicious! Thanks for the tip on how to pit them!

12:52PM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

My faves are the wonderful yellowish Rainier cherries. Not that many stores around here carry them, and when they do, they charge an arm and a leg for them. But they're worth it!

7:12AM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

More great recipes for the wonderful cherry. Thank you.

3:05AM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

Thanks. Really useful article and some very interesting recipes.

8:40AM PDT on May 1, 2014

Gr8 advise. If I get the hankerin' for a home made cherry pie, this will work. usually though, I love fresh cherries. All I do is pop one in my mouth and spit out the pit. Let's have a Cherry pit-spittin' contest to see who can spit the furthest!

8:19AM PDT on May 1, 2014

Thank you for posting.

12:27AM PDT on May 1, 2014

I love cherries. I look forward to them every year. I buy as many as I can eat. They don't keep well, but man are they tasty.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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