You may want to follow your heart and intuition if it's craving to eat cherries. The red super fruit is a known powerhouse of antioxidants and are preferred fresh instead of frozen, reports the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS). The consumption of fresh cherries went from 0.5 pounds to per capita in 1994 to 1.5 pounds in 2009 whereas frozen cherries were at 0.8 pound per capita in 2009.

It's time to go cherry-picking this summer for this freshly picked, tree-ripe fruit that will fill your body with an abundance of nutrients at only 90 calories in a one cup serving, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. The beneficial nutrients and cancer-fighting antioxidants are a prime reason why consumption of the sweet and juicy fruit has increased over the years. "With anti-inflammatory properties, cherries can potentially be helpful for conditions such as gout arthritis, fibromyalgia and sports injuries," said Seema Shukla, M.S. R.D., of St, Joseph's Healthcare System. The high vitamin C and fiber content are what make this fruit a moderate source of potassium believes Shukla. Cherries have a potassium level of 342 milligrams which is the 10 percent daily recommended intake, says the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Put a cherry on top of all desserts and indulge in a low fat treat guilt-free with these six fresh cherry recipes that will cater to your sweet tooth. Plus, eat dessert like a pop star with singer-songwriter Jewel's exclusive cherry pie recipe!

1. Jewel's Cherry Pie


Pre-made pie crust

2 cans tart black cherries

2 cups sugar

6 tbsp flour

1 cup cherry liquid

Red food coloring

12 drops almond extract

1/4 cup butter

Coarse sugar


Butter a 9" x 12" pan. Lay enough pie crust to cover the pan including the sides 1/4 of the way up. Mix sugar and flour together in a separate bowl (so flour does not clump). Add 2 cans of drained cherries and 1 cup cherry liquid. Mix together with flour and sugar. Blend in food coloring and almond extract. Pour into baking dish with other pie crust. Cut desired shapes out of dough (cherries, bunnies, stars, etc.). Then, cut up 1/4 cup butter into cubes and sprinkle on top of pie crust shapes. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until golden brown. *For a single pie, cut recipe in half.

Recipe courtesy of Jewel.

2. Chocolate Cherry Muffins (Everything-Free, Low-Cal and Vegan!)


1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup oat bran

1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 pinch salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sugar-free cherry pie filling

1/2 cup apple sauce

1/2 cup apple juice

1 tablespoon sugar-free chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the first seven ingredients (flour through salt) in a bowl and mix to combine. Add the remaining ingredients, minus the chocolate chips, and stir until just moistened. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin tins. Sprinkle some chocolate chips on the top of each muffin. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, for about 30 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of

3. Low Fat Mini Cherry Cheesecakes


1/2 cup sugar

2 large egg white

2 tbsps butter

2 oz fat free cream cheese

1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract

1 lemon yields lemon juice

3/4 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs

3/4 cup sugar free cherry pie filling

5 oz low fat cream cheese


Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place 12 cupcake liners in a cupcake pan. In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter, mix well. Spoon a tablespoon of crumb mixture into the bottom of each liner. Refrigerate until ready to go. In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat both cream cheeses until fluffy. Add lemon juice, egg whites, vanilla, and sugar and beat until smooth. Spoon 2 tablespoons of mixture into each muffin liner; bake until set, about 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Top each cheesecake with 1 tablespoon cherry pie filling.

Recipe courtesy of Fat Secret.

4. Vegan Chocolate Cherry Blender Ice Cream


1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk

1 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder

1 large frozen banana (make sure it's very ripe before freezing, this makes your ice-cream naturally sweet)

1 cup frozen pitted cherries (readily available at most grocery stores)


Place ingredients into blender or Vita-Mix in order listed. (If using a regular low powered blender make sure to let the frozen bananas sit for 2-3 minutes on the counter to partially defrost. Then slice them into small chunks so they become easier to blend. Also cut the cherries in half.) Blend the ingredients on medium low to medium speed. If using a Vita-Mix use the tamper to plunge the frozen fruit down into the blades until well combined (30-60 seconds). If using a regular blender or food processor stop the blender periodically to stir as needed. Blend until smooth and cocoa is evenly distributed. Serve immediately. Blender ice-cream is best eaten fresh, but can be frozen if needed.

Recipe courtesy of Low Fat Vegan Chef.

5. Low Fat Cherry Turnovers


24 9" X 14" sheets of phyllo dough

3/4 cup cherry pie filling (see link to recipe in instructions below)

Butter-flavored cooking spray


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Remove 24 sheets of phyllo dough from box. Place dough on a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap. Cover stack of phyllo dough with plastic wrap and a damp cloth on top to prevent sheets from drying out. Removing one sheet of dough at a time, place six sheets on a lined cookie tray, spraying cooking spray between each phyllo sheet. After the sixth sheet of phyllo dough, cut the stack into thirds crosswise so you have three long strips. In the right-hand corner of the first of the three strips, put one tablespoon of cherry-pie filling, leaving a small border. Fold phyllo strip flag-style from right to left and place cherry triangle on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining two strips. Uncover remaining sheets of phyllo, and repeat the same process with the next six sheets, covering the rest of the sheets until ready to use. Repeat steps until all the sheets and pie filling are gone. Bake for 10 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Low Fat Cooking.

6. Cherry Frozen Yogurt


3 cups pitted fresh cherries

2 tbsp lemon juice

3/4 cup sugar (more or less depending on how sweet the cherries and how sweet you want your frozen yogurt to be)

1/4 cup whole milk (can substitute half-and-half or cream for creamier version)

1 1/2 cups full fat yogurt (if you are using non or low-fat yogurt, add 2 tbsp heavy cream)

2 tbsp almond liqueur such as Amaretto (optional)


Place the pitted cherries, lemon juice, and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. While the mixture is heating, use a potato masher to mash up the berries in the pot which will release some of their moisture. When all of the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Place contents in a blender and pulse until smooth. Mix cherry purée, milk, and yogurt together in a bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour; the longer the mixture chills the better (can chill overnight). Right before processing in an ice cream maker, add the almond liqueur if desired. The alcohol in the liqueur will help keep the frozen yogurt smooth, but is not necessary. Process the mixture in your ice cream maker for 25 minutes. You can eat it right away (it will be rather soft) or put it in the freezer for a few hours to harden up a bit.

Recipe courtesy of Simply Recipes.

Read More: Cherry Health Benefits: 6 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Cherries