In early August I got the pleasure of visiting Cherry Bay Orchards. I had the opportunity to learn all about Montmorency tart cherries. Fruit being a favorite form of nourishment for me, I was beyond excited to learn all about this special fruit. A cherry isn’t just a cherry. When it comes to tart cherries, the Montmorency varietal is the cherry with more. My first impression of the farm was how incredibly beautiful it was! There was sense of calmness and passion that extended throughout the entire tour. This passion did not go unnoticed and it was clear that this family farm was built on love and lots of hard work. With more Americans interested in the origins of their food, this superfruit could not be more “on-trend.”
Small family orchards means we’re choosing to support local agriculture and preserve generations-old family farms.
The best part about my tour was learning all about the science supporting these incredible tart cherries. Scientific research has examined the impact of Montmorency tart cherries on exercise recovery, heart health, sleep and inflammation. Montmorency tart cherry juice is growing among athletes as an exercise recovery aid.
I’m always looking for natural ways to help promote better sleep and Montmorency tart cherries are one of the few food sources of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep cycles. Research has explored drinking tart cherry juice and the quality and duration of sleep, sleep efficiency and insomnia.
I get the opportunity to collaborate with brands I love, but this was my first experience getting to truly know the people behind the product. The hard work and passion of these growers and famers did not go unnoticed. Their passion was contagious and it really is what keeps me excited and wanting to share more! I was thrilled to get my hands on some of my very own tart cherries and start exploring in my own kitchen. Tart cherries go way beyond cherry pie… I think we’ve been influenced in part by the more adventurous approach to global cuisines but flavour preferences have shifted from sweet to sour. Tart cherries have a unique sour-sweet taste that meets the growing demand for sour flavours. It truly offers a flavourful complement to so many dishes. They can be paired with nuts, beans + grains.
They would taste delicious on salads, with fish, in cocktails and smoothies! I decided to take these tart cherries into some of my favourite baked goods! Who doesn’t love a good cookie?
Chia Tart Cherry Jam Cookies
Chia Tart Cherry Jam:
3 cups of frozen or fresh Montmorency tart cherries 4 tsp white or black chia seeds Honey to sweeten
1 1/2 cups almond flour 1/2 cup tahini 1/3 cup maple syrup 1/2 tsp baking powder
1. Heat frozen tart cherries on the stove till melted down (the cherries should burst open from the heat) 2. With a fork or electric mixer blend the tart cherries. 3. Add in the chia seeds to thicken. 4. Add honey or maple syrup if you’re looking for a sweeter jam. I personally love the tart taste so I left out this step. 5. In a bowl, add all cookie batter ingredients together and mix well. You want smooth dough! 6. Roll cookie dough into balls and press thumbprints into the centre of each cookie. 7. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Be sure to use parchment paper and leave some space between cookies. 8. Remove cookies from the oven and let them cool. Add 1tsp of raspberry jam to each cookie! These cookies are the perfect combination of sweet and sour! They are packed with so much goodness and can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a more mindful treat! The leftover jam can be used on toast, added to pancakes, topped onto your favourite yogurt or eaten by the spoonful.
Yields approximately 6 cookies — double ingredients for a bigger batch.