Enjoy Northwest cherries all year long!
We worked with our brand partner Chelan Fresh to bring you this post on freezing and storing cherries.
Wouldn’t it be nice if cherry season lasted all year long? If you plan ahead and freeze cherries during the cherry season, you can enjoy cherries any time of year! Freezing cherries is easy and frozen cherries are just as flavorful and nutritious as fresh ones.
Freezing cherries during the cherry season is an economical choice too! Cherries are at their most affordable during cherry season. You’ll come out ahead by freezing them yourself rather than buying the pre-packaged frozen cherries from the frozen foods section.
Chelan Fresh cherry varieties are available from late spring to late summer. Red Sweet, Rainer, and Orondo Ruby cherries all freeze well. Once they hit your grocery store, enjoy some fresh and freeze the rest!
How To Freeze Cherries
Freezing cherries is easy! First, de-stem and wash the cherries. Be careful to drain them well. It’s easier to pit a fresh cherry now than a frozen cherry later so go ahead and pit all your cherries too. Next, lay them out flat on a sheet pan. Place the sheet pan in the freezer until they harden. This typically takes about an hour. This step prevents the cherries from freezing together in one large clump. Once the cherries have hardened, remove the cherries from the sheet pan and place them in a zip-top bag. Remove all the excess air from the bag, seal tightly, and place in the freeze for later use.
Cherries can be stored in the freezer for up to 12 months. That’s an entire year to enjoy northwest cherries!
How To Use Frozen Cherries
Frozen cherries can be used in place of fresh cherries in most recipes, like this one for Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Apples and Cherries or this one for Frozen Cherry Cookie Sandwiches. You’ve got to save some to make this Cherry Vanilla and Ginger Float. Yum!
Chelan Fresh shared a special recipe with us for Cherry-Cranberry Sauce that is perfect for the holiday season. Your holiday guests will delight at the opportunity to enjoy northwest cherries in the winter!
Watch TPM brand ambassador Candace demonstrate how to freeze cherries and use them to make Cherry-Cranberry Sauce (thanks to Jim Schuster for the family recipe):
Stock up this cherry season and get freezing so you can enjoy northwest cherries all year long!
What’s your favorite way to enjoy cherries? Share in the comments below.