I was born and raised in Door County so seeing the blooming cherry trees was seen as a sign of warmer weather and the hope of summer. Perfectly lined rows of trees with beautiful white flowers swaying in the breeze edged many of the scenic roads. Cherries seem to have always been an integral part of the Door County landscape but it all began in 1896 when A.L. Hatch and E.S. Goff started by planting trees north of Sturgeon Bay. As they say "the rest is history" and since then Door County has become known for these tart little fruits and has been tagged "Cherryland". To learn more about the history of cherries in Door County start here.
I use dried cherries from Country Ovens LTD in Forestville, WI in two of my granolas. Cherry Almond granola was the first one to emerge and by the insistence of my sister and others, Dark Chocolate Cherry was born earlier this year. Country Ovens is a wonderful business to work with. They deliver their products right to my door on a schedule that varies by season. They are so friendly and helpful when I call and they always make sure that I am informed of changes in delivery. They make working with them easy! Thankful to be able to support another amazing Door County business.
As I perused the internet and the Country Ovens website I found many articles touting the benefits of these tart cherries. Did you know that Montmorency cherries have more Vitamin A than blueberries AND strawberries? Research suggests they give you anywhere from 25-50% of your daily Vitamin A in one serving. Various antioxidant qualities make them an anti-inflammatory superstar which assists in calming the symptoms of arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia and sore muscles. One thing that I am really intrigued by is the suggestion that cherries are a natural source of melatonin which is known to help with sleep. Insomniacs eat up! (I may be keeping a bowl by my bed!) As if that isn't enough evidence to pop one or two in your mouth, research has shown that cherries reduce cholesterol and triglycerides. I love knowing that eating these tart little nuggets can help with a variety of ailments and make me healthier.
I cannot wait until cherry season 2016! Until then, grab one of Door County Love's Cherry Almond or Dark Chocolate Cherry granola, drink some Door County cherry juice or partake in any of the other wonderful cherry products that are produced in Door County. Eat and drink with merry knowing you are doing something good for your body and enjoying it at the same time. Here's to warmer weather and healthier bodies. Cheers!