Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sour Cherry Juice: How and Why?





Well, if you have time and willingness to learn more about tart/sour cherries, it's just one click away. Google it and you'll be provided with about 1,290,000 results in 0.16 seconds. Almost all the websites give you almost the same information on the health benefits of tart cherries: They are proven to reduce strength loss, protect muscles, lessen pain, speed recovery, improve sleep habits, and increase wellness. Wow, right? However, how many of us bother themselves and make tart cherry juice at home? 

Well, I haven't met a lot. The only people I know making juice at home are Teta Mira (one of my neighbours), Semsa (Asya's granny), my mother-in-law and thank God her son. Emir is the only young person I know that has a heartfelt belief in the benefits of homemade juice and accordingly tries to make juice of whatever in season. The last time I joined him in his trekking adventure to the nearest mountain (Mount Igman) to our place in an attempt not to miss the elderberry season was enough to show me how much he cares about making homemade juice. I do appreciate all his efforts and enjoy the drinks he prepares at every dinner. By the way, I'll write about elderberry juice we made some other time.

Sour cherry juice has become one of my favourites recently. Until this Ramadan, I've always avoided drinking sour cherry juice (the regular ones you buy at supermarkets) since they make my stomach go gassy although I love the sourness and the inspiring colour sour cherries offer us. Anyway, two weeks ago Teta Mira told Emir to pick the cherries in her garden just because she wanted to share the extra cherries her trees yield every summer. And he did. However, we didn't know actually how to get the juice at first but then we thought it couldn't be so much different from making juice using other fruits. After a quick search on the net we learned that the recipe for sour cherry syrup requires:

1/2 kg cherries
1 kg sugar
250 ml water

And then,


Step 1: We washed the cherries and removed their seeds.
Step 2: We put the cherries into a big pan with some sugar. (The amount of sugar all depends on how much sweet you want the juice to be, so feel free.)
Step 3: We let the cherries take up the sweetness of the sugar overnight.
Step 4: We added water and stirred until the sugar dissolved.
Step 5:We brought the contents to a boil and simmered it for fifteen minutes.
Step 6: We strained and squeezed all the moisture from the cherries into a separate saucepan
Step 7: We simmered the juice until it thickened. 
Step 8: We ladled it into hot, sterile pint jars.
Step 9: We processed the jars for 15 minutes in hot water bath. (Alternatively, you can keep them in the oven at 175°C for 15 minutes to seal them.)

Do remember that the syrup you get following these steps forms the base of your cherry juice. For the very juice, you need to dilute a spoonful or two of it in a glass of water or sparkling water.

Well, why sour cherries? 

For the nutritional and medical value sour cherries possess, I recommend the following article. You'll learn a lot more about sour cherries.

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Information/TartCherries_HealthBenefits.htm

And here is another one about the sour cherry trees:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/05/23/186076355/inside-a-tart-cherry-revival-somebody-needs-to-do-this

 

3 comments:

  1. Exactly what I need !

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  2. The recipe is super easy, even for a noobie chef like me lol, I'm really good in papas games and other cooking games but the real kitchen scares me lol. Anyway, thanks for the recipe.

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    Replies
    1. Glad to hear that! Good luck with the juice!

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