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Cherries, Watermelons and Blueberries Oh My!
Three years ago, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Chicago started a monthly publication called Aisle 4 featuring everything from our favorite recipes and products to publications and even a food word-of-the-month. Since times have changed, we are excited to introduce Aisle 4 to its new “kitchen” online. Here's our latest weekly post:
The shelves may be a little bare of produce this season, but farmers markets and festivals are keeping us full with fresh finds. Diets rich in fruit offer a myriad of health benefits. Eating your favorite seasonal treat will even help you stay hydrated in the heat.
Our favorites this summer include:
- Tart Cherries provide a host of health benefits. It’s been said that drinking tart cherry juice can help you get a better night's sleep and quell post-workout pain. Tart cherries are great for a summer cherry pie or tart. (We have included our favorite recipe below.)
- Watermelons deliver skin-protecting lycopene and are great for frozen popsicles.
- Raspberries are a great source of fiber- some of which are soluble in the form of pectin- helping to lower cholesterol. Just take ½ cup raspberries, one scoop of protein powder and one cup of almond milk to make a nice morning smoothie that will jumpstart your day.
- Blueberries can help prevent a range of diseases, from cancer to heart disease. A mere 3.5 ounces contains more antioxidants than any other fruit. Blueberries are great frozen, in pancakes, muffins and even on top of frozen yogurt.
Fruit Tips & Tricks:
- Shop for fruits that are in season since they cost less and taste better.
- Dip cut-up fruits like apples and bananas in lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Wash fruits just before using, but make sure to dry well since water can cause early spoilage.
- Eat different fruits for the greatest variety of tastes and nutrients.
Midwesterners are experiencing peculiar weather patterns this summer with record temperatures and ceaseless drought. From keeping cool to finding the perfect peach, these conditions have posed quite a few challenges.
Farmers across the country have taken harvest hits this year and it shows on the shelves. Less produce and lower quality has translated into higher prices. We’ve seen this particularly with fruit farmers. But this dry spell hasn’t put an end to our fruit enchantment.
Our H+K Food & Beverage Summertime survey revealed that 52 percent of you love to eat fresh fruit straight from the vine or tree. Strawberries proved to be the favorite summer treat with watermelon and blueberries following close behind.
Cherry Galette Recipe
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, chilled cut into cubes
¼ cup cold water
1 quart (about 4 cups) sour cherries (or sweet cherries if you prefer), pitted
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
Preheat the oven to 400°F
Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together. Work the cold butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, fork, or your fingers, until the dough feels like small crumbs. Add the ice water and mix until it becomes a soft dough, adding more cold water if needed. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Toss the pitted cherries in the sugar and cornstarch, let sit for a least 15 minutes. Roll out the pastry dough until about 1/8 inch thick. Mound the cherries in the center, leaving at least a 2 inch border. Wrap the pastry edges around the cherries, pleating the dough where needed.
If you’d like (this is not necessary), brush the folded edges of the dough with a bit of egg yolk and sprinkle with sugar for a browned crust.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and cherries are cooked through. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Image Credit: Rainbow Fruit Display, Cherry Galette image by Eva Daiberl (Ms.Rennaissance)
Email the Hill+Knowlton Strategies' Food+Beverage team at FoodAndBeverage@hkstrategies.com.