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We suggest using Michigan Balaton Cherries in these recipes for better flavor and freshness!

 

Power Bars
A great pick-me-up any time of day.

Makes 32 bars
Calories per bar: 145
Total fat per bar: 4.7 grams; 0 mg cholesterol
Percent calories from fat: 29%

3/4 cup margarine
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 can (21 ounces) cherry filling and topping
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Put butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed 3 to 4 minutes, or until well mixed. Combine flour, oats and baking soda. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat on low speed until crumbly.

Spread two-thirds of the oats mixture into the bottom of an un-greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Press down to make a Þrm layer.

Put cherry filling in an electric blender or food processor container; purée until smooth. Pour puréed cherry filling into a medium saucepan. Combine granulated sugar and cornstarch; stir into cherry filling. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until mix-ture is thick and bubbly. Stir in almond extract. Pour cherry mixture over oats layer; spread evenly. Top with remaining oats mixture.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool before cutting into bars.

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Cherry Smoothie
A quick, easy breakfast treat.

Makes 2 servings (about 1 cup each)
Calories per serving: 125
Total fat per serving: 0.7 grams; 2.2 mg cholesterol
Percent calories from fat: 5%

1 very ripe banana, peeled
1 cup frozen unsweetened tart cherries
1 cup skim milk

Put banana, frozen cherries and milk in the container of an electric blender; purée until smooth. Serve immediately.

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Dried Cherry Relish
Serve warm with grilled or blackened Þsh.

Makes about 2 cups; 12 servings as a relish
Calories per serving: 60
Total fat per serving: 1.2 grams; 0.2 mg cholesterol
Percent calories from fat: 14%

11/2 cups dried tart cherries
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onion, Þnely chopped
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine dried cherries, red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar in a medium mixing bowl. Let soak 30 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion; cook 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add sugar; mix well. Cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat 10 minutes.

Add cherries with soaking liquid to onion mixture. Simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes, or until almost all the liquid is evaporated. Season with salt="" and pepper. Serve warm.

Note: Relish may be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated; reheat before serving.

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Maple Cherry Sauce
Cherries team up with maple syrup for a þavorful sauce that's terriÞc with roasted or grilled meats or poultry.

Makes 11/2 cups; about 6 servings
Calories per serving: 196
Total fat per serving: 6.4 grams; 0 mg cholesterol
Percent calories from fat: 28%

1/3 cup cherry juice blend
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup frozen unsweetened tart cherries, thawed and well drained
3/4 cup real maple or maple-flavored syrup
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Put cherry juice blend and cornstarch in a small saucepan; mix well. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Add cherries, maple-flavored syrup, walnuts and orange peel; mix well. Cook, stirring frequently, over low heat until all ingredients are hot. Serve over roast turkey, pork or ham.

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Cherry Good Cobbler
This is a great tasting dessert with less than 1 gram of fat per serving.

Makes 8 servings
Calories per serving: 260
Total fat per serving: 1 gram; 0 mg cholesterol
Percent calories from fat: 3%

2 (21-ounce) cans cherry pie flling and topping
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose þour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup orange juice

Topping:

1 tablespoon slivered almonds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine cherry pie filling and almond extract in an ungreased 8x8x2-inch baking pan.

Combine flour, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl; mix well. Add orange juice, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls over cherry pie filling, making at least 8 dumplings.

For topping: Combine almonds, sugar, orange peel and cinnamon in a small bowl; mix well. Sprinkle over dumplings. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and dumplings are brown.

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Cherry Dream
This easy-to-prepare dessert is perfect for family get-togethers.

Makes 8 servings
Calories per serving: 218 calories
Total fat per serving: 3.4 grams; 0 mg cholesterol
Percent calories from fat: 14%

5 cups loosely packed angel food cake cubes (about 10 ounces or 1/2 of large angel food cake)
1 (21-ounce) can cherry filling and topping
1 3/4 cups (4 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
Fresh mint, for garnish

Sprinkle cake cubes in bottom of 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Fold whipped topping into cherry filling in medium bowl. Spoon cherry mixture evenly over cake cubes. Let chill, covered, several hours or overnight. Garnish each serving with a sprig of mint.

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Cherry Rice Pilaf
This flavorful combination proves that nutri- tious eating doesn't need to be bland and boring.

Makes 8 servings
Calories per serving: 189
Total fat per serving: 6.4 grams; 0 mg. cholesterol
Percent calories from fat: 29%

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon margarine
3 cups cooked rice

Put onion, celery, cherries, walnuts, thyme, marjoram, pepper and margarine in a large non-stick skillet. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender; stir occasionally. Add rice; mix well. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.

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Cherry Oatmeal Muffins
Perfect for breakfast-on-the-run or lunchbox treats.

Makes 12 muffins
Calories per muffin: 159 calories
Total fat per muffin: 5.2 grams; 18 mg cholesterol
Percent fat from calories: 29%

1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup frozen tart cherries, coarsely chopped

Put oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl; mix well. Combine buttermilk, egg, oil and almond extract in a small bowl. Pour buttermilk mixture into oats mixture; stir just to moisten ingredients. Quickly stir in cherries (it is not necessary to thaw cherries before chopping and adding to batter).

Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray. Fill muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven 15 to 20 minutes.

Note: 1 cup canned tart cherries, drained and coarsely chopped, may be substituted for 1 cup frozen tart cherries.

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