It’s cherry season. In California, it’s pared with hotter weather and the return of healthy, refreshing cherry recipes that dominate the culinary scene in early summer.
Last updated: February 4, 2023
Summer Cherry Recipes Brought to You from California
One thing you can’t take away from California is its favor of healthy eating. This tendency applies to most savory and sweet dishes, everyday and festive meals, raw and cooked recipes. And although “surviving” on smoothie or fruit ice cream can be an unheard thing in some other parts of the world, it’s absolutely normal in the Golden State.
During the cherry season, California takes this trend a bit farther, incorporating more healthy cherry recipes into its menu and developing even more new treats as the summer progresses.
The state certainly has everything laid out perfectly for such a yummy extravaganza. From hot beach weather that lasts all summer long and slips well into fall to cherry orchards almost right around the corner and unfading love for yummy refreshments, California is ahead of the game when it comes to the summer cherry recipes.
And given the area’s obsession with all things healthy (this is certainly a prevailing trend in Southern California where the influence of Hollywood is inevitable), these cherry dishes suit palates of adults and children alike.
Needless to say, the recipes we are about to delve into are sugar free, are devoid of any artificial flavors, and are 100% healthy. You can introduce some of these sunny California inspired cherry recipes into your summer breakfast menu.
When it comes to cherry cold tea, sweetened with raw honey, it has all the chances to become your best friend on a hot summer day. And finally, you can let your kids eat cherry ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner without feeling like an irresponsible parent.
Ready to jump on this delicious and healthy cherry wagon? Here are 6 California inspired cherry recipes that will make your summer even sweeter this year.
6 HEALTHY CALIFORNIA INSPIRED CHERRY RECIPES TO MAKE THIS SUMMER
Green Cherry Breakfast Smoothie
Breathe a new life into your green breakfast smoothie with the sweetest berry of the season. The best thing about smoothies, you can play around as much as you want, mixing your favorite greens and fruits.
And if you ask me, green smoothie is a staple dish in the Golden State, at least its southern part. With that said, for this California inspired summer cherry recipe, you need the following ingredients:
- 1 banana for creamy texture
- 1 apple (It’s optional, but I like how its adds a slightly sour taste to this green cherry smoothie)
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 cup cherries (frozen or fresh)
- A bunch of cilantro
- 1 cup water
- Blend the spinach and water in a blender.
- Add the banana, apple, cherries, and cilantro. Blend for 20-30 seconds or until smooth. Enjoy.
Cherry Banana Popsicles
Summer in California is all about popsicles, in our case cherry popsicles. The yummy seasonal berries set the tone for this frozen dessert. Banana adds creaminess to your cherry popsicles, kids’ favorite summer treat.
If your cherries are nor sweet enough or bananas have’t developed those brown spots yet, add a few dates for sweetness. And since you use only healthy foods for this cherry banana popsicles, you can enjoy them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner all summer long, or at least until the cherries last.
- 2 bananas
- 2 cups frozen or pitted fresh cherries
- 4-5 dates
- Place the bananas, cherries, and dates in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Pour in a popsicle mold. This recipe yields about 8 popsicles.
- Place in the freezer and let it cool for 5-6 hours.
Cherry Recipes for Summer: Cherry Nice Cream
For those who prefer to savor their summer desserts with a spoon, here is an easy cherry nice cream recipe. It’s a little bit creamier than our cherry popsicles thanks to soy milk (use any plant-based milk you have). And if you like to spice up your summer treat, add a pinch of cinnamon.
- 3 frozen bananas
- 1- 2 cups frozen cherries
- 1/3 cup soy milk
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- Place the bananas, cherries, milk, and cinnamon in a food processor or high speed blender.
- Pulse until well combined and smooth, but not liquid.
- Scoop into a serving bowl or cup, garnish with the fresh cherries.
- If you prefer your summer cherry nice cream a little bit hardier, pop in the freezer for additional 30 minutes. Enjoy!
Cherry Cold (Iced) Tea
What can be better on a hot summer day than a refreshing cold or iced – if you choose so – cherry tea. I avoid ice in my drink as it messes up with your digestion. But if a cube of coldness makes you feel more alive when the sun burns mercilessly, just go for it. So, for our summer cherry recipe #4 you need the following ingredients:
- 64 oz (about 2 liters) water
- 2-3 tea bags
- A bunch of cilantro
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup cherries
- 3 tbsp honey (optional)
- Bring the water to boil. Pour into a heatproof dish or keep it in a pot.
- Add any tea bags you like. For this coolest cherry drink of this summer, I use green tea. Into the pot also go the lemon, cilantro, and honey. Skip the latter if you prefer your California-inspired cherry summer drink unsweetened. Stir until the honey is dissolved.
- Steep for 3-5 minutes depending on how strong you like your tea.
- Strain and let it cool completely.
- Pour the tea into a pitcher over the cherries.
- Let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Serve in a glass. Add a few ice cubes if you crave an even colder drink. Garnish with some cilantro or a piece of lemon.
California Inspired Summer Cherry Recipes: Cherry Smoothie
Berries, such as cherries and watermelons, suit California’s summer preferences perfectly. A glass of delicious cherry smoothie that you whip up in a couple of minutes helps beat the heat. You don’t need to travel all the way to California to reap the benefits of this cherry recipe all summer long.
- 1 cup cherries (frozen or fresh)
- 1-2 bananas
- A few mint leaves
- 2-3 dates of 1-2 tbsp honey (It’s optional. Add it to your cherry smoothie if you need an extra boost in sweetness.)
- Ice (Use water if you want the smoothie to be more liquid.)
- Put the cherries, bananas, dates or honey, mint, and ice into a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Serve in a glass or jar. Garnish with some mint or fresh cherries.
California Inspired Summer Cherry Recipes: Cherry Lemonade
California is a big fan of fruit punch recipes, including our summer cherry lemonade. Sweeten it with a bit of honey, and have a perfect cool drink to sip on all day long. If you’re in need of an extra serving of the coldness, add a few ice cubes to this California-inspired cherry recipe.
- 4 cups (1 liter) water
- Honey to taste
- 1-2 cups cherries
- 1 lemon
- Make lemonade syrup by boiling a little bit of water and honey until the latter is dissolved. Let it sit and cool.
- In a pitcher, pour juice of 1 lemon. Add more if you don’t mind a little bit of extra splash of sourness in your cherry lemonade. Then pour the honey syrup and fill the pitcher with the remainder of the water.
- Blend the cherries and strain the mixture to extract cherry juice. If you are ok with the thicker texture of your lemonade, use the cherry mixture as it is.
- Put the cherry juice or cherry mixture at the bottom of your serving jar or glass. Pour the lemonade on top. Mix and add a few ice cubes before serving. The latter step is optional, though.
Final Thoughts on California Inspired Cherry Recipes for Summer
Here you have 6 California-inspired cherry recipes perfect for the hot summer days. Easy to make, healthy, and super delicious. Give these cherry recipes a try and you will never want to go back to their store-bought substitutes, loaded with artificial flavors.
If you want to experiment with more dishes from around the world, check out these recipes.