Red Cherries: A Guide to Varieties and Flavors

by admin on October 30, 2014

A Preview on Tart CherryChelan cherries are the first cherries to ripen in North America. They are dark, firm, large, and super sweet.

Bing cherries are the most common store cherries. They are exceptionally dark, firm, large and sweet with a heart shape that makes them unique.

Lapin Cherries have the shortest bearing season. If you can get them during the 2 weeks they are available you will find medium dark cherries that are firm, large and sweet.

Lambert cherries have the longest growing season. They are dark red, firm, large, and sweet. These are great fresh cherries but not good pie or jam cherries because they keep their firmness even when cooked.

Tulare cherries are dark red, smaller and more tart than sweet. A good pie cherry.

The Acerola cherry is a medium-dark, large, sweet and sour cherry prized for its high nutrient values.

Sweetheart cherries are the last to emerge in the season. They are bright red, firm, large with a sweet and sour flavor.

Cornelian cherries (Elegant, Pioneer, Red Dawn, and Red Star) are not true cherries. Instead of being related to plums, these red, sweet, pear shaped cherries grow on a tree closely related to the Dogwood.

The Montgomery cherry (aka tart cherry) is a medium sized sour cherry most often used in pies and cobblers.


North Star Cherry

by admin on October 29, 2014


North Star and Montmorency Cherries

The North Star cherry is a cultivar introduced in 1950 by the University of Minnesota. Like Morello cherries (its parent), the North Star cherry is a dark red color and has a rather tart taste. People love to use this cherry in pies because its color stays that same deep dark red, making the pie look more appealing (some cherries turn yellowish in the process).

The North Star cherry is one of those types of cherries that is not only tasty but also very aesthetically pleasing. The tree that bears this fruit is extremely resistant to cold temperatures, and the fruit of it ripens around mid-June. Similar to other sour/tart cherry trees, this one is self-pollinating.

Many people like to plant North Star cherry trees because they look great as decorations in your yard. The white flowers that blossom on them are just beautiful! Unlike other trees of cherries (such as Rainier cherries), the North Star tree will only grow to about ten feet tall. Rainier cherries’ trees often grow to 30 feet. As you can see, if you have limited space like a suburban backyard, you’ll want to opt for planting North Star cherries. These trees are also great to attract birds to your home; they can’t resist the delicious North Star cherries, which is why you need to cover the tree in netting if possible.

Many people can’t handle tart tastes, so North Star cherries go well mixed with organic sweeteners when being prepared. You can also make a dry wine from them! The recipe for making dry wine from North Star cherries is relatively easy too. You can also go with making a jam or a pie filling – cherries are delicious in these preparations usually.


Napoleon Cherry

by admin on October 29, 2014

Cherrieeeeeeeeeeees!The Napoleon cherry, also known as the Royal Ann or Queen Ann, is a sweet cherry used for desserts and in the process of making maraschino cherries. Like Rainier cherries, Napoleon cherries are considered to be in the “sweet” category, although they are a bit tart too (just not overwhelmingly so). People tend to eat them raw because of their delicious taste. Napoleon cherries are rather large and are usually a light red/pink color (sometimes they even look yellow), closely resembling Rainier cherries, which can lead to a lot of confusion.

Napoleon cherries are most commonly grown in Oregon and Michigan. You can find them both fresh and canned in the United States. If you wish to grow these types of cherries, remember that like most sweet cherry trees, they do not self-pollinate. They also do not grow well in areas with warm weathers.

Why go with Napoleon cherries over other types of sweet cherries? Well, Napoleon cherries are particularly good for canning. This is because they are rather large and juicy with firm skin; they do better through the canning process. This is one of the reasons Royal Ann cherries are used to make Maraschino cherries.

As is the case with other sweet types of cherries, Napoleon cherries do have health benefits. While these benefits are not as strong as with sour cherries, they are significant enough to mention. Cherries’ antioxidant properties have been known to reduce the risk of cancer in those who consume them regularly. With sweet cherries like the Napoleon, you just want to make sure you’re not overdoing it on the sugar intake. Napoleon cherries also contain vitamin C, which acts as a boost for your immune system.


Superberries Aroniaberry Wellness Shot Review

by admin on October 28, 2014

Superberries Aroniaberry Wellness Shot ReviewSuperberries contacted us about reviewing their Aroniaberry Wellness Shots.  After taking a look at the ingredients of the shots, I agreed to a review.

The Superberries Aroniaberry Wellness Shot has a great dark berry flavor.  It’s USDA organic, gluten free, dairy free, fat free and has no GMO ingredients.

Each shot has a high ORAC value 18, 658 per bottle.  The shots are made of powerful antioxidant formula consisting of the aronia berry, acerola berry and green tea, making it great for immune systems and energy boosts.

Nutrition Facts for the Superberries Aroniaberry Wellness Shot

Serving Size: 2 FL Oz
Servings Per Container: 1
Calories: 60
Total Carbohydrates: 14g
Sugars 13g
Vitamin C 60 mg  100%
Vitamin B6 40 mg 2000%
Vitamin B12 550 ug 8333%
Magnesium 50g 13%

* Percent Daily Values based on 2,000 calorie diet.

Superberries Aroniaberry Wellness Shot Review 2

You can buy Superberries Aroniaberry Wellness Shots on Amazon or through Superberries’ website.  Use Coupon Code “AFRUITS5″ to receive a $5 discount code from Superberries’ website.

Here is our arrival video:

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Here is our final review video:

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We received the Superberries Aroniaberry Wellness Shots for review from the manufacturer.  Receiving the free product did not influence this post.

Be sure to join Superberries on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


Morello Cherries

by admin on October 26, 2014

Morello Cherry TreeOut of the long list of different types of cherries, sour cherries are the ones given the littlest amount of attention. This is understandable when it comes to eating sour cherries raw, but they have great uses in the kitchen. Morello cherries are one type of sour cherry that are so tart, most people can’t bear to eat them plain. For this reason, Morello cherries make great jams and fillings. In fact, they are even better than sweet cherries as fillings because sweet cherries often lose a great deal of their taste when exposed to high temperatures for cooking.

If you’re interested in growing your own cherries, Morello cherries could work out well for you. The Morello cherry tree requires moist Morello Cherries on the vinesoil and is self-pollinating. This means all you need is one tree to grow more. On top of that, sour cherries like Morello attract fewer pests than sweet cherries do. Birds still love Morello cherries though so you’ll have to watch out.

Sweet cherries like Rainier cherries may be more popular than Morello cherries due to taste, but Morello cherries are healthier. Tart cherries contain less sugar than sweet ones, which is always a good thing in this sugar-saturated world. Tart cherries have high levels of anthocyanins, flavonols, phenolic acids, and phytochemicals. These antioxidants can improve heart functioning, immune systems, and blood pressure. Studies have even recently been conducted providing evidence that tart cherries can help with sleep cycles. Individuals who consumed more tart cherry juice had increased levels of melatonin, which  helped to regulate their sleep cycles.


Moist Banana Bread Recipe

by admin on October 24, 2014

Welcome Home Brands Paper BakewareThe following Moist Banana Bread Recipe was sent to us by one of our readers. This is a perfect basic banana bread recipe that she claims is the best banana bread. Her mom has made it for years. She also mentioned that this a great recipe for those bananas that turn brown. Not ready to make this banana bread recipe? No problem. Just freeze your brown bananas (don’t worry about a bag, they usually don’t have a freezer burn problem) in the freezer and then thaw out the night before you want to make the bread. Of course, using older bananas like this (the mushy kind) will make the moist banana bread.


1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs
1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (to make it more moist–add another mashed banana or use two “brown” bananas)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Oven 350 degrees

Cream together shortening and sugar; add eggs and beat well. Sift together the dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternating with banana, blending well after each addition. Stir in nuts.

Pour into well-greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake in moderate oven (350) 45 to 50 minutes or till done. Remove from pan; cool on rack. Wrap and store overnight.

Do you have a banana bread recipe that you’d like to share? Please contact with the recipe and we will post it on the site! Or post it below in the comments!



Nutrition Facts Ever wondered why bananas are one of the most popular fruits out there? It’s rare to go into a supermarket’s fruit section and not see a display dedicated specifically to them. This is because not only are they delicious, but they’re also extremely healthy while being one of the many fiber rich fruits out there.

Some health benefits are:

  • B Vitamins
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium

They can help with:

Physical Health Benefits of Bananas

Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, vitamins B6 and C, and magnesium. What’s not to love about them? A diet high in bananas keeps you from bruising as easily thanks to the potassium content. This combination of vitamins and minerals is hard to ignore. The nutrition facts of bananas are simply outstanding and can help with a multitude of physical problems. Here’s a list of the issues that can be fixed by increasing your daily intake of these antioxidant fruits:

Anemia: Thanks to bananas’ iron content; they are able to stimulate the production of hemoglobin in your blood, which is incredibly helpful to those with iron-deficiency anemia. This is preferable to taking large doses of iron supplements regularly.

Blood Pressure: The fact that bananas are high in potassium while low in salt make them great for dealing with blood pressure issues. Because they are so efficient at this, the FDA has approved these claims so that producers of bananas can officially market their product using this information!

Constipation: Why take laxatives when you can eat a fruit that has a high fiber content? Bowel problems don’t stand a chance when you involve bananas in your diet.

Hangovers: In combination with honey, bananas can be made into a milkshake that soothes the stomach, builds up blood sugar levels (which are often depleted as a result of drinking), and re-hydrates you after a rough night.

Heartburn: Bananas are natural antacids so you can eat some when heartburn becomes a real problem.

Morning Sickness: Keeping blood sugar levels up reduces morning sickness while supplying nutrients to you and your baby.

Mosquito Bites: You can rub the inside of a banana peel against your mosquito bites to reduce swelling and irritation. Banana peels are usually thrown away, so this is a good way to get some use out of them so you don’t have to buy special lotions for your insect bites.

Ulcers: Bananas are able to neutralize the acids in your stomach, which is particularly helpful when dealing with ulcers. Other fruits are so acidic that they tend to make the problem worse. Eating bananas can actually reduce irritation because they coat the lining of your stomach while neutralizing it.

Temperature Control: Cultures around the world have relied on bananas to reduce body temperature in expectant mothers.

Smoking: Bananas, due to their vitamins B6 and B12 and minerals potassium and magnesium, help the body when dealing with nicotine withdrawal, which can have rather unpleasant effects on smokers who are trying to quit.

Strokes: The New England Journal of Medicine has published studies saying that eating bananas regularly reduces your chance of stroke by a whopping 40%.

Warts: The inside of a banana peel, when placed on a wart and taped there for a while, can help to get rid of pesky warts. This beats using the freezing or drying out methods of most medications.

Mental Health Benefits of Bananas

Bananas also do a lot of good for your mental health. The tryptophan in bananas can make sufferers of depression feel better, as well as those with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Daily intake of bananas increases brain power, while the high vitamin B content of them reduces anxiety. People who are stressed tend to deal with a drop in potassium. This can be remedied by eating more bananas because they are high in the mineral. When you look at bananas’ nutrition data, it’s hard not to consider them a superfruit!

Thinking about cooking with one? You can always check out’s Fruit Recipe Page to find unique recipes of specific fruits found on this site. is looking for recipes with this fruit, like:

Do you have an old favorite that you’d like to submit to They contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. This great fruit gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy

More on Bananas on

How to Freeze Bananas for Smoothies – Best Way to Freeze Bananas – Antioxidant-fruits

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by admin on October 22, 2014

This page contains additional information about pomegranates, sometimes misspelled: pomagranite, pomegranite, pomigranate. If you would like to learn the basics of this fruit, please visit our main page about pomegranates (pomagranite, pomegranite, pomigranate). If you are interested in reading further, be our guest, or there is a link on the main pomegranate page that will take you to this one as well. Thank you.

The following questions were sent to by a website reader. Joe Real was kind enough to provide answers and further insight. If you have more questions about pomegranates, please do not hesitate to contact

Where can I purchase bulk of pomegranate – pomagranite?
and what is the price/pomegranate – pomagranite?

Is this is commercial scale question. So the pricing would be per ton, but the question is per fruit, so I am confused as to what will be asked. Likewise the freight charges would be on per big shipping containers that are refrigerated to delay over-ripening or controlled so that when the shipment arrives, they would have the targeted ripeness on the fruit stand. Or it could be shipped via postal air and the shipping charges would be sky high on per gram basis.

How many bearing pomegranate – pomagranite trees are there in Dubai?

Dubai has negligible land area grown for agricultural exports. My
latest query to the UN FAO database on horticultural and agricultural land area of various countries, Dubai is below the radar to be included in the listing. Whatever Dubai produces may all be destined for local consumption only. The pomegranates from Dubai might have been obtained from elsewhere like Afghanistan or Iran. So the middlemen tax may have been added to the pricing. That much I know about Dubai. I have tabulated world agricultural areas and am sure that Dubai’s agricultural output is not significantly marketed to the world. They could be agricultural brokers though. Speaking of which, if the orders are commercial scale per ton, you would negotiate with these brokers for the pricing and freight.

How many fruits (average) are being harvested per pomegranate – pomagranite tree?

Why get pomegranate fruits from Dubai? Afghanistan and Iran are the popularly known places to produce the “best” (relative definition)pomegranate in the world. Most probably Dubai’s pomegranates for sale would have come from these places.

What is the projected growth in terms of harvest and plantation? How much was the average historical prices for pomegranate fruit?

California and Australia have been continuously expanding their
plantings of pomegranates. And California’s pomegranates are getting better too. The world’s demand for pomegranates are hard to satiate at the moment.

What is the projected price of pomegranate – pomagranite? How much is the freight in fom dubai to Philippines?

The price of pomegranate on a per fruit basis here in California could range from $0.50/fruit to $2.89/fruit depending on size, quality and cultivar. But that is California’s price. About 98% of California’s fresh pomegranate for sale are from Wonderful variety, heavily planted by Paramount farms. Upcoming in the horizon, from various recent plantings would be Angel Red and Saveh.

We can grow excellent tasting pomegranates – pomagranites too in the Philippines if somebody would care enough to spend time to test and select from what we have gathered. I have given some pomegranate seeds and cuttings to our fellow rarefruiters for evaluation. We can also find areas in the Philippines that are excellent for pomegranate growing. Most of our existing cultivars are tart or bland and hard seeded. At the USDA
Germplasm alone, there are more than 1,500 pomegranate cultivar
accessions, and surely a few of them would be suited to our local
conditions. We can also evaluate what we have at hand.

One thing that I have observed, pomegranates are no longer becoming a fad, it is going mainstream here. From the latest World Ag Expo 2009 that I attended, that was the assessment of the growers world wide. We don’t want to miss the boat by dismissing this as a fad, there is still plenty of time to get on board, the market is still young.

Pomegranates will grow in the Philippines!

Afterall, it originated in Southern Asia, and was only adopted by people in the Mediterranean areas. Although vast majority of the publications have claimed that pomegranates are native or endemic to the middle east, such as Iran and North India. One of these days, a genetic map of pomegranate would help pinpoint the most likely origin. But regardless, what is important to point out is that there are evidences that pomegranates have been grown in South Asia for as long as that in the Middle East. So the climate is not really an excuse for Filipinos not to try one. Just find the suitable cultivars. Certainly, those best tasting in the Mideast may not be suited to our humid climates, but we haven’t tested many cultivars. We need real work to test these, and not internet searches to find the answer as to what cultivars would grow and taste the best. That is where most RFSP members can join-in and report their own personal findings if the Philippine government has no time nor money to spend on such endeavor.



Native Vitality Organic Maca Root Powder Review 4Native Vitality contacted us about reviewing their Organic Maca Root Powder.  Since theirs is gelantized, I was interested in giving it a go.

The gelantized-ness of the Native Vitality Organic Maca Root Powder just means that it has been slightly cooked through pressure and heat to make it easier for digestion and more absorbed by the body.  The pressure and heat from the cooking process takes out all the starch, making it more nutrient-dense. You’ll see in the videos that “gelantized” does not mean that it has a gelatin consistency.

In Peru, they NEVER eat it Raw, only “cooked”. It ends up being slightly more expensive, but you get 90% more absorbtion, therefore, you see more dramatic results. Also, many people who take raw maca complain about intestanal cramping, with gelatinized, this will not happen.

Native Vitality Organic Maca Root Powder Review

I followed the 3 teaspoons of maca powder a day for about 30 days and got through about 1/2 the bag.  I found that it helped to settle my stomach.  I can’t say much for my energy, as I have a pretty high energy level that comes standard, so it’s not a good base.

Many people take Maca Powder because it increases energy, helps with loss of libido, increases stamina, athletic performance, helps with mental clarity and balances hormones.  For women, in particular, it has been known to help with PMS and also with menopause symptoms.

Native Vitality Organic Maca Root Powder is 100% natural, USDA organic, gluten free, Non-GMO and vegan.  There are no preservatives or artificial colors.

It has an earthy taste with a nutty flavor.  Tastes like maca!

You can buy Native Vitality Organic Maca Root Powder on Amazon – they’ll also send you a PDF of a really great recipe book.  They sent me a copy and there are some great recipes for meals, desserts, smoothies and more.

Here is our arrival video:

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Here is our final review video:

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I asked to interview Native Vitality for the review – as I wanted to learn more too – below is a short bio with the questions I asked and the answers provided.  Please do let me know in the comments if you have additional questions for them.

We are a small family owned company that started out with Maca because most people were not educated on the Raw vs. Gelatinized. People should NEVER consume raw maca…ever. So, when we started searching for the best maca, we realized that some of the most popular brands had a very sub-par product or added “additives” to their maca (I am guessing for price reasons).

We searched and only work with a single family farm that is committed to producing the absolute highest quality maca root anywhere. They have been farming their family lands for over 100 years and that is all they do. Since we are their only customer, we actually help them pay for their organic certifications and such.

So, we can say, without a doubt that we have the highest quality maca available. Period.

Is Organic Maca Powder the only product that NativeVitality currently makes?

Yes, we are a small family-owned company that is dedicated to producing the highest quality and most pure maca available. As Native Vitality Maca continues to reach more people we will be expanding our product offerings.

How did you come about wanting to package and sell organic Maca Powder?

We have done quite a bit of research on some of the best superfoods on the market today. We found that Maca can help a wide variety of people and ages, so we went with Maca Powder as our very first product so we could help the most people.

Do you ingest Maca powder every day?  How do you like to take it?

Yes, I take it everyday, but about once a month, I take a few days off. I mix about a tablespoon and a half in my morning coffee and have about two cups every morning. My wife mixes it in her peanut butter (she loves peanut butter) and eats it regularly out of the jar or on sandwiches or with carrots or apples. We also cook and bake with it constantly.

Have you seen a difference in your own body by taking Maca powder daily?

Absolutely. My entire life, I have struggled with being able to focus and having zero to no energy by mid-day. After taking maca, I can focus like crazy (it has replaced my ADD meds, I no longer take them). For one of my wife’s closest friends, her PMS symptoms included intense cramping, and she has delt with this her entire adult life. She now hardly has any cramping and has never been more happy.

Who is the ideal candidate to take maca powder?

Almost everyone. The foods we eat today are generally lacking the proper nutrition and our lifestyles are pretty high stress with family, kids and work. Native Vitality Maca Powder is a natural adaptogen, which means it even’s out your hormones naturally. So, no matter what hormones are out of whack (we are all different), it will work for you. However, if someone is on thyroid or menopause medications, I would consult your doctor first.

Why does it matter if it is gelatinized?

In Peru, where most maca is grown and consumed regularly, it is only eaten in gelatinized form, never raw. Raw maca can give intestinal cramping, gas/bloating and is generally not nearly as absorbable.

Here is a great website where you can learn about the benefits of maca.

We received the Native Vitality Organic Maca Root Powder for review from the manufacturer.  Receiving the free product did not influence this post.


Blueberry Tart

by admin on October 20, 2014

Blueberry TartBlueberry Tart

From the Cleveland Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook, copyright 2007, published by Broadway Books.

Frozen puff pastry comes to the rescue for a quickly assembled dessert that can be adapted as various seasonal fruits arrive at the market.

Makes 12 servings


  • Refrigerated butter-flavored cooking spray
  • 1 quart fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup sugar substitute
  • Unbleached all-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (1/2 of a 17.3 oz. package), thawed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Frozen light whipped topping, thawed (optional)


1. Preheat the over to 400°F. Coat a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Place the berries in a bowl. Stir in cornstarch, lemon zest and sugar substitute, making sure that all berries are well coated.

3. On a lightly floured board, roll the puff pastry to a 12 x 14-inch rectangle. Place on the prepared baking sheet.

4. Mound the berries on the pastry, leaving a 1-1/2 inch border. Fold in the four corners. Using wet fingers bring up the border of the dough over the edge of the berries, pleating as you go to form a rustic free-form oval or rectangle. Sprinkle the berries with lemon juice.

5. Generously coat the top of the tart with cooking spray and bake 40 to 45 minutes, until the berries are cooked and the pastry is golden.

6. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of light whipped topping, if desired.

Calories: 140
Protein: 2g
Carbs: 20g
Fiber: 3g
Fat: 6g
Sodium: 70mg

VARIATION: Apple Currant Tart

Substitute 3 large peeled, thinly sliced Granny Smith apples for the berries. Add ¼ cup dried currants that have been softened in 2 tablespoons dry sherry. Reduce the sugar substitute to 2 tablespoons. Add ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Bake according to master recipe.

Looking for more delicious ways to eat healthy? You’ll find 150 taste-tempting recipes in the Cleveland Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook.

If you have any suggestions on recipes to add to this website, please contact us

More Blueberry Tart Recipes: