Cherry season has come and gone around here, but WOW, what a perfect place we live in to enjoy the fruits of the season. Not only do we have access to a wide selection of fruits, but we tend to get them more affordably then elsewhere in the country. All you have to do is check the local fruit stands, and even the packing sheds for the best deals.

Someone gave our family a large box of cherries this year. They’re the Van variety, which I’d never tried before. Super sweet and a good size. But what to do with them all? Well, besides eating them fresh or seeing who can spit the pit the farthest? (I don’t recommend eating too many in one sitting… LOL!)

Since I want to be able to enjoy fresh-picked fruit year-round, I preserve all I can by drying, canning or freezing.

My friend Christy came over one afternoon and helped me process and freeze cherries while we caught up with conversation. My daughter Hannah helped and we had a great assembly line! Here’s how to process the cherries for the freezer:

First, make sure you rinse all the fruit and WEAR GLOVES. Cherries can stain, especially bare hands!

I don’t own a cherry pitter…oh wait that’s ME! It’s not a make or break issue with me. If you don’t have a pitter, simply use a hard plastic straw, one you would use for a water bottle. The straw size is close to that of the cherry pit. Simply line up the straw to the middle of the cherry, and push through. The pit should be either in the straw, or in the sink. This process has only light impact on the fruit. It’s just time consuming. But think of it this way: You’re spending a little time now so you can reap the benefits year-round.

Once pits are removed, place the cherries on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze. The next day, simply put them in a Ziploc freezer bag, or use a food-saver.  Then back in the freezer.

Next step: ENJOY! Cherries are absolutely delicious to eat frozen, so try it! My harvest crew preferred them frozen for snacking. Frozen cherries work great in smoothies as well, or just defrost and use in your favorite cherry dish!