The Cherry Blog

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Food Trippin’ with Molly

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but summertime cherries are still on our mind!  Our farms and processing plants were honored to host an online food/travel show called “Food Trippin’ with Molly” this past July.  Molly and her crew did a wonderful job of showcasing our beautiful fruit and telling our story from cherry tree to ice cream cone.



Tailgate Treats!

Here are two excellent, easy recipes cherry recipes sure to be the hit of your next football party or tailgate!

Both of these recipes call for cherry pie filling.  We highly recommend you make your own using our frozen tart cherries grown right here in Leelanau County!




8oz cream cheese, softened

3.75 oz (1/2 of a 7oz jar) Marshmallow creme

8 oz Cool Whip, thawed

2 cups cherry pie filling

Vanilla Wafers, graham crackers, chocolate graham crackers

In a medium size bowl beat cream cheese and marshmallow crème until well combined.  Add Cool Whip and mix to combine.

Spread into a 2 quart dish or plate.  Top with cherry pie filling.  Serve with graham crackers and vanilla wafers.




1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

½ teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 cups cherry pie filling


1 ¼ cups confectioners sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoons milk (may take a little more to get to that right consistency to drizzle the glaze)



Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 15x10x1 jelly roll pan with cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, add the butter, sugar and salt, beat until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, again scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Add extracts and beat well.

Gradually add the flour and mix well to incorporate.

Spread 75% of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet.  The dough will be sticky so it will take some time to get the dough spread out evenly in the pan.  Top with the pie filling, leaving a ¼” margin from the edges of the pan.  Drop the remaining dough in about 1 teaspoon size drops over the filling.  It will flatten out some while baking.  Bake bar for 35 minutes or until edges and top is very lightly brown.  Allow bars to cool completely in pan on a wire rack.


In a medium size bowl mix confectioners sugar, extracts and the amount of milk to get a desired consistency to drizzle over the bars.  Evenly drizzle over the bars.


#runrecoverrepeat fitness challenge

A while back, we invited you participate in our #runrecoverrepeat fitness contest.  Many people had fun posting their photos using our products.  We are excited that many of you are using our products for their health benefits and nutritional properties.

The winner of the #runrecoverrepeat contest is Kelley Young from Ravenna, MI!  Thanks so much for using our products and sharing your experience with your Facebook page.  Your post led to a great conversation about cherries among your friends.

Keep working toward your fitness goals this summer.  Let us know how cherry concentrate is helping in your progress.  Share your experiences with your social friends, and by all means, keep using the #runrecoverrepeat hashtag!


Kelly young pic

Red Means Go- Tart Cherries and Muscle Recovery

Spring is in the air!  It seems like everywhere we look, people are outside, cleaning up yards, exercising, and enjoying a little warm weather.

The Cherry Marketing Institute has put together a fabulous resource page about the muscle recovery benefits of tart cherries.  That page can be found here.

Make sure you scroll to the middle of the webpage and download the Tart Cherry Recovery Recipes booklet.  In it, you will find great recipes for Cherry Good Oatmeal, Tart Cherry Recovery Gummies, Cherry Chocolate Chip Protein Bites, Cherry Revitalizer Smoothie, and Tart Cherry Mango Avocado Salad.

The wonderful versatility of our fruit is on full display in that recipe book.  Let us know if you use any of these recipes in your #runrecoverrepeat routine.

To your health!


7 Day Cherry Challenge

Elite athletes, weekend warriors, and regular Joe’s are finding muscle recovery and health benefits from drinking tart cherry juice.  In previous blog posts, we’ve shown you the sleep benefits of tart cherry juice and the muscle recovery benefits of tart cherry juice.

Hopefully by now, you’ve tried our concentrate or cherry capsules for yourself.  If you haven’t, now is the time!  Our industry partners at have started a 7 day tart cherry challenge.  You can learn more about it by clicking this link, which contains incredible resources, recipes, and tips on how to consume the benefits of tart cherries.

We are convinced that if you drink tart cherry juice or pop a couple of our cherry capsules twice a day, you will start to feel the benefits of our wonderful super fruit within 7 days!

So give the 7 day tart cherry challenge a try.  Let us know how it is going for you by leaving a comment below, or using the hashtag #runrecoverrepeat on your social media channels.

#runrecoverrepeat fitness contest

Leelanau Fruit Company tart cherry concentrate and cherry Plus capsules are fast becoming a favorite training aid for fitness enthusiasts and runners alike.  We’ve had a long winter in Northern Michigan, so to celebrate spring, we invite you to join our #runrecoverrepeat fitness community on Instagram and Facebook.

Every time you use the hashtag #runrecoverrepeat, you will enter to win a Leelanau Fruit fitness package that includes a performance tee shirt, hat, and all the cherry products you’ll need to #runrecoverrepeat all summer long!  The more posts you use #runrecoverrepeat on, the more times you’ll be entered to win.

So, after your next run, post a picture of your recovery tart cherry juice drink.  Add the hashtag #runrecoverrepeat.

Are you a morning runner? Show us a pic of a beautiful sunrise on your run with #runrecoverrepeat.

Love running with your dog?  A pic with your pooch and #runrecoverrepeat- you are entered to win!  The possibilities are endless.

This community and contest isn’t limited to runners though.  Do you love our concentrate for other reasons?  Did you just have a great night’s sleep after drinking tart cherry concentrate the night before?  Post your status or picture with #runrecoverrepeat and you’ll be entered to win too!

Don’t forget to stock up on our cherry concentrate and capsules for the your training. We will choose a random winner of the hashtag contest on May 27, the day before many of us run the Bayshore Marathon.  The winner will receive his or her LFC fitness package in time to train for and sign up for the National Cherry Festival of Races.

Tell us below in the comment section what races you are training for this summer.  We’d love to connect with you at some great Northern Michigan events this year!

#runrecoverrepeat and you’ll be in the best shape of your life!

Easter Holiday Recipes

Easter is fast approaching, and our maraschino cherries and glace fruit mixes can help make your holiday feast memorable this year.

Our maraschino cherries are available for purchase from our website, and our glace fruit mixes can be purchased and shipped by calling our office at 1-800-431-0718.

Let us know if you try these recipes and how they turn out!

Hot Cross Buns with Glace Fruit

4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) fast-rising yeast
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
1 – ¼ cups milk
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut into pieces
2 eggs
½ cup dark raisins
¾ cup (6 oz.) Leelanau Fruit Glace Fruit Mix
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 cup confectioners sugar
3 to 4 teaspoons milk

Combine 2 cups of the flour, yeast, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in large bowl. Heat milk and butter in small saucepan until butter is melted and milk registers 125 to 130 degrees; add to flour mixture mixing until smooth. Beat in eggs. Mix in enough remaining flour to make smooth dough; mix in raisins, pineapple and fruit & peel mix. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place dough in bowl; let rise, covered, in warm place until double in size, 30 to 45 minutes. Punch dough down.

Shape dough into 3 dozen balls; place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Let rise, loosely covered, until double in size, about 30 minutes. Beat egg white and water until foamy; brush over tops of rolls. Bake in preheated 375-degree oven until golden, about 20 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Mix confectioners sugar with enough milk to make thick glaze consistency. Drizzle a cross of frosting over the top of each roll.

Makes 3 dozen


Holiday Manhattan Bundt Cake with Spiked Bourbon Glaze

Manhattan Bundt cake


20 oz. Leelanau Fruit Maraschino Cherries

4 large eggs

1 tbs grated fresh orange zest

¾ c bourbon

2 tbsp sweet red vermouth

2 ½ c all-purpose flour

2c granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 ½ tsps. Salt

16 tbsp (2 sticks) salted butter, cut into chunks, softened


1 c powdered sugar

2 to 2 ½ tbsp. bourbon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  2. Drain cherries and reserve 6 cherries for garnish; roughly chop remaining cherries.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, orange zest, ¾ c bourbon and vermouth until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed, adding butter, 1 chunk at a time.  When all butter has been incorporated, beat at medium-low speed until mixture is crumbly, about 30 seconds.
  5. With mixer on low, add egg mixture in a steady stream. Scrape down the sides of the bow, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until batter is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Stir in chopped cherries.
  6. Lightly grease of spray a nonstick Bundt pan and pour batter evenly into pan. Rap on counter to release any air bubbles.  Bake in preheated oven on a lower rack until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.  Rotate the pan halfway through baking.  Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
  7. While cake is cooling, make the glaze. In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp bourbon until smooth.  (Start with 2 tbsp bourbon and add a little more if needed)
  8. Turn the cake out onto a cookie sheet or serving platter and drizzle with glaze while cake is still slightly warm. Garnish with reserved maraschino cherries.


Sleepy from Daylight Savings Time? Try tart cherries!

Many people have a love-hate relationship with daylight savings time.  They love having more daylight early in the morning, but they hate the way the time change affects their sleep patterns.

Research has shown that daily consumption of tart cherry concentrate about 90 minutes before you go to bed delivers natural melatonin to your body.  Tart cherries are a rare food that contains melatonin, and this melatonin helps your body regulate sleep.

The research behind tart cherries amazing ability to help regulate good sleep can be found here:

To see a few great clips of the Dr. Oz show and his investigation into tart cherries ability to help us sleep can be found here:

Our families sleep routine includes taking two Leelanau Fruit Co. Montmorency Cherry Plus Tart Cherry Capsules an hour and a half before we go to bed.   We sleep great and wake up refreshed.

Our Montmorency Tart Cherry Concentrate is also a great way to get your nighttime dose of cherry goodness.  The sweet-tart flavor is also great to quench that late night sweet tooth.

Let us know how our tart cherry products are helping you sleep by commenting below.  Happy Daylight Savings Time!

MontMOREncy… what does it all mean?


In an earlier blog post, we introduced you all to the term MontMOREncy cherry, and we promised an explanation. So what does MontMOREncy mean?

The Montmorency tart cherry is the most popular tart cherry grown in North America. These are the cherries you’ll find in your grandma’s cherry pie. Our dried cherries are made with a Montmorency tart cherry, as is our Tart Cherry Concentrate.

Farmers have long ago discovered that Montmorency tart cherries provide the greatest yield and are a great fruit to grow. Processors liked the Montmorency because it “pitted” well and the fruit held its flavor and color. Consumers loved the Montmorency for its sweet-tart flavor, its bright red skin, and its light flesh. Nature had developed her most perfect fruit!

Then in the early 2000’s, some researchers started poking and prodding our perfect fruit. Come to find out, our tasty Montmorency cherry is good for your health, too! The properties that give the Montmorency tart cherry its bright red pigment also has properties that promote wellness in humans, too.

You can learn more about the health and wellness benefits of tart cherries here, here, and here.

Want the science behind our superfruit in (almost) plain English? Click on this link.  It is a fantastic article.

Our industry has leveraged the strong clinical research and real world evidence of daily consumption of tart cherry juice into a wellness and health benefits message for consumers. Click on over to the industry page,, to learn about all the health benefits of tart cherries.

Unfortunately, our industry has been challenged by inferior, imported cherry juice being sold as equal to our Montmorency tart cherry juice and concentrate. This imported juice does not have the health benefit properties that our USA grown Montmorency tart cherry concentrate does.

There is a difference!

Our MontMOREncy tart cherry juice contains MORE of the natural wellness properties that make MontMOREncy tart cherries a superfruit.

And that is why we spell MontMOREncy with the emphasis on more. It’s proven that USA Montmorency cherries are a superior superfruit. So when you buy tart cherry juice concentrate, make sure the brand uses only USA grown MontMOREncy tart cherries.

At Leelanau Fruit Company, we always and only use MontMOREncy tart cherries. For us, our source of cherries is right down the street, at our own farms. It doesn’t get fresher than that!

And remember, February is National Cherry Month. Click on over to our online store to grab some tart cherry juice concentrate. With ever order in February, you will receive a free gift from us!

National Cherry Month Cherry Recipes

Already known for their high vitamin A and beta-carotene content, research suggests that it’s the bright red color of tart cherries that provides the anti-inflammatory benefits. The antioxidants in cherries are believed to reduce the pain of arthritis, inflammation and gout. Besides their many health benefits, they are also wonderful to eat or drink. We offer our cherries in frozen (no online sales), dried, maraschino and juice form.
Let’s celebrate this delicious and healthful fruit in recipes!


Cheery Cherry Cake
8 cups fresh or frozen (partially thawed) drained, pitted tart cherries
½ cup sugar
1 package yellow or white cake mix
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced almonds (or other chopped nuts)
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9x2” baking pan. Evenly spread cherries into the prepared pan. Sprinkle ½ cup sugar evenly over the fruit. Evenly shake cake mix over fruit and then sprinkle sliced almonds evenly over the top. Sprinkle the almond extract over the almonds. Place the butter slices evenly over the entire top of the cake. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake 50 -55 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Cool before serving. Enjoy!


Our Favorite Broccoli Salad
3 large heads broccoli, cut into bite size florets. The stem can be peeled and chopped into bite size pieces as well.
¼ cup chopped red onion
8 slices bacon, fried and chopped
1 cup dried cherries
½ cup toasted sunflower seeds
¼ toasted slivered almonds
In a large bowl mix the above ingredients.
Dressing; Mix in a small bowl:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
Mix the dressing with the salad ingredients one to two hours prior to serving. Keep refrigerated.


The Best Cherry Chicken Salad
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup toasted & chopped pecans
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 teaspoon horseradish
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup cubed apples (optional)
In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, horseradish, salt & pepper. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Cabbage Apple Cherry Slaw
½ cup apple juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ small green cabbage, thinly sliced
½ small red cabbage, thinly sliced
3 carrots, grated
3 green onions, sliced
½ cup dried cherries
1 apple, small cubes
In a large bowl whisk together the apple juice, vinegar, sugar, salt & pepper. Add the cabbage, carrots, green onion, cherries and apple. Toss well to coat.


Oatmeal Cookie Muffins
1 ½ cups flour
½ cups oats
½ tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons applesauce
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 brown sugar
1 egg
¾ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
¼ cup chocolate chips
¼ dried cherries
In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir well, set aside.
In a small bowl combine applesauce, butter, sugar, yogurt and egg.
Pour over the dry ingredients and fold until mixed. Add the chocolate chips and cherries.
Grease and fill 12 muffin tins ¾ of the way full. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick come out clean when inserted into the center.


Maraschino Cherry Fruit Salad
1 pint sour cream
2 cans each:
Pineapple tidbits, drained
Mandarin oranges, drained
1 bag mini marshmallows
1 bag coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sliced maraschino cherries
2 cups sliced or whole grapes
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Add sliced bananas and apple chunks just before serving.