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Lemon-cherry cheesecake

Organic cherries are back in Kroger’s organic produce section. I know this because they are one of the few organic products that are actually kept in an organic section rather than strung out everywhere in the store. Since cherries are usually only available briefly, now’s the time to whip out that cherry pitter and try those luscious-looking cherry recipes you’ve been waiting to make.

This recipe for lemon-cherry cheesecake is from Lisa Viger’s web site, Raw on $10 a Day (or Less), and it looks positively scrumptious. It’s on my short list, and I hope to make it soon, but I can tell from the recipe that it’ll be really good.

This recipe reminds me of all the reasons I love cherries. The flavor is primary, of course. I can eat fresh cherries with absolutely nothing on them and be perfectly satisfied. But they add so much to other dishes that it’s always fun to try new recipes. Then there are the health benefits of cherries. They contain vitamin C and an assortment of other powerful antioxidants and are known to prevent cancer, arthritis, gout, and a variety of other diseases and conditions. They can lower your blood pressure. Cherries increase your melatonin too, so you may get a better night’s sleep. They even fight belly fat.

In the 1980s, I came down with the flu on my way to a weaving convention. By the time I arrived and checked into my room in the dorm, I was miserable and hacking uncontrollably. After listening to me hack for awhile, my back-to-nature roommate brought out a large jug of fresh raw cherry juice that she had just made at home and kindly gave me a glass of it. It was delicious, and I stopped coughing for awhile. She kept giving me cherry juice throughout the weekend, which was the first time I realized how therapeutic cherries—or any fruit or vegetable—can be.

If American medicine ever reaches its true potential, doctors will prescribe fruits and vegetables for most ailments instead of pharmaceutical drugs, and getting well will be a lot more fun—not to mention safer and less expensive. Of course, that may be awhile in coming—if ever. In the meantime, just try this cheesecake recipe and enjoy the flavor.