Whether you are scouring for bargains on the grocery shelf, or have a glut of produce from your garden or PYO farm, these recipes are ideal to use up leftover foods in these lean times. Good for you and your pocket, the planet and local farmers, rather than buying ready-meals from big food brands and supermarkets.
Use vegan butters with no palm oil. Keep these recipes away from pets due to toxic ingredients (cherries are toxic and choking hazards along with fruit pips seeds). Also keep other toxic foods away from animal friends like dried fruits, nutmeg, fresh dough, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol and xylitol.
Here are some ways to use up a glut of cherries, if you’ve gone overboard at the PYO farm or community orchard (or you’re fortunate enough to have a cherry tree in your garden). If you eat a lot of cherries, kitchen shops sell cherry pitters to make life easier (also use to stone olives).
This syrup-sweetened vegan cherry ice cream (Lazy Cat Kitchen) is a nice simple recipe, made with golden syrup. The ice cream is made with soaked cashews to replace the milk or cream, and contains boozy optional amaretto, if wished. The creamy coconut milk is not overpowering, due to the rich flavour of the cherries. Some coconut milk brands are harvested by monkey slaves, so always choose a brand that does not use them. Biona and Nature’s Charm are two brands guaranteed not to use monkeys to climb tall trees, to harvest the coconuts.
Cherry trees take 40 years to bear fruit. But once they do, they are often good for harvesting. Keep cherry trees away from pets (see how to make your garden safe for pets). Whether you harvest or buy cherries, investing in a cherry pitter is a good idea, and can also be used to pit olives, to remove their stones. Cherries are delicious, and give a lovely rich red colour to any dessert. There are not many people who don’t like cherries, they are also delicious baked in an American pie, with vegan vanilla ice cream.
Making your own ice-cream is not just a good zero waste option for lovely desserts, but means you can push the boat out, to try different flavours beyond vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. You won’t find many cherry ice-creams in shops (let alone vegan ones). So making your own recipes like this, is nicer to eat, as well as healthier and kinder to animals.
This Cherry Pie with Flaky Pie Crust (Addicted to Dates) is a recipe by a classically-trained Irish baker. It can be made with fresh or frozen cherries. Use natural vanilla (fake vanilla can be made with castoreum from the castor glands of beavers) and cornstarch or arrowroot to thicken the sauce, so it’s not runny. The recipe is a simple case of cooking the filling, then letting them sit to release the cherry juices. The tasty filling is then poured into the pie crust, and you can even have a go at creating a lattice design, for fancy chefs! If not, then still slice into the pastry top, to let the steam escape. Brush a vegan butter on top, and sprinkle on some sugar, then bake until golden brown.
Christina also advises to learn how to preheat your oven to the correct temperature, this will mean the difference between soggy crusts and beautiful cakes and bakes. And chill the cooked pie an hour before serving, so the filling won’t slop over the plate! Serve with vegan vanilla ice-cream or custard. You can freeze leftovers in an airtight container, for a couple of months (thaw in the fridge overnight).
Vegan Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream (Addicted to Dates) is full of the flavours of German’s Black Forest. This easy dessert bursts with fresh juice and an ice-cream covered in boozy kirsch.