This tart cherry fruit leather is a healthy, all natural snack you can easily make at home and perfect for pre or post workout fuel.
Well, the 7-day Tart Cherry Juice Challenge is over and I don’t think I could’ve picked a better week to test it out on.
Here’s just some of what went down at crossfit the week of the challenge:
10 rope climbs
200 double unders
50 box jumps
timed mile run
I think that’s a pretty good test for these little tart cherries, no?
I got my 2 servings in by starting my day with either a glass of juice, mixing some concentrate into my yogurt or, having a bowl of tart cherry chocolate granola and then I’d either grab some more juice post-workout or make a smoothie using the dried fruit or concentrate mixed with some protein powder.
I’m sore every week after crossfit but, there are certain moves that when I see them on the board, my body starts aching just looking at them. Aka: pistols and thrusters. My glutes are usually so ridiculously tight (even after foam rolling my heart out) after those that just getting out of bed the next day is a process. So, given the 100 pistols we did the day before Fran and her 45 thrusters, I fully expected to not be able to even walk the day of the Spartan race.
Surprisingly though, I made it through the race and actually felt fine the next day. Tired, but not aching all over and hobbling around the house like I expected for a few days. Soreness after a workout is caused by inflammation, muscle damage and oxidative stress. It’s believed that the compounds in tart cherries may help with alleviating all three of those things when consumed before and after a workout. I have to say, I’m a believer after the challenge.
This tart cherry fruit leather is another great way to get in a serving of tart cherries before or after your workout to aid in recovery. While I’m totally down with just guzzling a glass of juice, fruit leather is a fun snack that I don’t think many realize is super simple to make at home where you can control the sugars and everything else that goes into it. Translation: no corn syrup, dried corn syrup and when it says “cherry” there’s actually cherries in it instead of pear concentrate. I mean, woah, that’s just crazy talk, right?
If you want to give the 7-Day Tart Cherry Challenge a try, you can find dried tart cherries and cherry juice in most stores. All three items are also on Amazon:
- 1 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
- 1/4 cup tart cherry juice
- 1/2 cup water
- zest of 1 lime
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave
- Soak dried cherries in the cherry juice and water overnight.
- Place cherries with the liquid into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Transfer mixture to a small sauce pot, add the lime zest, juice and honey/agave and simmer for about 5 minutes over medium-low heat.
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
- Spread mixture out onto a large baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper into a thin even layer.
- Bake for 6-8 hours, turning the baking sheet every hour until it becomes just lightly tacky.
- Carefully peel the fruit leather off the baking mat/parchment paper and cut into strips.
- Store with parchment paper between strips in an airtight container.
*This post is sponsored by Choose Cherries. All opinions and content expressed are my own. This post also contains links to my Amazon affiliate page. Any revenue made from sales through these links helps to support this blog. Thanks!