Actually, I really don't give a darn about honoring the Cherry Festival. As a local, Cherry Festival tends to bring thoughts of obnoxious tourists, traffic jams, and GARBAGE. EVERYWHERE. Seriously, downtown is pretty much wrecked after the Festival each summer. I just hate seeing people litter. It's one of my pet peeves. My purse is always full of gum wrappers, napkins, etc simply because I'd rather haul my trash around with me than just throw it in the street. But um...there are literally trash cans on every block downtown, so I'll never see why people feel the need to litter. It's sad.
HOWEVER. I do thoroughly enjoy cherries. In fact, I ate close to two cups of dried tart cherries the other night! Their taste reminds me of Fruit Roll-Ups, only...way better. And healthier.
Do you know that cherries are an awesome source of antioxidants? Antioxidants are known to help reduce one's risk of heart disease and diabetes later in life. There's a lot of research being done on these guys right now, actually -- if you want to learn more, go here:
I made this butter the other night to finish satisfying my massive cherry craving. The cherries in it serve as a pretty decent sweetener, but I ended up adding a bit of honey so the butter wouldn't be so goopy.
Cherry Almond Butter
1 cup toasted almonds
1/4 cup oil of choice (peanut oil worked just fine)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dried tart cherries
2 tbsp - 1/4 cup honey (depends on how big your sweet tooth is!)
Blend everything except for the honey until smooth. Then add your honey and blend until you see it start to thicken -- this should only take 10-15 seconds.
...I had a picture, but you know...it looks just like all my other butter pictures, so I really doubt it would be worth posting! ;)