Healthy Homemade Maraschino Cherries (all-natural with no sugar added!) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

These Healthy Homemade Maraschino Cherries are perfect in drinks like Shirley Temples and boozy cocktails, desserts like Banana Splits and creamy Homemade Vanilla Frozen Yogurt, or even regular yogurt, parfaits and more!  No need for the alcohol, artificial food dyes, high fructose corn syrup and preservatives whatsoever.

Healthy Homemade Maraschino Cherries (all-natural with no sugar added!) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

While I was sad that these Homemade Maraschinos didn’t turn out bright red like the storebought stuff, I did some research on how Maraschino Cherries are made.  It’s actually a very long and complicated process (longer than DIY Vanilla Extract!).  I’m pretty impatient so no way on earth was I going to buy a special tool kit and start from scratch…  oh yeah, did I mention that we’d have to brine a bunch of cherries for a month and a half?  I would probably forget about it in the very back corner of my fridge and they would stay there for eternity.  I’ll settle with dark reddish-purple cherries that still have a bit of “crunch” and burst with every bite.  At least the Maraschino juice ended up a vibrant red!  And packed full of flavor too, I could drink it straight  ;)

Healthy Homemade Maraschino Cherries (all-natural with no sugar added!)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 45 cherries

Serving Size: 3 cherries

Calories per serving: 25

Fat per serving: 0g

Healthy Homemade Maraschino Cherries (all-natural with no sugar added!)

These Healthy Homemade Maraschino Cherries are perfect when added to drinks like Shirley Temples and boozy cocktails, desserts like Banana Splits and creamy Homemade Vanilla Frozen Yogurt, or even regular yogurt, parfaits and more! No need for the artificial food dyes, high fructose corn syrup and preservatives whatsoever.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place the cherries into sealable jars (I used 2 mason jars) and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, water, cherry flavor and almond flavor.
  3. Whisk in the stevia, food coloring and salt.
  4. Pour the mixture evenly into the jars, seal and refrigerate for 1 week before using.

Notes

**No need to defrost the cherries. I got a giant bag of frozen organic cherries at Costco. 2 cups cherries = 45 cherries for me (weighed 375g)

This DIY recipe is: fat free, sugar free, gluten free and vegan!

http://dessertswithbenefits.com/healthy-homemade-maraschino-cherries/

I like this ingredient list much better than the jars you can get at the store.  Storebought Maraschino Cherries are typically made with the following ingredients:

Cherries, Water, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate (Preservatives), FD&C Red 40, and Sulfur Dioxide (Preservative).

Basically:

Sugar, Preservatives, Food Coloring.

Hmmm…  I’ll skip all that, thanks.  Not only because it’s unhealthy but because the process of making your own Maraschinos is fun!  And super easy, too.

So now that you’ve seen the ingredients in both the storebought vs. homemade cherries, I’ll show you the nutrition labels for the two.  On the left is the nutrition label for storebought Maraschino Cherries and on the right is the nutrition label for the healthified Desserts with Benefits Maraschino Cherries:

Unhealthy Maraschino Cherries nutrition label - Desserts with Benefits  Healthy Homemade Maraschino Cherries (all-natural with no sugar added!) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

As you can see, there isn’t much of a difference between the two labels.  But it isn’t all about calories and carbs and sugar, it’s about the quality of the ingredients used, the nutrients in the ingredients used, and of course the flavor!!

Healthy Homemade Maraschino Cherries (all-natural with no sugar added!) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

I’m going to try this recipe again once sweet cherries are back in season!

Can’t. Wait. :)

Labels: Cherries, DIY, Fat-Free, Gluten-Free, Icings-Frostings-and-Spreads, Lemon, Low-Sugar, No-Bake, Nutrition-Label, Sugar-Free, Vegan

Comments (13)

  1. Emily: March 28, 2014

    Haha such a great idea! Your pictures are beautiful, as always :)

  2. dessertswithbenefits: March 28, 2014

    Awww, thanks Emily! :)

  3. Shandra Grace: March 28, 2014

    Yum, they look so good! Not gross like those maraschino cherries.

  4. Pamela: March 30, 2014

    What a great idea; so simple but so much better than store bought. Do you know if these could be preserved longer than a week in the frig if a sugarfree liqueur was added? If not, that gives me more of an excuse to gobble them up like I’m prone to do anyway. Love this blog and thanks so much for this excellent recipe; I’ve already pinned it to my sugarfree toppings board!

  5. dessertswithbenefits: March 31, 2014

    Pamela-
    Good idea! I’m sure the alcohol would help preserve the cherries. Next time I make this I’ll try out Skyy’s Cherry Vodka… it’s all natural and I’m pretty darn happy with their Strawberry Vodka ;)
    And I’m so happy to hear you like my blog! You just made my day :D
    -Jess

  6. Kasey: April 4, 2014

    Do you have a suggestion for an alternative sweetener I can try? I can’t use stevia. It’s a migraine trigger :(

  7. dessertswithbenefits: April 4, 2014

    Kasey-
    I wouldn’t recommend using a bulky granulated sweeter like white sugar, sucanat, coconut sugar, etc. because it won’t dissolve, it’ll stay crunchy and sink to the bottom :/
    I can’t really think of a good substitute for the liquid stevia because it’s a pretty unique ingredient. For the Stevia in the Raw, though, you can try out Monk Fruit in the Raw. I haven’t tried this, but it’s by the same company and it looks pretty much the same:
    http://www.amazon.com/Monk-Fruit-Raw-Sweetener-Ounce/dp/B00BMAGFCO/ref=pd_sim_gro_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=099ECRP1MF4TDFMJ9JWS
    Hope this helps! :)
    -Jess

  8. Kasey: April 4, 2014

    I’ve tried monk fruit before. I can try that. What do you think about honey? Asking your opinion and suggestions so I don’t waist ;) Thank you for the information. I’m new to trying alternative sweeteners beyond using fruit in baking. Besides our organic chocolate or bunny snacks I’ve pretty much eliminated our white sugar.

  9. dessertswithbenefits: April 5, 2014

    Kasey-
    Hmmm, I haven’t thought about using honey… but now that you mention it, it might work! However, it might sink to the bottom when the cherries sit in the fridge, and I wouldn’t recommend shaking the container because the cherries might tear apart :/ So just try to whisk the mixture well in the beginning until the honey gets fully incorporated. I hope this works out for you! :)
    -Jess

  10. Sophie Slater: April 7, 2014

    I just stumbled upon your blog while researching red walnuts and just wanted to say how inspiring and beautiful your blog and story are! Keep up the awesome work.

  11. dessertswithbenefits: April 7, 2014

    Sophie-
    Awww thank you so much!! I’m so glad you found my blog :) I hope you get to try a few of my recipes one day!
    -Jess

  12. Kristy: July 10, 2014

    What kind of cherries were the frozen ones? Sweet or sour cherries? They look like sweet cherries by the size, but I am not sure. Thanks

  13. dessertswithbenefits: July 11, 2014

    Kristy-
    Good question! I used the dark sweet cherries… and I used frozen because fresh wasn’t in season at the time :)
    Hope you like the recipe!
    -Jess

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