Everyone has a favorite summer memory stuck in their head: swimming at the lake, summer camp, spending time with grandparents, or running around the sprinklers, to name a few. For me, it's cherry picking. I used to go cherry picking with my family and pick about 10 pounds of cherries every summer. After that, we would celebrate by coming home and baking a fresh cherry pie. Even after we made the pie, we would still have pounds and pounds of cherries left over, so we used to freeze them or turn them into jam.

While cherries are small, they have lots of antioxidants and fibers.  Fiber helps to regulate bowel movement, while antioxidants can decrease risk of harmful ailments, such as cancer. In addition, they also have melatonin, which helps you sleep. Though cherry pie may be the first thing that comes to mind when you have extra cherries, there are many different ways to use them.  Here are my ten favorite cherry recipes.

1. Cherry Kale Salad 

One of my favorite ways to incorporate cherries into a savory dish is to throw them into a salad. Salads like this one are packed with proteins, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables to keep you full after your meal. This salad incorporates feta cheese, avocados, and walnuts. The feta cheese has a nice salty flavor to it, which enhances the smooth avocado. The cherries provide a nice color and burst of sweetness, while the walnuts give a nice crunch. This salad is tossed in a delicious cherry balsamic vinaigrette to make for a simple and healthy lunch. 

2. Cherry Cheesecake Coffee Cake 

This cake is truly a match made in heaven. I mean, coffee cake and cheesecake? Who wouldn't love that? While eating dessert for breakfast isn't the healthiest practice, you will want to make an exception for this recipe. This coffee cake combines the creamy filling of a cheesecake and the buttery crumble topping from a coffee cake. The recipe uses canned cherries for the filling, which makes baking quick and easy.

3. Cherry Açaí Bowl

Everyone loves açaí bowls, smoothie bowls made from açaí berries and often topped with granola, coconut, fruits, honey, or chocolate. However, many açaí bowls contain lots of sugar, thanks to the toppings people load onto them.  These cherry açaí bowls are made from a base of unsweetened açaí and frozen cherries to make for a smooth base layer. Instead of nut butter and granola, this bowl is topped off with toasted coconut, fresh cherries, and pumpkin seeds in order to avoid a sugar overload. Cherries are packed with fiber, which keeps blood sugar from spiking, as it helps to absorb the sugar more slowly. The bowl is a revitalizing, refreshing, and healthy breakfast.

4.  Chocolate Covered Cherries 

We've all heard of chocolate covered strawberries, but have you heard of chocolate covered cherries? Unlike chocolate covered strawberries that are just dipped in chocolate, these cherries are covered in a fondant-like layer first. While this recipe uses maraschino cherries, fresh cherries work too. Whether you use maraschino or fresh, they are bound to be delicious. 

#SpoonTip: Make sure to pit the fresh cherries. 

5. Cherry Baked Brie 

This dish is perfect for everyone who enjoys a combination of sweet and savory dishes, like I do. While it may seem strange to eat fruit with cheese, the combination works well together. The first step of making this appetizer is to add the brie to an oven-safe dish, then add on the canned cherry filling. Then, it is baked at 350 degrees, until bubbling hot. The result? An ooey-gooey puddle of cheese topped off with sweet cherries.  It goes perfectly with graham crackers, or you can eat it by the spoonful. 

6.  Cherry Cheesecake Eggrolls 

Growing up, my mom often made fresh egg rolls at home using pork, vegetables, and taro. Although I love egg rolls, I was skeptical about these cherry cheesecake egg rolls, especially because of the idea of warm cream cheese.  However, after seeing all the promising reviews from this recipe, I wanted to give it a try. It only requires four ingredients, and the process of making the egg rolls is quite simple. The exterior is nice and crispy while the interior is smooth, creamy, and sweet. If you want a dessert that's both unique and exciting, you should definitely make these cherry cheesecake egg rolls.

7. Chocolate Cherry Blondies

We all love a good brownie, but have you ever tried a blondie? Essentially, it is a mix between a brownie and a cookie, so you get the best of both worlds. These blondies are filled with fresh cherries and semi-sweet chocolate chips. They're dense, fudgy, soft, and sweet. If you bring this to a summer get-together, they'll be gone in a jiffy. 

8. Cherry Crostini

This cherry crostini is a delicious, simple appetizer that is perfect for summer parties. It starts off with a freshly toasted French baguette, layered with creamy cottage cheese and topped with cherries, mint, almonds, and a drizzle of honey. This appetizer combines elements of sweet, savory, and tangy to make for a perfect summer bite.

9.  Cherry Chicken 

Chicken is my favorite source of protein because it's cheap, healthy, delicious, and goes well with many different herbs, spices, and even fruits. With the abundance of cherries during the summertime, it is a wonderful way to use up cherries in a savory dish.  This chicken dish features a delicious glaze featuring sweet red cherries and a splash of brandy. It is topped off with almonds to give it a little bit of crunch. 

10. Paleo Cherry Garcia Ice Cream

I have yet to come across a person who dislikes ice cream. This Cherry Garcia ice cream is inspired by Ben and Jerry's, but without the dairy and refined sugars. The recipe uses coconut milk, frozen cherries, and chocolate chunks to mimic the taste of Ben and Jerry's iconic flavor while being paleo-compliant. In addition, it can be made vegan if you replace the honey with maple syrup. 

Even if you aren't a fan of cherry pie, you can still enjoy cherries in many different recipes. Not only are the little stone fruits delicious, but they're also nutritious. Whether you toss them into a salad, make them into coffee cake, use them to season chicken, or just eat them alone, make sure you eat some cherries this summer.