Extraction of cherry juice and usages for the pulp

The juice of the cherries contains much of the health giving benefits of fresh cherries. So how to extract the juice from ripe cherries? Basically, this involves crushing the fruit and passing through a filter. There are two principal ways of extracting cherry juice. The first is the normal fruit press or “fresh juicers” which uses physical force to crush the cherries and separates the cherry extract from its pulp. The second way, applied in so called steam juicers, uses steam to make the cherry fruit walls burst. The extracted juice then runs down through holes and is collected in a container.

Both these juice extracts are quite different and have advantages and disadvantages. The cherry juice from a fruit press will be more fluid and retains all it’s health benefits, thanks to the conservation of it’s nutrients. As a downside, it will have to be consumed rather quickly. The extract from the steam juicer will be thicker in consistency and more concentrated, as it gets continually dehydrated from the heat. However, all the components that cannot withstand boiling temperatures, mainly proteins, will be lost. As a benefit, juice from such a procedure will be very sterile and can be kept for a long time.

So what to do with tart cherry juice? Some people just put in a few cubes of sugar and call it a drink, but this is a waste of potential. It’s fresh sour taste can be used in many other cherry juice recipes. In the case of Kiba (a 1:1 mix of cherry juice and banana juice) it is astoundingly effective in taking away the somewhat drab sweet taste of bananas, making it a delicious sweet-sour cocktail. In a cherry lime recipe, it enhances the clear-sour taste of citrus fruits with a more textured note and a beautiful red color. The extracts from the steam juicers can also be used for that purpose, but it is better to use its advantages to make jams and jellies.

Lastly, in the process of filtering or steam juicing, a thick mass remains: the pulp. In truth, it still contains dietary fibers, which are good for digestion, and some valuable juice. Both extraction methods cannot be as perfect so as to get out all the juice. With the pulp you could make fruit leathers and  popsicles. Further, dehydrated pulp can serve as ingredients in sauces and soups.  The pulp can also serve as animal food or compost.