Rainier Cherries – Seasonal Produce of the Week

A local favorite and named aptly! Developed at Washington State University (Go Cougs!) in 1952 by Harold Fogle, Rainier Cherries have been a staple of summer time consumption. Rainiers are classified as sweet cherries and are recognized for their pale yellow/redish tint.

Nutritionally, cherries provide a mighty punch. Providing 3g of fiber per serving, cherries are a great way to help individuals get to the recommended goal of 25-38g fiber per day.

Additionally, as a result, cherries have a low glycemic index despite their sweeteness. This means the fruit sugar from the fruit releases slowly into the blood stream, which can assist in having more consistent energy and satiety levels.

Due to their high antioxidant load, cherries provide anti-inflammatory properities to reducing oxidative stress and potentially reduce risk of developing certain cancers. Thank Vitamin C, ellagic acid, and anthocyanins, which are important antioxidants for health. These antioxidants can also play a role in preventing heart disease thorugh protecting healthy artery function and reducing inflammation.

Adding 1 cup of cherries to your day will provide 90 Calories, as well as 23% of your daily Vitamin C.

While they’re fun to eat by themselves, try this fun salsa recipe that uses Rainier Cherries. This is delicious over BBQ chicken, fish, or on a tortilla chip.

Rainier Cherry Salsa


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced finely
  • 2 cups rainier cherries, pitted and chopped (~1 lb cherries)
  • 1 cup tomtaoes, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed*
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. In a small saute pan over medium heat, add diced onion and cook, stirring occasionally until onion begins to brown.
  2. Add cherries, jalapeno and cherries to pan and stir through. Allow to cook for ~5 minutes.
  3. Transfer mixture to a bowl, mix in cilantro, lime, salt, and pepper to your desired preference.

*If you like more heat, keep some of the jalapeno ribs attached and add some seeds.

By Sarah Lawson, CD, RD, Registered Dietitian at PRO Medical

PRO Medical’s Registered Dietitians provide personalized meal plans and education to support you in making realistic lifestyle changes and in achieving your individual goals. We have experts in a variety of areas and provide support for adults, pediatrics and families.

Check out more healthy recipes from our team of Registered Dietitians here.

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