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Grab your fresh sweet Northwest cherries while they last

Fresh Northwest-grown sweet cherries are still available in produce aisles nationwide, but only for a limited time. As this year's later-than-usual cherry growing season wraps up, consumers are invited to visit their local grocers for fresh sweet cherries to savor as a grab-and-go snack or lunchbox favorite and to preserve the nutrient-packed fruit for year-round enjoyment.

"What began as a late cherry harvest resulted in having Northwest sweet cherries available to enjoy further into the summer than usual," said B.J. Thurlby, president of the Northwest Cherry Growers. "We hope cherry lovers will take advantage of the late harvest to stock up. By following some simple preservation tips, they can enjoy sweet cherries and their health benefits — ranging from heart disease and diabetes prevention to reducing gout attacks — all the way until next season."

Northwest cherries are a delicious superfruit that are sweet, juicy and dense with nutrients that support better health. From keeping pain at bay with anti-inflammatory properties to helping reduce stress and improve sleep, sweet cherries offer many health benefits. They are a favorite when eaten fresh, and although synonymous with summer, this healthy go-to snack may be available for the back-to-school season this year.

This year's extra-long and extra-late harvest makes cherries a fun and easy lunch box treat sure to please the pickiest of eaters. Sweet and crunchy, fresh cherries are also a low glycemic index fruit, which means that blood sugar levels won't spike. Fresh cherries are easy to portion with no clusters to snip, plus they're loaded with fiber to help round out a meal. It helps to keep cherries near the ice pack, but they'll be fine for a few hours in the lunch bag

Northwest-grown cherries are harvested by more than 2,000 growers across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana, who together produce almost all of the cherries found in stores from mid-June through early September.

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