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Sunday recipe: Add ba-da-bing! to your morning with fresh cherries

George Washington might have known a thing or two when he tried to cut down a cherry tree. The first president of the United States of America may have been trying to get at the sweet and versatile fruit hanging from the tree’s branches.

Cherries are nutritional powerhouses that contain antioxidants, which studies have suggested can reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, anthocyanins in cherries may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, cherries are a natural source of melatonin, which promotes healthy sleep. People with arthritis may find that cherries can reduce the inflammation associated with their condition.

There are many reasons to eat cherries each day, so why not start at the breakfast table? This recipe for “Croissant French Toast with Fresh Bing Cherry Sauce,” courtesy of the California Cherry Board, makes for a delicious and nutritious start to your day.

Croissant French Toast with Fresh Bing Cherry Sauce

Serves 4

½ cup orange marmalade
2 cups pitted fresh California Bing cherries
4 Croissants (Tip: Day-old are fine)
3 eggs
½ cup milk
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups fresh whipped cream
½ cup chocolate sauce

  1. Heat orange marmalade in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the cherries and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the flame.
  2. Slice the croissants in half lengthwise, as if to make a sandwich. Whisk eggs, milk, and cream together in a flat-bottomed baking dish. Lay the croissant pieces in the egg mixture, turning several times as the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Add the oil to griddle and heat on medium flame. Cook the croissant slices until golden brown on each side.
  4. Place the bottom croissant slices on serving plates. Top with 1⁄2 cup cherry mixture. Top with the croissant tops, then add a dollop of whipped cream and finish with a pour of chocolate sauce.