Liven up your day with a refreshing Tart Cherry & Peach Sparkler that is not only delicious, but has some surprising health benefits. Thank you to the Cherry Marketing Institute for helping me to share this recipe with you.
If you want to see the dark side of me, just deprive me of food (plummeting blood sugar and I are not friends) or sleep. I hear about people who are able to survive on just 4 hours of sleep per night. In fact, they even become more creative the less sleep they get. Maybe that’s the delirium at work!
I wish I could claim creativity with lack of sleep, but it’s more like the zombie apocalypse if I don’t get a solid 7 to 8 hours.
I’ve already told you about some of the benefits of eating dried cherries and drinking tart cherry juice, such as decreasing inflammation, soothing arthritis symptoms and easing exercise-related muscle pain. But did you also know that tart cherries are also a natural source of melatonin, which may help to increase overall sleep efficiency (the time you are actually asleep when you’re in bed)?
I’ll admit that I’ve always been a pretty good sleeper, not one to deal with insomnia unless I was really stressed out about something. But over the past few months, I’ve been feeling groggy in the mornings and drowsy until about noon, which made me think that maybe my sleep wasn’t as uninterrupted as I thought.
When I heard about the Tart Cherry Juice Sleep Challenge, I thought it was worth a shot, research is showing positive effects of drinking tart cherry juice twice a day, such as sleeping 40 to 90 minutes longer. With all of the potential risk factors of sleep disturbances, such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, incorporating a natural source of melatonin into my day seemed like a no-brainer.
The challenge is this: drink a glass of tart cherry juice two times each day, once in the morning and once in the evening, for two weeks. Alternatively, you could drink an ounce (two tablespoons) of tart cherry concentrate twice a day, either mixed into a smoothie or just straight.
As much as I enjoy tart cherry juice on its own, I thought it would be fun to mix it into a sparkler, as I’m pretty much addicted to sparkling water. Tart cherry juice, frozen peach and grated ginger, all whizzed up in the blender, then topped off with a little sparkling water. Sleep benefits or no sleep benefits, this is a drink I’ll be making over and over again because it’s so refreshing!
I didn’t notice any difference in how I felt after a couple of days of the challenge, but started to feel gradually better over the two week period, waking up more refreshed and fighting off that mid-morning slump with the greatest of ease. Totally worth it!
Other recipes with tart cherry juice or dried tart cherries:
Cookin' Canuck's Tart Cherry & Mango Smoothie
Cookin' Canuck's Curry Spiced Nuts with Dried Cherries
fANNEtastic Food's Tart Cherry, Kale & Feta Stuffed Chicken
Running to the Kitchen's Chicken Cherry Flatbread
Ari's Menu's Tart Cherry Margaritas
Tart Cherry & Peach Sparkler Recipe
- 2 cups tart cherry juice
- 6 ounces frozen peaches
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 6 ounces sparkling water
- Place the tart cherry juice, frozen peaches and ginger in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Divide the puree between two glasses, add ice and sparkling water. Stir and serve.
Disclosure: I am honored to be a brand ambassador for the Cherry Marketing Institute. All opinions are my own. This post contains links to my Amazon affiliate page. Any revenue made from sales through these links helps to support this blog. Thank you!