Cherries are a stone fruit belonging to the rose family. Although rather small, these red or black fruits are little powerhouses when it comes to health. They can help ward off or manage chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and obesity. If you have a problem with inflammation, gout, sleep or sore muscles after exercise these should be included in your diet. Some people prefer not to bake with them because of the blue discoloration that happens in baked products – this is due to a chemical reaction between cherries and alkalis like baking powder, and it can be prevented by adding an acidic liquid like sour cream instead of milk in the recipe. Cherries are best paired with herbs like sage and chives; dairy products like cream, cream cheese and ricotta; meats like pork, beef and duck; and spices like black pepper and vanilla. Almond essence brings out their flavour too.