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Archive for the ‘Cherries’ Category

We always have choices, as Dr. Tae Yun Kim likes to point out.

“The power is in you, it is your personal choice what you do in your life!”

It’s just that sometimes those choices aren’t quite what we want!  Yet in the end, they might be just what we need!

For example, last week we were having a fancy dinner party at Jung Suwon, and usually we have a beautiful “edible arrangement on the dessert table, the center piece.  You know edible arrangements, right?  The fruit all cut up fancy, on a stick, and some of it dipped in chocolate?  The one that looks like a beautiful bouquet?

Well, the guests were already coming in, when with a big “ugh”, it was discovered that the edible arrangement hadn’t been ordered and it was too late now!

What kind of choice was that?

Well, I could have, of course, just given up and said we just don’t have an edible arrangement today.  Or, I could make something else, to make up for it.  Or, I could try to make the arrangement myself!

Once again, my Jung Suwon training came in very handy, in giving me the confidence to try something completely new to me.   Dr. Tae Yun Kim said it so well in one of her books,

“We need to learn to take charge of what we manifest by taking charge of our thinking.  Can you see that you can be your own worst enemy?  Why?  Because you are the one who monitors what you think.  Who thinks your thoughts better than you?  Others can suggest thoughts to you, but you are the one who accepts or rejects what you entertain in your mind.

Instead, be your own best friend!  We can achieve freedom from limitation of any sort!  You don’t have to accept anything except your freedom, your gift from the universe to create whatever you desire!”

Armed with this wisdom, I dashed to the store and loaded up on all sorts of fruits and grabbed some chocolate dip, got some craft sticks (actually my first batch was BBQ skewers) and a couple of heads of lettuce.

Back in the kitchen, at first I made a huge big mess and people around me started to give me the “you poor thing!” look.  I mean, look at this!

It does look kinda hopeless, right?

But I kept thinking, I can do this!  Why not?

HE CAN DO, SHE CAN DO, WHY NOT ME! is what we hear every day at Jung Suwon, to encourage us to do what we are capable of doing.

So I kept cutting up fruit, putting it on skewers, putting the skewers into the lettuce halves, dipped fruit and then, as a final touch, put roses in between the skewers, onto the lettuce to make it extra pretty.

So, tada, here it is!

 

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This has been a most abundant cherry year!  The trees went crazy, the birds were kept out with bird nets , and as a result, buckets of cherries keep coming into the kitchen!

In addition to tasting great, did you know all their incredible health benefits?  Dr. Tae Yun Kim points out that cherries contain very powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, which makes them ideal for heart health and to fight against arthritis.  They also contain natural melatonin which regulates your sleep cycles.  In addition, they help regulate your blood sugar, which is a great benefit for people with diabetes.  Cherries contain a lot of fiber and therefore help proper digestion.  And the list goes on…and at only 87 cal/cup they are a great snack for Jung Suwon warriors after class – energizing, healthy, but without putting on the weight you just lost in class 😉

Here is a great recipe for healthy, individual serving, cherry cheesecakes:

I saw this recipe in the magazine from America’s Test Kitchen “Best Summer Desserts” on page 58.  (I tried to find this online so I could link to it, but wasn’t able to.)

However, I made a few changes to make it healthy enough for a Jung Suwon warrior dessert, make it gluten-free, and most of all, incorporate some of those cherries!  This was also approved by Dr. Tae Yun Kim, for health and taste!

For the cheesecakes, line 2 12-cup muffin pans with a paper liner. In a blender or food processor, put 3 large eggs, a couple of tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 cup coconut milk, and some coconut sugar.  How much sugar depends how sweet you like it.  You’ll most likely not need more than 1/4 cup.  Blend this at high-speed and then add, a little at a time, 8 oz softened cream cheese.  Beat until very smooth.  And yes, it’s ok to use low-fat cream cheese, which is what I did.

At Jung Suwon, we like to keep our desserts as light as possible (of course there ARE exceptions to this) and so the crust is optional.  If you do want one, just crumble any kind of gluten-free cookie into the bottom of the liners, or if the cookies are the right size and thin, plunk one down into the liner.

Next, pour the cheesecake batter into the liners, about 1/2 – 3/4 full.

Bake at 325 until firm, about 10 – 15 minutes.  Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the cherry topping.

Pit a LOT of cherries, and put them into a pot.

While you pit the cherries, it’s a good time to listen to Dr. Tae Yun Kim’s audio books, or the Jung Suwon terminology CD.  Or sing, if you want.  Cook over medium heat, adding water if not enough juice in pot.  Add a sprinkling of coconut sugar, or any other kind of sugar if you prefer.  Taste and add more sugar if needed.

Mix some cornstarch (or tapioca starch, or even potato starch or rice flour) with some water, and slowly pour, while stirring, into the cherry mixture.  Let boil for a few minutes, stirring constantly.  It should be thicker but still pourable and not like pudding.

Once cooled, spoon on top of the cheesecakes, and serve!

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This is a wonderful time of year for cooking and baking, since so much fresh fruit and fresh veggies are now available, and best quality as well.

Did you know that Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has several cherry trees in her garden?  Here is a picture of some Jung Suwon warriors picking cherries!  It’s all part of Jung Suwon training.

Of course, the question remains – what to do with ALL those cherries?  There were bucket loads of them!

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim showed us a method to preserve them for those hot summer days – wash the cherries well but don’t dry them off , just drain and then immediately add some sugar (raw, unprocessed preferred), put them into small ziplock bags and freeze.  Next time you are very hot and want cool refreshment without the calories, have some of these cherries!  They are so wonderfully refreshing!

While the Jung Suwon warriors were still outside picking cherries, Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim asked for some snacks to keep the Jung Suwon crew happy.

It needed to be going together fast, and it needed to be appealing to everyone, and it needed to contain cherries!  While still pitting cherries, it occurred to me that a simple poundcake with cherries in it would be fabulous.

I made a double recipe of Shirley’s gluten free pound cake recipe, my very favorite, which you can find here.  I did make a couple minor changes:  I used the cherry juice that accumulated from pitting the cherries instead of the orange juice, and I put in a fair amount of the cherries, put it all in a well oiled bundt pan and baked at 350.

Hungry Jung Suwon warriors stormed the kitchen and it was a good thing I had taken this picture already, because there was no time to set it up pretty – it was devoured before I could say “wait!”

And in my next post you’ll see some wonderful, individual cherry cheesecakes that are very easy to make!

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