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      Rainier Cherries:Nature's Candy

      They are incredibly beautiful, sweet and juicy and theyâ??re only available mid-June to mid-August. They are: Rainier cherries. Dietitian, Debbie Guild, tells us more about them. WATCH VIDEO ABOVE to learn more.

      Background: Named after Mount Rainier, the Rainier cherry was developed by Harold Fogle in Washington State back in 1952. Fogle crossed Bing and Van â?? two red cherry varieties â?? and ended up with a golden yellow cherry with a red blush on the outside, a golden yellow inside and an amazing sweetness.

      Harvesting: Rainiers have a thin, delicate skin which presents a number of challenges in getting them harvested, packed and onto grocery store shelves. They are highly susceptible to bruising and are sensitive to hot weather and strong winds. Because of this, growers use windscreens to protect the fruit and they also put nets over the fruit to keep birds out of the orchard.

      Taste: Seems like a big job, but itâ??s hard to beat a Rainier cherry. The sugar, or brix, levels on Rainiers are higher than any dark-sweet cherry variety â?? ranging from17 to 23 percent â?? hence the name "natureâ??s candy." Serve these for dessert and celebrate the sweet tastes of summer!

      Slow-Cooked Cherry Cobbler Recipe.

      All you need:

      1 cup flour

      3 tablespoons baking powder

      1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

      1 egg

      1/4 cup Hy-Vee 1% milk

      2 tablespoons canola oil

      2 cups Rainier cherries

      1 (16 oz.) bag Hy-Vee frozen Cherry Berry Blend

      3/4 cup sugar

      1/4 cup flour

      1/2 cup oats

      1/8 teaspoon salt

      Vanilla frozen yogurt and fresh Rainier cherries, for serving, if desired

      All you do:

      1. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and cinnamon.

      2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Add milk and canola oil and stir to combine.

      3. Pour dry ingredients into the egg/milk mixture and stir to combine.

      4. Spray a 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray and spread the batter evenly onto the bottom.

      5. In a medium bowl, place 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, oats and salt. Add fresh cherries and frozen berry blend and stir well to make sure all the fruit is coated.

      6. Pour the cherry/berry mixture into the slow cooker (over the batter).

      7. Cover the pot and cook on HIGH for 2-1/2 hours, or until the batter is cooked through. Top with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt and more fresh Rainier cherries, if desired.