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Tart Cherry Cardamom Baked Oatmeal

Tart Cherry Cardamom Baked Oatmeal | A Couple CooksTart Cherry Cardamom Baked Oatmeal | A Couple CooksTart Cherry Cardamom Baked Oatmeal | A Couple CooksTart Cherry Cardamom Baked Oatmeal | A Couple CooksTart Cherry Cardamom Baked Oatmeal | A Couple CooksThis tart cherry cardamom baked oatmeal was created in partnership with Cherry Marketing Institute. All opinions are our own.

A few weeks ago, I found out that Alex and I are considered Xennials. Say what? A Xennial is anyone born between 1977 and 1983. It’s a micro-generation between Gen X and Millennials where you had an analog childhood and a digital adulthood. Meaning, I didn’t have an email address until I was 16. Facebook didn’t exist until I graduated from college. Alex and I got married before Pinterest was even a thing—read: there were no ball jars or flower crowns.

Growing up this way, without mobile phones and social media, gives me a sort of healthy cynicism about it all. I can see surreal Instagram images and remember that they’re a brief capture that may or may not represent true reality. I can step away from my screens at night and spend time with my favorite people. And, instead of seeing technology as a curse, I see it as the great connector. Because I remember when we weren’t connected in this way—the world was a more lonesome place. These days, we can connect to people all over the world who love mountain sunrise pictures and avocado toast as much as we do. We can find a recipe for baked oatmeal, and the capital of Nepal, and what’s 46 x 23409348 all in an instant. We can learn how to cook and do IKEA hacks and sleep train our children all without leaving our couch.

That said, too much technology can become overwhelming and all-consuming. We feel too “busy” to do anything because we’re busy keeping up with the Instagram Stories of those bloggers in Slovenia or that dog wearing a tie. In an age where your time can be filled with an infinite amount of things, prioritizing what’s important is essential. People ask me how we still cook with a 5-month old and working full-time. Yes, we’re busy. But we make it a priority. We don’t give ourselves the option of giving up home cooking. Instead of liking a few more photos on Instagram, we throw together quick tacos or pasta while Larson’s napping or playing on his play mat. Instead of staying up late in the blue lights of our screens, we’re trying to read an actual physical book, and get into bed.

Or, take this baked oatmeal recipe. It takes 45 minutes to bake—but it’s only 10 minutes to whip together, and it saves for breakfasts for the rest of the week. Though we don’t often make breakfast recipes, we’ve found time to fit it in: by making it on the weekend, or on a weeknight to save for the next few days. To me, having a tasty, wholesome breakfast in the refrigerator is worth it. (To be honest, I also ate it for dinner a few nights. Just saying.) We’ve had a few people test this recipe already who also agreed. Reader Lauren sent us a message: “The baked oatmeal was a major hit in our house! My 3 year old ate it up 2 mornings in a row (my 9 month old also enjoyed it!) It’s so nice to have hands-off breakfasts that come together quickly and taste delicious.”

A few things about this baked oatmeal recipe:

  • It features dried Montmorency tart cherries—which bring a natural sweetness and have several nutritional benefits. For one, they contain melatonin, a natural hormone that regulates our body’s internal clock and sleep cycle! So at the same time as being part of nourishing breakfast recipes, the tart cherries can also help you to stay well rested.
  • It’s got cardamom, which lends it a lightly-floral essence. Combined with cinnamon, it’s just enough to not be overwhelming.
  • It has a vegan option: it’s just as good omitting the egg and using almond milk. (Several readers have tried it and given a thumbs up!)
  • It’s naturally sweet, sweetened with tart cherries and maple syrup.
  • It’s naturally gluten-free, simply put together

(As a note, Montmorency tart cherries are a variety of cherries, not a brand, that have a distinctive sour-sweet flavor. They’re different from fresh sweet cherries and are most often found dried or in juice, since they’re delicate and typically go right to processing.)

So, can a life filled with technology also have time for things like cooking nourishing meals and being well-rested? We think so, by taking a healthy break from screen time and prioritizing what matters. What do you think did you grow up with technology? How do you balance technology and prioritize what matters? Do you make breakfast recipes, or just grab food on the go? Let us know in the comments below.

Looking for recipes with cardamom?

Cardamom is a trendy new spice that lends a light floral essence—it’s part of the spices used in chai spice. We’ve found mainstream groceries are starting to carry ground cardamom, or you can find it online. One reader commented that cardamom was very expensive at her grocery; make sure to comparison shop to find a reasonable price.

Looking for breakfast recipes?

This tart cherry cardamom baked oatmeal is another one of our favorite breakfast recipes to date (the other recent favorite is the homemade breakfast cereal below). Here are a few more breakfast recipes; we’ve marked those that happen to be vegan:

Did you make this recipe?

If you make this tart cherry cardamom baked oatmeal, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks and @choosecherries.

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, gluten-free, naturally sweet, refined sugar free. (For vegan, follow the substitutions in the recipe.)

5.0 from 3 reviews
Cherry Cardamom Baked Oatmeal
 
*Note: For the vegan variation, use 2½ cups almond milk; the extra ½ cup offsets the omission of the egg. Make ahead: Mix up the dries and store in a sealed plastic bag or container; mix up the wets and store in a ball jar or sealed container. When ready to bake, prepare the pan, add the wets and dries, and drizzle with melted butter or coconut oil.
by:
Serves: 6 generously, 12 as part of a larger brunch
What You Need
  • 1 cup dried Montmorency tart cherries
  • ½ cup pecan pieces (or chopped pecans)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg, beaten (omit for vegan)
  • 2 cups milk (use 2½ cups almond milk for vegan)*
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
What To Do
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. If desired, roughly chop the dried cherries. In a large bowl, mix the cherries, pecans, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and kosher salt.
  3. Grease a 8 or 9-inch square pan and pour in the oat and cherry mixture.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the egg (if using). Mix in the milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats, and mix to combine if necessary.
  5. Over the top of the oats, drizzle the melted butter or coconut oil. (If desired, add a few more cherries to the top for presentation.)
  6. Bake 35 to 45 minutes until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  7. To serve, cut into pieces. If desired, top with a drizzle of milk and extra maple syrup. Store leftovers refrigerated.

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Heather E.
    August 7, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Born in 1976 so I’m Gen X; I learned to type on a typewriter, I had a pager and, for a very long time, I did not own a computer. I never had a Myspace or Facebook account. My main use of technology is for knowledge and entertainment in the form of Food Blogs. I follow a few blogs but I do limit my “screen time” on the computer, phone and TV. I didn’t really learn to cook until after I had my daughter. I wanted her to have home cooked food. It wasn’t always easy (or good) but it was a priority. When my daughter turned two, I had my son. I thought it would be harder to cook with two kids but it was easier because I’d learned a lot and it was still a priority. Now they’re 8 and 6; we rarely watch TV, computer time is limited (and monitored) and they don’t have their own technology. Home cooked healthy food is still a priority and they’re learning to make good choices. I do make breakfast recipes but cereal and whole fruit and yogurt typically win out.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 10, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      It sounds like you’ve learned how to strike a good balance between “screen time” and “IRL” time, which is fabulous! I’m glad to hear that home cooked, healthy food is a priority for your family! People tend to ask us how we do it, and it’s the same answer as yours: making it priority, and other things come second. I agree, I’m typically a simple breakfast person, but sometimes a special breakfast is in order. Replying to your second comment now!

  • Reply
    andy
    August 8, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Perfect timing for a breakfast potluck i have in Friday :) This looks delicious! What’s the texture like… Is it more raw/crunch cut into squares or soft to eat with spoon?

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 10, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Perfect! You’ll see that Heather has noted below: ” the texture is soft to eat with spoon but it does hold it’s shape nicely when cut into squares.” So, kind of in between! Let us know your thoughts.

  • Reply
    Brooke
    August 9, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    This looks great!! You have a very clean and appealing website as well. Thanks for the inspiration. I’ll have to give it a go and link your page in one of my next posts! :)

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 10, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Thank you! Let us know what you think of the recipe.

  • Reply
    Heather E.
    August 10, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Made this yesterday and it received rave reviews from my family, especially my 6 year old! He decided to have it for dinner and had me promise to save him the last square. The only thing I did different was use just shy of a cup of dried cherries (5 oz bag) and I cut the cherries smaller as they were quite large. For Andy: the texture is soft to eat with spoon but it does hold it’s shape nicely when cut into squares.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 10, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      I’m so glad to hear it was a hit with your 6 year old! That’s the ultimate endorsement :) And, good idea on roughly chopping the cherries: I’ll make note of that in the recipe as an option!

  • Reply
    Erika S.
    August 11, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Looks delicious! Do you know where I can buy these cherries? I visited the website, but had no luck finding a location search.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 11, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      This is a great question! So, you can look for tart cherries in dried, juice, concentrate and frozen forms in your local grocery. Look for “tart,” “sour” or “Montmorency” on labels. (We’ve found some labeled with Montmorency lately!) If you aren’t able to find them, we recommend asking your store manager to source them. Montmorency tart cherries are available for national distribution, so sometimes it just takes consumer demand to put the product on the shelf! Also, you could browse a list of processors at CherryProcessor.com — many of these processors do have online ordering options! Good luck and please let us know how you find them!

  • Reply
    Steph
    August 11, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    This looks delicious! Quick question, if there are leftovers do you recommend storing it at room temperature, or in the fridge? Looking forward to making this for the first day of school next week!!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 11, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator! I’ll update that in the recipe too. Great question! Let us know what you think!

  • Reply
    Katja
    August 14, 2017 at 4:17 am

    That looks delicious! Usually I live in a hurry, but when I have time I enjoy making some oatmeal or granola for breakfast :) should try this recipy one day. Also, vegan option looks very interesting

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