This 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:
- Cinnamon Pecan Homemade Breakfast Cereal (vegan)
- Turmeric Vegan Blueberry Muffins (vegan)
- Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies (vegan)
- Chai Chia Tart Cherry Jam on toast! (vegan)
- Tart Cherry Post Workout Protein Bowl
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.)Print
*Note: For the vegan variation, use 2 1/2 cups almond milk; the extra 1/2 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.
- 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
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg, beaten (omit for vegan)
- 2 cups milk (use 2 1/2 cups almond milk for vegan)*
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- If desired, roughly chop the dried cherries. In a large bowl, mix the cherries, pecans, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and kosher salt.
- Grease a 8 or 9-inch square pan and pour in the oat and cherry mixture.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- To serve, cut into pieces. If desired, top with a drizzle of milk and extra maple syrup. Store leftovers refrigerated.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.