Choco-Cherry Cashew Oatmeal

KIND bars cost too much. Let’s all agree on that. Certainly, they are a high-quality product and deserve to cost as much as they do. However, this girl will not be buying them on the regular. This girl receives a living stipend (not an actual salary) and spends too much money at Banana Republic.


However, I splurge on one or two bars from time to time. In August, when I was technically homeless for a week, was massively in debt, and had no functioning kitchen to cook in, I survived on bananas, hummus, and whole wheat naan. To make my life seem less pathetic, I also treated myself to one single KIND bar.

I remember unwrapping it for a mid-morning snack during my staff training session. For a moment, my boss’s voice faded off as my attention focused on the brilliance happening in my mouth. Dark chocolate, sweet cherries, and salty cashews worked harmoniously and created a chewy, crunchy, decadent snack bar.


Alas, I haven’t had one since, but now I don’t need it. Like always, I took something too expensive and too indulgent and turned it into a healthy porridge, and now my life is better. 🙂


This recipe uses dried cherries, but I think fresh would work well, too. The KIND bar uses dried cherries (obviously), but if you’re okay with not mimicking the bar, go ahead and try it with fresh cherries!

Choco-Cherry Cashew Oatmeal

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: serves 1

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup milk of choice, or water
  • 1-2 dried pitted dates (optional)
  • 1/4 cup quick cook steel-cut oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips (for topping)
  • handful of cashews (for topping)

How to make it:

  1. Set milk (I use 1/2 c almond milk and 1/2 c water) in a saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. Dice date(s) and add to the saucepan, if using.
  3. When the milk comes to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium. (If you'd like to add a teaspoon of flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
  4. Add cherries immediately. Reserve some for topping if you'd like.
  5. Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt. Stir.
  6. When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Add a splash of your milk of choice, chocolate chips, and cashews. I also added some sliced almonds.


About Lauren Smith

Lauren is a herbivore, Slytherin, and connoisseur of oats. She is a former teacher who is currently studying to earn a master's degree in curriculum development. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

4 Responses to Choco-Cherry Cashew Oatmeal

  1. BHal says:

    Hi Lauren! First & foremost, I want to thank you for this blog: because of you I eat oatmeal every single morning, and am now transitioning into being a vegan. Your “About Me” section focusing on veganism for environmental reasons instead of strictly animal rights really, really struck a chord with me.

    And also: do you think I could substitute avocado for dates in this recipe?

    • Lauren Smith says:

      It would make the oatmeal nice and creamy, but the dates are meant to sweeten the oatmeal. If you don’t want your oatmeal sweet, you could either omit the dates or try swapping in avocado.

  2. Lyndsey B says:

    I love Kind Bars! Sadly, they are super expensive, which is mostly the case with all healthy and natural snacks. It makes me so frustrated! I want to create an oatmeal with almond, cashew, coconut, and chai spices to mimic that flavor of Kind Bar.

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