I think I mentioned once upon a time on the blog that I disliked frozen cherries–that they were flavorless and tasted like ice.
I withdraw that comment.
I recently purchased frozen dark cherries from Trader Joe’s. It was an impulse purchase, and I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do with it. However, everything that I have made with it (it goes beautifully in banana soft serve) has been a treat. I think my initial experience with frozen cherries a few years ago had been with another brand that simply wasn’t good. (Thanks, Trader Joe’s. You da best.)
Wanting to honor the delicious cherry, I made a simple compote using chia seeds to help it thicken without the excessive use of sugar. The oatmeal uses banana to make it thick, sweet, and creamy, but as always, you could omit.
What you'll need:
- 1/4 cup water
- 2/3 cup frozen, pitted cherries
- 1 tsp maple syrup (may increase based on your preferences)
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 cup milk of choice, or water
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
- 1 (or just 1/2) ripe or overripe banana
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- pinch of salt
How to make it:
- Start compote by adding all ingredients to a small saucepan and bringing to a simmer. Continue the rest of the recipe, stirring the compote occasionally so it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom. If cherries do not break apart on their own, use your spatula to break it up. Remove from heat once the compote has thickened and gelled.
- Meanwhile, bring milk (I use an equal mixture of almond milk and water) to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium.
- Mash up banana and add to the oatmeal. Stir.
- Once more of the liquid has dissolved, add almond extract and a tiny pinch of salt Stir.
- When you’re pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, remove from heat. Either put in a bowl and top with Cherry Chia Compote, or put in a parfait glass with alternating layers of compote and oatmeal (like I did).
Just an FYI:
Feeling lazy? You could use jarred cherry jam/preserves instead of making the compote.