Every July 11th, we cherry lovers celebrate National Rainier Cherry Day and the beloved Rainier cherry variety. We’ve shared our love for Rainier cherries on The Stem blog in the past, so this year we changed it up a bit and invited our Kitchen Council to help out with a new Rainier cherry recipe. Sally from Real Mom Nutrition was up to the task and is here to share a Rainier Cherry and Chocolate Baked Oatmeal recipe with you – the perfect healthy and nourishing breakfast to celebrate the sweet and special Rainier cherry on this very special day!

If you haven’t tried Rainier cherries, be warned that they may just become your favorite summer fruit. They’re named after Mount Rainier, the highest peak in Washington, and are a cross between two cherry varieties (the Bing and Van). Unlike dark sweet cherries, Rainier cherries are actually golden in color with a pink-red blush and a flesh that’s almost colorless—so no telltale red-stained hands! This golden cherry variety is great in recipes because they’re very easy to pit and sugary sweet.

Rainier cherries are perfect for eating out of hand or chopped and tossed into salads, but I decided to bake them into one of my favorite warm breakfasts. I’ve upgraded the already healthy morning meal of steel-cut oatmeal by including heart-healthy walnuts and subbing mashed banana for some of the butter usually found in baked oatmeal. Because cherries and chocolate go so well together, I also added a few spoonfuls of mini chips to impart a rich flavor (but feel free to omit them).

Though I used Rainier cherries for this recipe, dark sweet cherries would work beautifully too. When summer is over, try this recipe with thawed frozen cherries (just be sure to use lemon juice if you freeze Rainier cherries to prevent browning). Enjoy and Happy National Rainier Cherry Day!

Rainier Cherry and Chocolate Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh Rainier cherries, rinsed with stems and pits removed
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted butter, slightly cooled

This Rainier Cherry and Chocolate Baked Oatmeal is a healthy, hearty breakfast that's perfect for meal prep.

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  • Yield
    6 servings
  • Prep time
  • Cook time
  • Total time
  • Cuisine
    American
  • In Category
    Breakfast

This Rainier Cherry and Chocolate Baked Oatmeal is a healthy, hearty breakfast that’s perfect for meal prep.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Butter or grease a small square or round baking dish.
  3. Using a potato masher, smash the cherries and banana together in a mixing bowl until well combined. (You can also pulse them in a blender or food processor.) Set aside.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine oats, walnuts, brown sugar, chocolate chips, baking powder, and salt. Stir well.
  5. Add the milk, egg, and melted butter to the fruit mixture and stir well.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Pour into the buttered baking dish.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes or until edges are browned and center is set. Garnish with chopped fresh cherries if desired.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving

  • Calories: 337