~ Heart smart oatmeal and cherries, a good way to begin the day
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup rolled oats
2 organic eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup dried cherries
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
- Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & sugar into a large bowl. Stir in rolled oats.
- Beat eggs in a bowl. Add oil and milk and mix well and incorporate into flour mixture, mixing well. Add dried cherries.
- Pour into greased 5x9 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing. (10 servings)
The Cherry Marketing Institute has information available for educators and other folks regarding the history and present state of the cherry industry including growing research showing that antioxidants in tart cherries may relieve the pain of arthritis and gout & help fight cancer and heart disease.
The tart cherry has an amazing history that is intertwined with Michigan. The first tart cherry tree was planted in 1852 by Peter Dougherty, a Presbyterian missionary living on Old Mission Peninsula (near Traverse City, Michigan.)
Much to the surprise of the other farmers and Indians who lived in the area, Dougherty's tart cherry farm and trees flourished and soon other residents of the area started their very own cherry farms. The area proved to be ideal for growing sweet and tart cherries because Lake Michigan tempers Arctic winds in winter and cools the orchards in summer.The first commercial tart cherry orchards in Michigan were planted in 1893 on Ridgewood Farm near the site of Dougherty's original plantings. By the early 1900s, the tart cherry industry was firmly established in the state with orchards not only in the Traverse City area, but all along Lake Michigan from Benton Harbor to Elk Rapids. Soon production surpassed other major crops. The first cherry processing facility, Traverse City Canning Company, was built just south of Traverse City, and the ruby-red tart cherry fruit was soon shipped to Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee.
The Montmorency is the primary variety of tart cherry. It was planted in the early orchards and is still used today. The fruit is excellent for pies, preserves and juice. The newest American variety of tart cherry is the Balaton. Dr. Amy Iezzoni developed this tart cherry variety at Michigan State University. It currently has limited production, but has great potential for the fresh market and for juice.
Sweet and tart cherries have pleased the palates of food lovers for centuries. Their ruby-red color and tangy taste won cherries a place on the tables of Roman conquerors, Greek citizens and Chinese noblemen. Cherries were brought to America by ship with early settlers in the 1600s.