Wednesday, February 04, 2009


~ Yoshino Cherry blossoms

~ 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 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.


Sweet Home and Garden Carolina said...

Been an ardent fan of Michigan cherries for years, Joey and the fact that they are so good for you is just another plus.

Thanks for bringing attention to national heart health month. It's frightening that heart attacks in women are so common now. Back in the day you never ever heard of a woman having one.

Anonymous said...

How very interesting! I knew a lot of berries and fruit had heart-healthy properties, but didn't know about cherries. Thanks, Joey. :)

I'm so glad we've quit smoking -- one of the worst risk factors for heart attack and stroke.

joey said...

How true regarding heart attacks, Carolyn. I'm a HUGE fan of Michigan cherries also. One of my favorite SNACKS (or sprinkled on salads) ... dried cherries & roasted shelled pistachios, another yummy super heart-healthy treat full of fiber and antioxidants.

An amazing woman, Nancy, you are indeed right and I'm so proud of you! Throughout the holidays and stressful times, your sharing served as an outstanding role model for many.

Unknown said...

We rarely see dried cherries around here, Joey, but I have dried cranberries so I might try that instead. There were Chilean cherries in the stores last week but I don't like buying produce from South America so I left them there.

joey said...

Wow Jodi, they are so plentiful here I guess I take them for granted. Indeed you can substitute cranberries, also an excellent antioxidant. I would be delighted to send you some cherries if you share your address with me or I have recently included additional info on Montmorency Tart Cherries at this link ~ at the bottom of this post where those interested can purchase them. Wishing us all a healthy heart February!

inadvertent farmer said...

I love both oatmeal and cherries. I'm going to make this this afternoon. I must say you have become my 'go to' blog for interesting and delicious recipes...not to mention you gorgeous pics! Thanks, Kim

Gail said...

Hi Joey,

I had no idea about cherries! Great info as the Mr loves them! One question~~ Would I need to add anything or reduce amounts if I wanted to use whole wheat flour in this bread recipe? Thanks, Gail

F Cameron said...

I have dried cherries in the pantry right now. I may have to try this recipe this weekend.

I love cherries. The OXO cherry pitter is great for when the fresh cherries are available.


joey said...

Dearest Kim ~ I hold you in the higest regard. With huge thanks for sending me the gift as 1000th commenter on your blog, I must say you are a fabulous cook ... your Blackberry/Grape jelly was superb! If you have not shared this delightful recipe, you MUST!

Hi Gail ~ You would have no problem substituting 1/2 of the recipe (or 1 cup) with wheat flour (I love wheat flour and often use this rule of thumb when baking).

A gal after my own heart, I'm impressed with your OXO cherry pitter, Cameron :)

Town Mouse said...

Mmm, that sounds really good. Though I think I'll throw in some chocolate chips, anti-oxidants, you know...


joey said...

Yea antioxidants ... go for it, Town Mouse!

Anonymous said...

I read your post with interest. I have a birds blog but my old cherry tree was blown over when Hurricane Ike came up to Ohio and blew it down.

Backyard Birds

Rose said...

Joey, I'm going to print off this recipe before I forget it. I'm always looking for healthy quickbread recipes, and I like any way to incorporate some oatmeal into it. Thanks for reminding me about the cherries, too--I still have some cherries in the freezer that I spent hours pitting this summer:) This would be a good time to make a yummy cherry cobbler.

I remember going to Michigan with my parents a few times when I was younger--we always came home with cherries, blueberries, or peaches--whatever was in season. Michigan fruit was always the best!

joey said...

Always a joy when you visit, Abraham ~ I'm sorry 'bout your old cherry tree :( but loved your CD post! Tech (and camera) wise, you rule (enjoyed your post with Cameron) ... wonder how you do it all so well. Please stay connected as a mentor :)

joey said...

Enjoy Rose and please bring a big basket to gather Michigan fruit when you come to visit :)

bg_garden said...

THANK YOU JOEY!!!! I see you joined my follow application. What a wonderful surprise. I have had ENOUGH of old man winter. I am gonna blog about one of my favorite bushes today ( photos from early spring 07.) Maybe you can tell me what it is. It was well established when we bought this property six years ago.

HAPPY WEEKEND.... your blog lights up my life!

garden girl said...

I love Michigan Cherries Joey, and this recipe sounds delicious. I planted a dwarf tart cherry tree next to the deck at my last house, and boy do I miss it. The blossoms were fragrant but not nearly as showy as those beautiful Yoshinos, but the cherries were delicious - enjoyed by my family and the backyard birds.

joey said...

Thank you, Bren. It's always a joy visiting your lovely site. Carpe diem!

I agreee, fresh Michigan cherries are the best, Linda. My Yoshino, though stunning each spring (the predominant variety that encircles the Tidal Basin in Washington DC)is strictly ornamental and not fruit bearing. You are enjoying the 'real thing' :)

Maggie said...

This sounds wonderful! I can't wait for the cherries to be in bloom up north.