When the temperatures start creeping up, I switch from a warm breakfast to something cold. One of my favorite cold breakfast is overnight oats or oatmeal. And its made just like it sounds, allowing the oatmeal to absorb the liquid overnight rather than by heating it. Though you can make overnight oats with any type if oatmeal (quick-cook, rolled or old fashions, and steel cut), I prefer to make it with old fashioned sometime called rolled. By mixing the oatmeal the night before, you make your morning routine that much more seamless. And while you can go as far as prepping the cherries the night before, I personally like the look of having them on top, so I prep them while I make my coffee.
Cherries come in a few varieties, many sweet and tart. The variety you you is up to personal taste, often tart cherries are reserved for dessert making while sweet are eaten fresh. There are also a wide variety of colors, though I gravitate to the darker varieties.
Once you have secured your cherries you are then faced with a dilemma... Cherries are stone fruits and have an annoying pit in the middle. Do not be worried by this. No special equipment is needed to pit cherries. Though they make cherry pitting devices, a reusable straw can easily step up to the job. (Which would make Alton Brown proud that a straw has now become a multitasker rather than a uni-tasker winning is a place in your kitchen). To use a straw as a cherry pitter, simply pull off the stem and press the straw through the top of the cherry and out the bottom. Depending on the size and material of your straw, the pit may come free on it's own or it make require you to blow through the straw to dislodge the pit. Then using a knife, slice the cherries in half. Do note that the darker the cherries, the darker the juice, so be careful to to stain your clothes.
As soon as you are done cutting, wash your hands and your cutting board to prevent staining.
Dark Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oats
Yield: 1 Serving
1/2 c Old Fashioned or Rolled Oats
1 1/2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Flax Seed Meal
1/2 Tbsp Dark Cocoa Powder (or regular if that's all you have)
Pinch of Salt
1/2 c + Milk of Choice
1/2 c Water
Sweetener of Choice
10-12 Fresh Cherries
Other Topping Suggestions: Nuts like sliced or slivered almonds, coconut shavings, mini chocolate chips, etc.
The Night Before:
Mix the oats, chia seeds, flax seed meal, and salt in a jar or container. Then add in 1/2 c water and 1/2 milk of choice. Shake to combine and refrigerate overnight.
The Next Morning:
Spoon out the oatmeal into a cereal bowl (it will be thick at this point). It is now that you add your desired sweetener. I personally like 2 spoons of maple syrup, but you could use agave, coconut sugar, or stevia. Then as you add the sweetener, stir in a tad more milk to bring the oatmeal to your desired consistency. Some people like it thick and other thinner - make it your own.
Pit and slice the cherries and place them on top of your oatmeal with any other toppings for texture and flavor.
Taste test and adjust your sweetener or milk, then enjoy!