Meet my new obsession: toasted almond cherry oats. Creamy old fashioned oats get an almond-makeover with the help of toasted sliced almonds, vanilla almond milk, and a splash of almond extract. For a little added sweetness, these oats are studded with juicy red cherries and drizzled with honey or maple syrup. It’s the ultimate wintertime breakfast!
Now that Thanksgiving has passed it is finally the holiday season! Goodbye pumpkin and leaf decorations and hello snowflakes, reindeer, and, of course, Christmas music. And you can bet that I’m going to be spending the next few weekends snuggled up on my couch watching Love Actually and The Holiday while eating a bowl of toasted almond cherry oatmeal 😉
Overnight oats remain my go-to weekday breakfast, but on the weekend I like to slow down and enjoy a comfier breakfast – yes, breakfast can be comfy. Last weekend Bry and I took a break from visiting friends and family and finally had a stay-in-pajamas-until-noon kind of Saturday. . .and Sunday.
Instead of reaching for the carton of eggs, I decided I wanted something I could eat comfortably in bed while I looked over some of my favorite food blogs (trust me, eating eggs in bed and trying to type on the computer usually results in egg yolk either on the laptop or on the sheets). I realized it’s been awhile since we’ve had warm, old fashioned oatmeal – and I just bought a new red bowl that was begging to be used 😉
Per Bry’s request, rather than making our traditional oatmeal with peanut butter, Greek yogurt, and cinnamon, I took inspiration from my Norwegian roots and reached for the almond extract. While I always associated almond flavors in baking with Norwegian cuisine, after our trip to Italy I realized its a very European flavor, especially for sweets typically made around the holidays.
To fully experience these oats in their almond-glory, you’ll need plain slivered almonds, unsweetened almond milk, and almond extract. You could probably get away with subbing in a different type of milk (except for coconut), but you really do need to use almonds and the almond extract.
After giving a taste to the oats they were perfectly almond-y but they were missing something to balance out the rich almond flavor. Enter in frozen cherries. The sweetness and slight tartness from the cherries pairs perfectly with the almonds! To avoid turning my oats purple, I warmed up my cherries on their own in the microwave and then added them on top of the oats. Plus, by cooking them separately you can drain off some of the water that you’ll get once the cherries defrost. However, if you have fresh cherries at home, simply remove the pits and throw them in with the oats during cooking.
For a final coziness factor, Bry and I drizzled pure maple syrup over our oats. Heaven. Pure maple heaven. Honey would also be delicious, or if you really want to go full-out on the almond flavor you could add a tablespoon or two of almond butter.
So here’s a toast to it being socially acceptable to start blasting holiday music and re-watching A White Christmas all month long!
Toasted Almond Cherry Oatmeal
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ¼ cup frozen or fresh cherries
- Honey or maple syrup
- Almond Butter
- Heat small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add slice almonds and toast for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently until toasted but not yet browned. Remove almonds and set aside.
- Place almond milk in saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, add oats and cook 5-7 minutes, or until they reach your desired consistency.
- While oats are cooking, place cherries in a microwave-safe bowl and thaw in microwave for 30-45 seconds.
- Once oats are cooked, turn off the stove and stir in almond extract.
- Pour oats into serving bowl, top with cherries, almonds, and any other toppings of choice. Enjoy!