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Cherry Crunch

Posted Nov 18 2010 5:26pm

Despite being popular ingredients for jams and pies, tart cherries are now becoming a part of many health drinks and diets. Do you know how nutritious red tart cherries are? They contain rich antioxidant compounds  called phytochemicals. They also contain anthocyanins which help reduce inflammation in the body. We used to have a tart cherry tree in our back yard and would pick gallons every year. Over time I have collected and experimented with tons of tart cherry recipes. Although cherry pie is an all time favorite, today’s recipe  is a close second…way quicker,  easier to prepare and more nutritious.

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I prefer buying organic frozen tart cherries when possible. Cherries are on the “12 dirty dozen” list that has the highest pesticide residue. Since I bought this package, I have discovered my local grocery store is now stocking frozen organic cherries. Yeah!

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Gather ingredients of Smart Balance (butter/olive oil blend), almonds, almond flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, almond flavoring (not pictured) tart cherry concentrate, minute tapioca (not pictured) cherries and cherry juice.

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I buy a wonderful product called tart cherry concentrate. I order it from Swanson. http://www.swansonvitamins.com/SW1093/ItemDetail It lasts a long time since you only use a small amount at at time. I add this to smoothies or fruit desserts for that extra boost of flavor and nutrition. I also buy the blueberry concentrate.

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Mix 1 c. old fashioned oatmeal in a mixing bowl. To this add 1/3 c. almond flour, 1/2 c. chopped almonds, 1/4 c. brown sugar, 1 t. almond flavoring and 1/2c. butter blend, melted. Mix well and set aside. (If you don’t have almond flour, you can replace it with oatmeal or oatbran)

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Place cherries in small baking dish. (8×8 would work, I have a favorite oval dish that I use) Sprinkle 2 T. minute tapioca over cherries.  Stir together 2/3 c. juice, 2 T. cherry concentrate, and 10 drops liquid stevia. You could also use 1/2 c. sugar instead. If you don’t want to use the cherry concentrate, you can omit it, although it really deepens the cherry flavor and adds more natural sweetness. Pour this over the cherries.

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Spoon topping over cherries and bake in 350 oven for 25-30 minutes or until topping is slightly browned and cherry juice is bubbling around the edges.

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Serve warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. If there is any left over, my honey has this for his breakfast! Hey, it beats Captain Crunch!

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Cherry Crunch

1 c. oatmeal
1/3 c. almond flour
1/2 c. chopped almonds
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter blend
1 t. almond flavoring
2/3 c. juice (preferably cranberry or pomegranate)
2 T. cherry concentrate
10 drops liquid stevia
2 T. tapioca

Place cherries in small baking dish. Sprinkle with tapioca. Mix juice with cherry concentrate. Pour over cherries. Mix dry ingredients. Add melted butter blend and stir well. Spoon over cherries. Bake at 350 oven for 25-30 minutes or until topping is lightly browned and cherries are bubbling around the edge. Serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream if desired.

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