Oatmeal Cherry Quick Bread: I wanted the quick bread to have healthy ingredients like organic whole oats (iron and fiber), ground flaxseed (fiber, Omega-3s), coconut oil (kills hunger, multiple health benefits) and the fresh cherries (fiber, wards off cancer, inflammation reduction, low glycemic index) that I keep bumping into at the grocery store lately.
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I was hankering for some kind of healthy, energy-giving, quick bread that I could visit and revisit throughout the day while chasing my 14 1/2 month old toddler who is into everything these days. I wanted the quick bread to have healthy ingredients like organic whole oats (iron and fiber), ground flaxseed (fiber, Omega-3s), coconut oil (kills hunger, multiple health benefits) and the fresh cherries (fiber, wards off cancer, inflammation reduction, low glycemic index) that I keep bumping into at the grocery store lately.
This recipe is lactating-mom friendly, meaning it has ingredients like oatmeal and flaxseed which supports the nutritional needs of a lactating mother. But really, anyone can eat and enjoy it. My husband, Eric (the lactose-intolerant member of the family), liked it and my toddler, Margo (the bread lover), enjoyed it as well. She normally doesn’t eat raw cherries but she went for them when they are baked into bread!
For the ground flaxseed, I used Hodgson Mill Ground Flaxseed. For the coconut milk, I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk. For the coconut sugar, I used Madhava Coconut Sugar.
Though Oatmeal Cherry Quick Bread has 1/2 a cup coconut sugar (the original recipe calls for 1 cup regular refined sugar), it’s not a super sweet bread and doesn’t leave an overly sugary taste in your mouth. There are large chunks of cherries which add a lightly sweet and tart flavor. This bread is moist almost like how banana bread can be but not mushy in any way. The color is golden and it’s so pretty with those bright red cherries peeking through. Eating this bread is like eating cake without any guilt and made better by biting into juicy and delicious cherries.
• View my tutorial on how to prepare a Flaxseed “Egg” here.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup organic whole oats
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup room temperature coconut oil
- 1-1/2 cups hand pitted, , ripped in half fresh cherries, washed and dry of excess water *see notes below for tips on pitting the cherries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with coconut oil and set aside.
- Using a large bowl, mix flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, ground flaxseed, sea salt and cinnamon until combined. Using your hands mix in coconut oil until mixture is crumbly.
- In a small-medium bowl, mix egg, coconut milk and then add the pitted ripped in half cherries. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Using a baking spatula, scrape the batter into the loaf pan and spread evenly. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes. To test for doneness, use a wooden toothpick, insert into center and if it comes out clean then it's done. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then take loaf out of pan (be careful, bread may still be hot) and cool on a wire rack completely before slicing. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- If you have a different size quick bread pan other than the one noted in the recipe, make sure to adjust for baking times.
- If you don’t have coconut oil, you can substitute canola oil instead.
- If you want the bread to be more sweet, perhaps more of a dessert bread, you can do up to 1 cup of sugar vs. the 1/2 cup that I specify.
- Kosher or regular salt can be substituted for sea salt. I like the more complex taste of sea salt, so that’s why I use it but it’s really a background flavor in this particular recipe.
- Make sure to get all the pits out when you pit the cherries. Pitting them by hand keeps more of the flesh than cutting them (I’ve tried both methods). Use your thumbs at the top of the cherry, split them in half, take the pit out and shred the flesh slightly with your fingers. Messy but worth it.
- Brewer’s yeast would also help make this bread even more of a lactating mom-friendly recipe; I haven’t tried using it with this recipe but I do have some on order that I will test out.
- Random fact: National Cherry Day is July 16th in the United Kingdom.
Adapted from “Nut Bread,” p.131 in “Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, Celebrating the Promise, Limited Edition”