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Cherry Berry Breakfast Jars

Tart, juicy cherries and sweet blueberries are layered with Greek yogurt, granola, and chia seeds to make a healthy, beautiful breakfast bursting with flavor.  Mason jars make this not only pretty (I love how they show the colorful layers), but they are also practical–just screw on the lid, put the jar(s) in the cooler, and you have a portable breakfast or snack.

cherry berry breakfast jars on porchSummer fruit really is a special treat. There is just nothing like being able to walk out the door and pick fruit right in your own yard, or pick it up from a nearby farm stand.  You can taste the bright sunshine in every bite, and something with that much fresh flavor and naturally bright color has to be loaded with beneficial nutrients!

I wanted to do a post in honor of our cherry trees this week, because they have given us such great fruit this season!  We planted them a few years ago as tiny little trees, and over time we have nursed them, protected them from hungry deer, and watched them grow.  This is the first summer we have been able to harvest more than a handful of cherries from them, and I am so excited about it! Tart cherries have been a favorite of mine since I was a child.  Lots of good childhood memories are mixed in with the pursuit of good cherries and cherry pies. To have them now growing in my own yard feels like a huge luxury, and I know how my dad would love it.

cherries in white bowl 3Our two cherry trees, though still not large, are just loaded with bright red tart cherries! So far, we have been eating them too quickly to make a pie filling, but these easy breakfast jars are perfect.  The sweetness of the blueberries helps balance the tart flavor of the cherries, and really, you could substitute any seasonal fruit if you don’t have cherries or blueberries.

cherries and berries 2This recipe is so simple, yet it is so delicious and so pretty that it is worth remembering and sharing.  My kids, who were definitely in a breakfast rut, have been loving these jars the past couple of mornings.  I think it has to do with the freshness of the fruit and the novelty of the layers instead of everything just mixed up in a bowl.  You can use your favorite yogurt and favorite granola, and sweeten it all with honey if you are using unsweetened yogurt.

cherry berry breakfast jar overview 2I hope you are all enjoying some summer air and summer fruit! We went camping last weekend, and it was just what we needed.  To be away from routines and to be surrounded by nature, getting back to the basics.  It felt like time kind of stood still for us for a couple of days, and we had some good family exploring new territory and sitting around the campfire, roasting marshmallows and listening to the fire crackle and pop.  The trees, the lakes, the fresh air and stars at night all soothed my soul.  And the juicy, tart cherries give vitality and hope.  I hope you are all having a good week! I am going to share this tasty recipe at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, where lots of great food bloggers gather to trade recipes and inspiration.cherry berry breakfast jars in hands 3cherry berry breakfast jars with stripescherry tree

Cherry Berry Breakfast Jars

  • Servings: 4 half-pint sized jars
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  • 1 cup of fresh tart cherries, washed and pitted
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries, washed
  • 2 cups of Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups of your favorite granola
  • 1 teaspoon of chia seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of honey (use if your yogurt is unsweetened)
  • 4 half-pint sized mason jars


Wash the fruit and remove the pits from the cherries.  Set out the yogurt, granola, chia seeds, and mason jars.  In each mason jar, spoon in a layer of yogurt, fruit, granola, and a 1/4 teaspoon of chia seeds. Repeat the layers.  Serve immediately or cover with the mason jar lids and refrigerate or take with you in a cooler.  Enjoy!

Cherry Almond Crumble

It’s cold and dark outside, and maybe you are craving something warm and bright.  Or maybe you want to serve a dessert that is homemade, but one that doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare.  Brighten up a dark winter evening with this cherry almond crumble.  The warm, baked cherries are a burst of flavor and color, just when you need it.  Quicker and easier than a pie, the crumble still allows you to enjoy the warm sweetness of baked fruit, but with a lightly sweet and crunchy topping, and only about fifteen minutes of prep time.

frozen cherries in pan 1Tart cherries freeze beautifully, so frozen tart cherries are available and delicious all year round.  This recipe (which I adapted from some of my other fruit crumble recipes, which I adapted over time, from countless sources) allows you to put the frozen cherries right in the baking dish, so you don’t even need to pre-cook them.  I especially like the tart Montmorency cherries from northern Michigan, because they taste amazing.  They are tart and sweet at the same time, and even after they are baked, they somehow still taste fresh to me.

cherry almond crumble on table 10My feelings for Michigan cherries run deep, and cherries are connected to many cherished memories for me, some of which I have already written about in previous posts.  But even without the memories, these cherries are so full of health benefits!  They have serious anti-inflammatory properties that are said to help soothe arthritis and sore muscles, among many other things.  Also, the topping, with its oats and almonds, has some good nutrition in it too.  The crumble is a more humble dessert than the pie, and it perhaps doesn’t look as glamorous (and it can be somewhat difficult to photograph too).  But it tastes just a good, and sometimes comfort, ease, and economy of time win over glamour.  I love it, and so does my family!

I hope you all have a great weekend, and stay warm! cherry almond crumble in pancherry almond crumble on table 3cherry almond crumble on white 6I am sharing this recipe with the great group of bloggers at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Mr. Fitz @ Cooking With Mr. Fitz

Cherry Almond Crumble

  • Servings: 6-8
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For the fruit filling:

  • 1 pound of frozen tart cherries (preferrably tart Montmorency cherries)
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • a pinch of salt

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 3/4 cup of old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of raw almonds, chopped or slivered
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, and almonds for the topping.

In a 9 inch x 9 inch baking pan, spread out the frozen cherries.  Gently toss them with the 2 tablespoons each of sugar and flour, plus the pinch of salt, until well combined.

In the bowl with the topping ingredients, cut in the butter with a fork or a pastry cutter.  Continue to work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cherries.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the cherries are bubbling.

If you want the crumble to set, allow to cool for about 30 minutes.  Serve alone or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!


Cherry Cranberry Smoothie

Bursting with flavor and color, this smoothie will pick you up and infuse you with vitality.  Tart cherries and cranberries are sweetened with a splash of cranberry juice, and a banana makes the texture thick and smooth.  With only four ingredients, this smoothie is a breeze to make, yet it tastes like a special treat.

cherry cranberry smoothie overviewTart cherries freeze beautifully, and I like to keep a bag or two of Montmorency tart cherries, grown right here in Michigan, in my freezer. Then I can pull them out throughout the year to make a cherry pie, or in today’s case, a smoothie.  With the cherries and the cranberries, this smoothie is loaded with antioxidants.  There has been a lot of press about the health benefits of tart cherries–that they help with arthritis, sleep, fighting cancer, and many other things.  Whether or not all the hype is a little over the top, I still believe cherries are good for us. Just a sip of this smoothie, and I know I am drinking in lots of good nutrients.  There is some sugar from the cranberry juice, but otherwise the cherries and cranberries are too tart for most people, and there is not a lot of juice in this smoothie–just enough.

cherry cranberry smoothie with berriesWith all the things going on surrounding the holidays, it is good to keep fortified with nutrients. The vibrant flavor and color will lift your spirits.  It is not always easy to keep up with all that is going on, and small treats help.  Stopping to drink a smoothie. Several deep breaths. A walk with a trusted friend. I hope you all have a great weekend!  I will be taking this over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Sadhna @ Herbs, Spices, and Traditions and Natalie @ Kitchen, uncorked.cherriescherry cranberry smoothie on baking sheetcherry cranberry smoothie with berries 2cherry cranberry smoothies against white 3

Cherry Cranberry Smoothie

  • Servings: 4
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  • 2 cups of frozen tart (preferably Montmorency tart) cherries
  • 1/2 cup of cranberries (frozen or refrigerated is fine)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 and 1/4 cups cranberry juice (I use one that is 27% juice, so it has some sugar in it, but not as much as some do)


Place the cherries and cranberries in a blender.  Add the sliced banana and cranberry juice. Blend until smooth. Pour into four glasses. Serve with a straw. Enjoy!


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