Summer’s officially here which means that Spokane’s stores and markets are filling up with some of the best produce of the year. Among these seasonal options is one of my favorite fruits – cherries! So you can imagine how excited I was to partner with Stemilt Growers to sample their famous Skylar Rae cherries. The bunch I tried were from Mattawa, WA. These little babies are known for being one of the sweetest cherry varieties on the current foodie dream scene, and let me tell you – they did not disappoint.

Skylar Raes look like Rainer cherries, but are more firm and sweet, a rare and definitely winning combination for eating and cooking (see my recipe below). Skylar Rae cherries are best for salads, drinks, garnishes or just plain snacking. You can only find these cherries at Rosaeurs and Yokes Fresh Market from mid June to mid July so get them quick, before they are gone. Not only is the taste superior, but so is the story behind the famous brand. Discovered for the first time in 2004 by the Toftness family at Tip Top Orchards, this special cherry was named for Skylar Rae Toftness, the late daughter of Troy and Kim Toftness.

Stemilt may be known by many for Skylar Rae’s, but they are also growers of apples, pears, peaches, apricots and nectarines. Their name, a Native American word meaning “coming from the mountains”, and growing traditions run deep – 6 generations deep! Stemilt takes great measures to promote sustainability in their orchards and packing facilities, a practice that all us Washingtonians can get behind!

Flourless Banana Pancakes

1 1/2 cups oats (it’s best if you use quick oats, but I used steel cut and blended them so they were fine, like flour)

2 mashed bananas

3 tbs almond milk

4 eggs

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

  1. Mash the bananas with a fork until smooth. Add almond milk (you may use regular milk or heavy cream if you prefer).
  2. Add the eggs and whisk the mixture.
  3. Add oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg
  4. Mix the batter and heat up a non-stick skillet on medium heat.
  5. In about 1 minute you should see some bubbles appear. Flip the pancake over and fry for another minute. Repeat this step with the remaining batter.
  6. Top with Skylar Rae Cherries, greek yogurt, and maple syrup.


For a full selection of available fruits and recipes, visit As always, let them know that I sent you – and then check back and let me know what you think!