Pit and chop your cherries. Set a few aside for garnish.
Bring 1 3/4 cups of water and kosher salt to a boil. Stir in 1 cup of rolled oats and 1 cup of chopped pitted cherries. Stir to mix.
Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the honey or maple syrup, and stir in the almond extract 1 tsp at a time, and taste. Add more by the tsp to your liking. Same goes for the honey or maple syrup. (Everyone prefers different levels of sweetness and almond flavor, so this part of the recipe is flexible.)
Cover and let stand for 2 minutes before serving. This lets the oats absorb any extra liquid.
Transfer oatmeal to bowls, and top with extra chopped cherries, toasted slivered almonds, and chia seeds (optional).