Monday, June 30, 2014

Vanilla overnight oats with strawberry rhubarb chia jam and peanut butter quinoa granola

vanilla overnight oats with strawberry rhubarb chia jam and peanut butter quinoa granola how to philosophize with cake

Contrary to what the proliferation of butter-‘n’-sugar-filled cakes and cookies on this blog may lead you to believe, I don’t spend my days feasting upon buttercream and carby carbs. Much as I would like to. In fact, I do try a little bit to eat healthily. A little. For example, as I write this I am filled with salad. What was in that salad is between me, myself, and I.

But healthy eating and using moderation is only one part of the equation. You have to exercise, too. Fucking evolution, you know?

Thankfully, there are some enjoyable exercises that one can partake in, particularly during the lovely weather of the warmer seasons. Just the other day we went for a leisurely bike ride at the local rail trail—a flat, shaded path filled with beautiful views and photo ops. So obviously, being the slacker I am, I gladly took the opportunity to stop every few miles and take pictures. 

bike path trees rail trail
Such shade. So refresh.

Along the way, we happened upon a relatively new covered bridge, which was interesting, in the way unexpected architectural features are.

covered bridge rail trail
See that? Fascinating.

covered bridge rail trail interior
The endless tunnel that is the rail trail.

There were hardly any people around, which was probably because most normal folks have better things to do than pedal down a straight, flat path through the suburbs. As in, going downtown and partying it up. Not that there are any clubs around here.

rail trail bike path
Oh my god, trees!

As you can see, there were some of those electrical thingys on the side of the trail. Sort of like the Blair Witch Project. Or not.

viaduct canyon bike path
This is as close to the Grand Canyon as I've ever gotten.

One particularly unique section of the trail was shortly after one of those precarious viaducts, where the land suddenly rose up and created a sort of canyon, with high walls of rock on either side of the path. It was several degrees cooler inside—a blessing, since it was rather hot even in the shade.

picturesque farm bike ride
Almost like a desktop background, no?

Near the bike path was an old farm—no longer in use, I think, but picturesque just the same.

silo old farm bike ride
I call this "Still life with silo".

old farmhouse
Old farmhouse. I hope nobody lives there because that would mean I was a creeper.

So that was a lovely outing. Yes, it required going out of the house, but I’d say it was worth it.

After biking all of those hard, hard miles, I treated myself to—wait for it—a slice of cake. Actually, it was a piece of those rhubarb custard bars I had made. Same thing.

But was I wrong to do that? It’s not “clean”, isn’t it? I’m a teenage girl, just like many members of the superfood community of Instagram, which I quickly became aware of after signing up a few days ago. I should be eating pretty bowls of oatmeal with a zillion different ornately arranged toppings and infinite quantities of banana ice cream. Also fruit. Lots of fruit. Enough fruit to make a grown man cry.

(Side note: If you have no idea what I am talking about, I suggest reading this Buzzfeed article. It provides a quick summary as well as some pictures.)

As someone who is around the same age as many of these girls, I find their dedication to making millions of different pancake and oatmeal variations simultaneously baffling and fascinating. On one hand, some of the food photograph is quick impressive. I mean, look at this.

What you see there is “matcha pancakes layered with chocolate Greek yogurt, loads of heavenly tahini, strawberries + banana + blueberries + apricot, crushed almonds and cacao nibs”. And it is gorgeous. Obviously. I love pancakes, as you probably can tell from all of the recipes I’ve posted, and I’ve never put that much work into a single plate of breakfast.

On the other hand, I’m sort of jealous. Mostly because my parents would never buy me matcha or cocoa nibs, or any of the other health foods found on these accounts, like goji berries, coconut flour, fancy protein and superfood powders, and three thousand kinds of nut butters. My family must be a bunch of poor fatty fat schmucks.

Also the community has been accused of being a modern type of pro-anorexia called pro-orthorexia. Which really isn’t that hard to believe, IMHO, but you can totally disagree with me (after all I am a fatty fat with no taste).

Basically, I think it’s cool to look at pretty bowls of oatmeal and stacks of pancakes and "nanaicecream", but I can’t really get behind the concept of super-healthy, "clean" bowls of decorated mush. So why not make my own interpretation, complete with fatty-fat ingredients and non-superfoods galore?

vanilla overnight oats with strawberry rhubarb chia jam peanut butter quinoa granola
Okay sure. But WTF is that anyway?

I apologize for my presentation. I foolishly attempted to pipe some peanut butter onto my overnight vanilla oats in a striped pattern. It was not a very successful attempt.


Yes. This might shock you, but…

It still tasted good.

Don’t tell anyone I said that.

Vanilla overnight oats with strawberry rhubarb chia jam and peanut butter quinoa granola


Granola (adapted from my chocolate peanut butter granola)

64 grams • creamy peanut butter • ¼ cup

100 grams • maple syrup • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon

9 grams • vanilla extract • 2 teaspoons

312 grams • old-fashioned oats • 2 cups

85 grams • quinoa, rinsed • ½ cup


152 grams • strawberries, halved • 1 cup

50 grams • rhubarb, diced • 1 medium stalk

40 grams • maple syrup • 2 tablespoons

30 grams • chia seeds • 2 tablespoons


40 grams • quick oats • ½ cup

244 grams • nondairy milk (I used soy) • 1 cup

15 grams • chia seeds • 1 tablespoon

20 grams • maple syrup • 1 tablespoon

2 grams • vanilla extract • ½ teaspoon

Other toppings


Peanut butter


To make granola, start by preheating oven to 325 degrees F. Microwave peanut butter and maple syrup in a bowl until melted and mix-able, about 30 to 60 seconds. Stir thoroughly, then add vanilla.

Toss with oats and quinoa with peanut butter mixture, then spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on baking pan until crunchy and amazing.

To make chia jam, add strawberries, rhubarb, and maple syrup to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Mash gently with a fork or potato masher. Add chia seeds and simmer for a minute. Let sit for about half an hour in the fridge until thickened and cooled.

To make vanilla overnight oats, simply combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit in the fridge…overnight. How easy was that?

The next morning, take out your oatmeal and smother it with granola, jam, sliced banana, peanut butter. It doesn’t have to be purty to be delicious.

Now, I know there a lot of flavors in here, almost too many. But all mushed together, Instagram style, it tastes sort of like a PB&J, but with a little more complexity. Sort of. 

vanilla overnight oats with strawberry rhubarb chia jam and peanut butter quinoa granola
Ah. I see.

Also, there will be a lot of granola and chia jam leftover, but that is no tragedy. That strawberry rhubarb chia jam is a miracle—so incredibly easy, yet so delicious and sophisticated-tasting. You could almost dump it into a graham cracker shell and call it pie. The quinoa granola also makes an excellent snack.

Is this #cleaneating enough? I don’t know, but I know it’s good enough for your average teenage girl.


  1. Lot of healthy ingredients in one bowl:) I am sure its a perfect meal to start the day

  2. Ahhh that looks great! And I like the peanutbutter-pipe topping, looks fancy! I totally know what you mean about all those fancy recipes out there though, you do wonder how on earth they can afford all that stuff, and how they have enough time in the day to create all those dishes!

    It's crazy how many "healthy food blogs" there are out there, and I'm totally with you when it comes to how the whole focus on dieting and (over) exercising seems to become a bit of an increasing problem.

    But hey! Then we have you to the rescue, going down the happy middle way, taking the best of both world and making EPIC food for us to try :) I have run out of chia seeds though, dang! That jam looks deeelicious! I just smashed some berries with agave syrup yesterday when making buckwheat pancakes for breakfast for the first time ever (also one of those things that seem to be trending...AH! I only made it cause I'd seen it and it looked delicious :) )

    Thanks for sharing June :D x

    Or and here, I bet the rest of the granola and jam would be amazing components to use in say, a cake or share with la familia :) Your bike trip looks amazing by the way, wish it was the same over here in Glasgow!

    1. Thanks! I agree it's much more fun to have a mix of healthy and not as healthy, so many more flavor options! And sugary goodies :) The berries + buckwheat pancakes sound amazing. Buckwheat pancakes + blueberries is an awesome combo IMO, it's more than just a trend! :)

    2. So glad you agree :D Have an epic Tuesday! x

  3. Haha I LOVED this post! And I agree. Food that LOOKS good should taste good too. And sometimes that requires the fatty fat delicious stuff. These oats look awesome!

  4. I wish I had a trail like that near where I live, I'd never use the treadmill again. I kind of tend to think that the whole clean eating expectation has gotten a bit out of control. I can appreciate all types of food, but to try to eat that way ALL THE TIME is pretty unreasonable and let's face it, not very practical either. I mean yeah, that pancake tower is pretty, but it looks like a sculpture, not necessarily something I'd really want to eat. Honestly, I'd really rather eat your bowl of oats and that's a fact. xx

    1. Thanks! You're right the pancake does look like a sculpture. A fountain maybe? :)

  5. I am literally LOLing (as usual at your posts) but I just had to say that those Instagram photos drive me insane. Like, how much time does that take!? And how does one person ever eat that much food? Frankly, your breakfast looks much better to me :)

    1. Thanks so much! Sometimes I wonder how they eat so many pancakes without getting sick of it, even though I am a total pancake fiend. :D

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. OK, deleted the previous comment, as I clearly wrote it all wrong, I meant that your photos put mine to shame... Hahah!
    Here it is again, and thanks for having checked it out already! x

    1. Had to actually google up the phrase to make sure I got it right, lost in translation :P x

    2. Oh! It's okay, I understand. :)

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