Strawberry-Rhubarb Vanilla Oatmeal w/ Pistachios

The one thing that I adore about spring are all the new, fresh springtimey produce making their way into farmer’s markets and local grocers.  I cannot contain my excitement when I see morels, artichokes, and rhubarb just to name a few.  This post is all about rhubarb.  I came across these long celery stalk like ruby beauties while grocery shopping.   The first thing that comes to my mind when preparing rhubarb is mixing them with strawberries.  Why? Because they are the perfect combination.  Think chocolate and peanut butter, lemon and blueberries, pasta and sauce. They’re just meant for each other.

 

I put together a quick strawberry rhubarb compote to pour over ice cream or my all-time favorite, oatmeal.  I love switching things up with my oatmeal, as my tried and true go to topping is almond butter, bananas, and cinnamon.  So, I live a little and let those creative culinary juices take over.  I encourage you to do the same.

 

Strawberry-Rhubarb Vanilla Oatmeal w/ Pistachios//serves 2

strawberry-rhubarb compote
2 cups ¼ inch-thick rhubarb slices
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla

oatmeal
1 cup oatmeal (I used steel-cut oats)

Cook oatmeal according to package directions.  While the oatmeal is cooking, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, maple syrup and vanilla in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until rhubarb is tender.

toppings
Pistachios or your favorite nut topping

Note: If you have fresh vanilla beans, please use as this will definitely take the strawberry-rhubarb to the next level.

 

Papaya, Strawberry, Banana Sunrise Chia Seed Smoothie

I enjoy juices and smoothies as a nice addition to my diet.  This particular smoothie is from Passionate About Baking.  Generally, I drink a lot of green juices and smoothies, but the contrast of the rosy hue of the papaya against the red strawberry puree was art in a glass.  I had to make it.  Also, papaya's and strawberries are rich in immune boosting Vitamin C.  I adjusted the ingredients adding a plant based milk instead of buttermilk and added some banana instead of the oat flour. 

To get the layers, first add prepared chia seed gel in each glass.  Blend about 10 strawberries with water and pour the puree on top of the chia seed gel.  Place your glass in the freezer to set for about 10-15 minutes.  Please do this step as my impatience kicked in and I poured the papaya layer on top, which resulted in, well....no layers.  I have learned that patience is a virtue with preparing food. While you wait for the strawberry puree to freeze a bit (like a slushy), prepare your papaya and banana mixture.  At this point, feel free to add your favorite add-in's (protein powder, maca powder etc.) and/or natural sweetener.  Once your bottom layers are set, add your papaya and banana mixture.  You should have three nice layers.  Besides being an aesthically appealing smoothie, it is also filling...a nice addition to your morning breakfast routine.

 

papaya-strawberry-banana-sunrise-chia-foodfanfirst

 

PAPAYA, STRAWBERRY, BANANA SUNRISE CHIA SEED SMOOTHIE//Yield 2 servings
Adapted from Passionate About Baking

strawberry puree
10 medium sized strawberries
¼ cup water

papaya and banana smoothie
1 medium sized papaya, peeled and diced
1 banana
3/4 cup of plant based milk (I used almond milk)
natural sweetener if desired

chia seeds
1 tablespoon chia seed
½ cup water

To make your chia seeds, place the chia seeds and water in a container. Let sit for about 10 minutes until chia seeds set.

For the strawberry puree, place strawberries and water in a blender.  Cover and blend until smooth.  Once your chia seeds have set, divide the mixture amongst two glasses. Pour the strawberry puree on top of the chia seeds.  Place in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes or until the strawberry layer is a slushy texture.

For the papaya and banana smoothie, place all ingredients in a blender along with the plant based milk.  Cover and blend until smooth. Taste and sweeten if desired.  Remove the chia seed and strawberry layer from the freezer, pour the papaya and banana smoothie on top. Serve with a straw and/or spoon to get all of that chia seed goodness.