Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Oatmeal a' la Jamba Juice! -- Recipe

I absolutely love Jamba Juice.  I love their smoothies, I love their friendly employees, I love their baseball caps and t-shirts,  I love their fun signs and playful font, and I love how there's always a lot of sunshine coming in through their windows!  If I could get them to make me a smoothie every day, I would.  (Pumpkin Smash*, 5 Fruit Frenzy, and Peach Perfection are my favorites).  I've tried to get my kids to get a job there so they could bring me one home after work, but I've only found the Job Applications on the bedroom floor afterward.  Oh well!

My latest discovery is their steel cut oatmeal.  Granted, I've only tried one flavor, but once I find one I love, I have no need to try another.  I absolutely LOVE their Blueberry & Blackberry oatmeal.  I always have them OMIT the brown sugar crumble topping and just have the oatmeal with the berries.  I make oatmeal with raisins and cinnamon at home quite often, but it's not as dreamy as this oatmeal.  Theirs is so soft and super tasty.  I just love it.

The sad part is that:
  1. It's expensive unless they are offering their "Do you want some oatmeal with your drink for $1 off?" deal, but usually I don't want oatmeal when I already have a smoothie.  
  2. They never seem to have it when I'm there.  I usually go into Jamba Juice after school with my kids and they've started stopping (I know that sounds weird to write start and stop together, but it's how it happened in my head) selling the oatmeal after 3:00 at our closest store.  Once I got there at 2:30 on an early release day and they had run out.  !!!
I just have to insert my sad oatmeal airport story.  A few weeks ago, I flew to Arizona for a wedding.  When I was at the airport waiting to depart, I passed a Jamba Juice.  I had already eaten breakfast and was quite content.  I just didn't have room for Jamba Juice.  But I made a mental note that it would be wonderful to have some of the oatmeal when I got to Phoenix since I had a layover in L.A. and knew I'd be hungry again.  (Who in their right mind would want those honey peanuts they serve on the plane? -- Blech!)

When I got to the Phoenix airport, I walked out of my way hunting for a Jamba Juice, but never found one.  I was busy enough while I was visiting that I couldn't stop at one, but the craving was still planted in my heart and I did indeed think about it.  On the way home, I was determined to get some oatmeal back at my airport when I arrived.  It was only going to be noon, so they couldn't pull the, "We don't serve oatmeal after 3:00" trick on me.  I got off the plane and smiled as I saw the Jamba Juice sign so bright and cheery.  I walked up and ordered a Berry Oatmeal and they said they weren't selling it that day.   I was so sad!

So I determined that I need to figure out how to make oatmeal just as wonderful as theirs and not depend on them to have it anymore.  Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't.  I still haven't found a good Pumpkin Smash recipe, but I'm going to work on this today.  My euphoria from figuring out the oatmeal is giving me the belief that it can be done!

First I just Googled it, but didn't find anything even worthy to try.   I knew the basic ingredients were the oatmeal, soymilk and berries and figured they had sweetened the berries a bit even w/o the brown sugar.  Here's what I came up with and oh was it heavenly!

Jamba Juice Berry Oatmeal

1 c. old fashioned oats
2 1/2 c. water
1/4 c. organic plain soy milk
1 c. berries (I used the frozen 3 berry blend from Costco)
1 T. pure maple syrup

I use a rice cooker for my oatmeal and cracked wheat. It keeps me from burning my grains and keeps it warm for me when I walk away and forget about it.

Put the oatmeal and water in the rice cooker.  Click the "Cook" setting.  When it's all cooked (it probably took 15-20 minutes) and has changed to the "Warm" setting, then add the soy milk and stir in.  Let it sit and warm for a few minutes.  I was amazed at how soft and fluffy this made the oatmeal.

Stir the berries in a pot with the maple syrup on top of the stove.  Bring to a boil and let boil out most of the liquid that develops when the frozen berries thaw.

Scoop the oatmeal into a bowl and add the berries on top.  Should be enough to serve 2.  Enjoy on these cold November mornings!

* Just wanted to clarify that when I get the Pumpkin Smash smoothie, I have them substitute frozen peaches for the frozen yogurt.  It's just wonderful and doesn't give me the refined sugar or the dairy.   There's only been one time that the worker totally messed it up.  I took a sip, it was soup-y and weird and went back to tell him it should be more frozen.  He tried adding ice and then it was just ice-y and weird.  So he offered to make a new one and I explained how the other people had done it before - just sub frozen peaches for the frozen yogurt and it turned out just fine.  They are great at guaranteeing satisfaction!

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