Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oatmeal #4: Jamba Juice

Woooooeeeee, it's been awhile since I posted. Contrary to the title of my last post, I apparently AM lazy. However, I have an excuse! Or several! A) My camera "broke," meaning there was a horrific time period where I couldn't take a picture of my oatmeal. (In reality, it just needed new batteries. Embarrassing.) B) I went to Boston, where I ate no new oatmeals. (Oops. But I did make a darn good batch of baked oatmeal.) C) My heat is broken, and it's 51 degrees in my apartment. That's just altogether too cold, and my hands freeze when I pull them out of my snuggie to try to type. (False. I opt for the far more mobile and visually inoffensive version of the snuggie--the hooded sweatshirt. Somebody please make an infomercial for a hooded sweatshirt. "Do you like the snuggie? Well, you'll LOVE the hooded sweatshirt! It's a snuggie that lets you get up and walk around without looking like a purple Gandalf!" Ah Gandalf. Who knew he was a such a fashion trendsetter? Look for hobbit feet slippers to be the Next Big Thing.*) D) The baseball playoffs started. (And, for the Cardinals, ended in about 19 valiant, drama-filled seconds. Seriously dudes? Getting swept? This is how you pay me back for watching games filled with inexplicable Ashton Kutcher camera commercials and incessant ads for whatever crapsuck new show George "I am not funny" Lopez is in? Oh please. Meanwhile, I will now pause to give you time to thank me for leading you to that picture of Ashton.**)

*Umm question: What is the gender of the person on the right? I was looking at that picture with a friend and posed the same question, and we simultaneously said the following things:
Me: I mean, it's a boy, but...
Friend: Well obviously it's a girl...
Oh dear.

**That should be written in sarcasm font. Seriously. If any picture warrants a "WTF?" it's that one. Apparently someone is telling him to take his mocha frappuccino light and "look, I'm 30 but my playfully tousled locks will make you think I'm 20" hairdo and get the freak out of my pool, and Ashton doth protest, as anyone who made a classfest like
Dude Where's My Car rightfully should. I bet he hates oatmeal.

Whatever. This is an oatmeal blog, darn it! And this post's oatmeal is from Jamba Juice. Jamba is a California-based company that is generally known for its delicious fruit smoothies, so it seems kind of odd that they sell oatmeal. I guess smoothies are kind of on the outs, so they want to break into the breakfast market? Who knows. Anyway, they have oatmeal, and I tried it. (May I also add that Jamba is apparently the most boring company ever? I can't find ANYTHING to make fun of them about (or "about which to make fun," perhaps). This is how the playground bully (who, for whatever reason, is usually named Danny) must feel when the resident pipsqueak grows 5 inches over the summer.)
  • Price: $2.95 + tax. They don't have coffee (wait, what?), so there is no "breakfast bundle" or anything like that available. So my total was $3.29. (5)
  • Size: One size only, which is maybe 9 or 10 ounces. I am discovering that this is apparently the standard oatmeal size. (5)
  • The toppings choices are kind of slim, but creative. There are four choices: a blueberry/blackberry puree, an apple cinnamon puree, fresh bananas, or plain brown sugar. (The first three choices also come with brown sugar.) I got the blackberry/blueberry puree, and I have to say that I am kind of on the fence about it. It was very hot, which was good (I think the only hot topping I have encountered), but it was also incredibly, incredibly sweet (especially when combined with the brown sugar), and they put on way too much, making it rather overpowering. You basically have to dig through this sweet jelly goo to get to the actual oatmeal. At first I liked it, but I got tired of it pretty quickly. I think it could have been drastically improved by using about half as much. I also think it would be pretty darn good with the fresh bananas (big fan of bananas on my oatmeal) or even just the brown sugar, because then it wouldn't be nearly as sweet and (spoiler alert) the oatmeal itself is pretty good. However, the far greater problem here (aside from NO COFFEE) is the lack of toppings selection. While I applaud the apparent desire to go for something a little bit different than all the other places I have tried so far, ultimately the toppings are overpowering and limiting. You can't alter or mix them at all (not that 4 choices provides much of an opportunity to begin with), and they put the toppings on themselves. So I would like to see some dried fruit, nuts, or possibly even some chocolate options. (5)
  • Texture/Appearance: You can't really tell from the picture, but it has a most excellent texture. It's not soupy at all, and you can actually tell there are oats in it, as opposed to having a smooth, Cream of Wheat sort of vibe. I don't want to have to really chew my oatmeal, but neither should I be able to just swallow it like a protein shake. I enjoy biting down on actual oats. (Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that they're "steel cut oats," something people frequently brag about, but in reality I have no concept of the significance.) And it doesn't look gross either. It's fairly light in color because it's made with milk, but I am cool with that. One thing that might turn people off is that it is almost solid. For instance, if you spoon out a bite, it doesn't flow to fill in the hole you made. Kind of like...cold mashed potatoes. But not gross like cold mashed potatoes! This doesn't bother me because the oatmeal I make on my own often ends up like that too, but I feel like I should warn you. (My "editor" EH, who is somewhat textureophobic, just vommed all over you. Seriously. She won't eat frozen yogurt.) (9)
  • Temperature: *Insert Hallelujah chorus!* The oatmeal was hot! Even after walking maybe three blocks to my office. I secretly suspect (well I guess it isn't a secret anymore) this is because the very hot topping traps the heat of the oatmeal, so it stays warmer longer, but hey, whatever works. (9)
  • Taste: Finally! An oatmeal that doesn't have to be hidden behind a mountain of toppings! The first oatmeal I would at least consider eating alone! Yes, this oatmeal is actually good. Apparently, Jamba makes it with soy milk as opposed to water or regular milk, and while I am generally not a fan of soy milk (though I grew up 25 miles from the Soybean Capital of the WORLD! And yeah, Abe Lincoln lived there. Suck it.), I am assuming this plays a huge role in the oatmeal's yumminess. How ironic that the first oatmeal that is good enough to be eaten alone is drenched in a tsunami of blueberry/blackberry goo. So I think in the future, I'll either get the fresh bananas (cause those aren't so overpowering) or maybe just the brown sugar. I am pretty confident that, in that case, this oatmeal would taste pretty excellent. (9)
  • The oatmeal alone has 220 calories, which is kind of a lot (darn that soy milk). Then the brown sugar and fruit add another 100, so it's a bit high in the caloric department. And since I'm sure they put on more than a "serving size" of the topping, my guess is it added more like 150. Hmph.
  • Intangibles: It comes with this friendly orange spoon (see the picture) that I find irrationally amusing. But they put the oatmeal in this bag that is not at all appropriate. Instead of your standard to-go brown bag or whatever, it's like one of those bags you get when you buy a greeting card at Hallmark or a bagel from wherever. Obviously, a round carton of oatmeal doesn't fit well into this, making it just awkward. This may sound trivial, but it is annoying when you have to carry it three blocks and then through a revolving door and then through security turnstiles and then on the elevator and then through another door and etc. Oh. I am sensing there is something else. Oh. That's right. Did I mention? Did I mention that there's NO COFFEE!! I am actually kind of torn about this. For me, coffee is a must-have, and I don't understand how someone can sell breakfast items and not have coffee. However, Jamba is first and foremost NOT a breakfast place, and so I can kind of understand their not wanting to half-ass it and end up doing it badly when it isn't really their thing, you know? I mean, you don't go to Jamba to get coffee, you go there to get a smoothie. So why should they bother? Well, they should bother because I say so. I don't know if I would get coffee there, but at least give me the option. Especially because my office coffee is raunch. But they do have very friendly service and a great, sunny atmosphere. (-2)
TOTAL: 5+5+5+9+9+9-2=40

A triumph of taste and texture, but a few failings in the toppings and coffee areas killed it. Still, a pretty solid score. This puts Jamba in third, and we still are pining for that one elusive oatmeal that will leap to the top in a shower of oaty glory and firmly establish itself as excellent in all areas. At least that's what I am doing. You are probably just laughing at me.

Meanwhile, as I was searching for snuggie pictures, I came across something truly...let me think about this for a second...I kind of want to be like Will Ferrell in that one SNL skit and come up with my own word (Scrumtrulescent!), because my vocabulary is failing me. What about...mortibominarrifying. Ohsweetmercywhatisthateousness. Iwanttokickthispersoninthefacearrific. Fine. I'm done. A picture is worth a thousand words. !!!!

What IS THAT. Seriously. What would you say if you saw that thing walking down the street? The woman is SPROUTING A CHILD. Or that baby's head has replaced her heart in some sort of Iron Man-esque twist. If you ever see these people (I guess we can call them people. Or creatures.), instantly report that mother to DCFS and get that child taken away. I bet that woman likes Two and a Half Men.

But more you think it comes with the matching turtleneck?


  1. oh my god. that was tangentfillederificnous!

  2. I'm glad that someone else has enough sense to hate Two and a Half Men AND the people who watch it.

  3. This definitely looks delicious! I'd like to try it sometime but having to carry it around all those places and turnstiles might be a bit of a hassle.