Barley and oat breakfast bowl

Barley and oat breakfast bowl with a strawberry-rhubarb compote

This fruity barley and oat breakfast bowl combines a hearty vanilla creamy base with a perfectly balanced sweet and tart compote. It’s vegan, healthy and easier to make than it seems!

Why eating barley for breakfast

The texture of barley is so perfect in breakfast bowl: it gets creamy when cooked while being stirred often, but holds enough on its chewiness to prevent reaching an unappetizing mushy consistency. Adds some steel-cut oat to create a more milky or creamy final result. Aside from the great texture, barley has a nutty taste which I find very pleasant when included in fruity dishes.

There are many other benefits from eating barley other than the culinary ones. I’m such a eat-more-fiber supporter, which gives barley a very special place in my pantry (I’m totally aware how nerd this makes me look). Packed with fiber, barley (among many other whole grains, of course) helps you feel satisfied after meal time and will make you feel full longer. All this will calm down craving for all the bad stuff surrounding you. So yes, eat barley for breakfast and enjoy how great it makes you feel.

A word on the compote:

Strawberry and rhubarb are often combined in creating dishes because their peak season coincide with each other. Aside from good timing, they match well together: the sourness from the rhubarb is better received by our tastebuds when complemented by the sugar boost brought by the strawberries. And you will see, this compote is very easy and fast to make!

How to enjoy this breakfast on busy morning

Make it ahead!

– Make the barley and oat mix as described in the recipe. Let it cool completely at room temperature (about an hour), then store in the fridge in a air-tight container (the grains will thicken during the resting time, that’s expected). Double (or triple!) the recipe if you plan on feeding many people in the next days.

– Make the compote ahead also, let it cool, then store in the fridge in a separate container. Do not built the bowl ahead!

When ready to use: just transfer your grain portion to a bowl (not the compote just yet) and add a splash of almond milk (few tbsp). Then, warm for a minute or two in the microwave. Mix well and adjust the consistency with more almond milk if desired. You want to recreate the creamy texture by adding more almond milk and mixing well. Everything should take about 2 minutes to do. Then top with the compote and other garnishes if desired. The compote is delicious either cold or warm.

Recipe variations

The vanilla creamy grain base is a simple delicious mixture to combine with other ingredients. Make this barley and oat breakfast bowl your own!

– Add cut fresh fruits instead of the compote for a speedy version. This would go great with any stone fruits (peaches, cherries, apricot) or fresh strawberries.
– Also, you could prepare different flavors of compote for a fun variation: skip the rhubarb and add more strawberries or other berries.
– Other topping ideas include: unsweetened apple sauce, cinnamon and and maple syrup.

Other strawberry recipes you might like

I hope you enjoy this barley and oat breakfast bowl as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!

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Barley and oat breakfast bowl with a strawberry-rhubarb compote

This warm fruity breakfast bowl will brighten up your mornings with its perfectly balanced tart and sweet flavors. The vanilla creamy mixture of healthy barley and oats feels such like a treat!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast bowl, Vegan
Servings: 2
Author: plantbasedjess


  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oat
  • 3 cup almond milk plus more for serving
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Strawberry-Rhubarb compote:

  • 1 cup rhubarb, fresh or frozen roughly chopped
  • 1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 to 3 tbsp maple syrup or to taste


To make the compote:

  • In a small pot, combine the rhubarb, strawberries and water. Bring to a gentle boil, then turn down the heat to medium-low and keep uncovered on a low simmering. Mix frequently to prevent the fruits from sticking to the bottom. Keep cooking until you reach the desired consistency, in between 10 to 20 minutes.
  • When the compote is cooked, add the maple syrup and stir. Set aside.

To make the grain bowl:

  • Add the barley and steel-cut oat to a fine mesh colander and rinse the grains well.
  • In a medium pot, combine the grains and the almond milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat immediately to low. When you reach a very gentle simmer, cover and keep cooking at low heat for about 30-35 minutes. Stir regularly to make sure the grains are not sticking to the bottom of the pot. You can add some water (about 1/4 cup at the time) if the grains are getting too dry and still need to cook longer. *Start tasting the grains after about 20-25 minutes: stop the cooking earlier if you like your grain on the chewier side and let it cook longer if you are looking for a more creamy result.
  • Once the grains are cooked, add the vanilla extract, maple syrup and combine.
  • Divide the cooked grains in between 2 bowls. Add the compote on top and other garnishes if you want (hemp seeds, fresh strawberries, almond milk, etc). Enjoy!


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