Commercial snacks are often filled with refined sugar in one of its many guises, trans fats in the form of margarine and hydrogenated oils, simple carbohydrates that provide instant energy, but poor nutrition.  These lunch box treats send the other snacks packing.  Based on the wholegrains of oats and cooked quinoa, they provide fibre and protein for sustained energy, B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and some iron.  Sweetened with a little coconut sugar, but mostly with warming spices such as cinnamon.  Stewed rhubarb is a delicious and beautiful seasonal addition, but can be swapped for other seasonal stewed fruits such as apple, pear, berries or stone fruits. Rhubarb contains an abundance of nutrients including calcium and potassium as well as a range of antioxidant properties.

Omit the peanut butter if your school doesn’t allow nuts, but do give it a try if there are no allergies, sensitivities or intolerances at home.

Preparations time: 30mins

Cooking time: 30mins

Serves: 8-12 slices (depending on the size you cut)



1 bunch rhubarb, washed and roughly chopped

¼ cup water

1 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp vanilla


1 cup cooked and cooked tri-colour quinoa

1 ½ cups rolled oats

¼ cup coconut sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp each vanilla, cardamom, nutmeg, ground ginger

1 banana, mashed

1 egg, lighly beaten

½ cup natural peanut butter (or other nut or seed)




  1. In a medium saucepan, add the chopped rhubarb, water, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla (feel free to add other spices here if you wish). Stir to coat the rhubarb.
  2. Over low heat, simmer the rhubarb, stirring occasionally, until it is soft and has collapsed.
  3. Remove from the heat.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Line a slice pan with baking paper.
  3. In a large bowl, add all the remaining ingredients except the rhubarb and peanut butter.
  4. Mix continuously until the mixture starts to hold together (the oats will start to soften and absorb some moisture).
  5. Transfer the mixture to lined slice pan.
  6. Scoop tablespoons of the rhubarb mixture and peanut butter randomly over the top of the quinoa mixture and gently swirl through.
  7. Bake for 25-30 mins or until the base just cooks through.
  8. Cool in the pan, and then slice into portions.
  9. Store in the fridge or in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


For a vegan option, replace the egg with a flax or chia egg, which can be made by mixing 1 tablespoon of flax or chia meal with 3 tablespoons of water.  Let it stand for 15 minutes in the fridge until it takes on a gel-like consistency.

If rhubarb isn’t available, or isn’t your thing, swap out for stewed apple, pear or quince, or canned peaches, plums or apricots.