A delicious gluten free, vegan treat perfect for brunch or simple afternoon snackingHappy Rhubarb season, y’all! I hope I didn’t just lose a few readers right from the start with that opening. You know, the readers who haven’t tried rhubarb yet to discover how delicious this vegetable eaten like fruit really is… I’m adding three dots to continue that thought, because you can’t end a sentence with the word “is”…ya know? I used to be one of those people, but thank goodness I married Allen and he got me to give rhubarb a real chance and now I look forward to it every Spring! Then I found the most lovely blog, Love & Lemons, and she had a recipe for what I now call my favorite strawberry rhubarb crumble bars.
I made these Wednesday evening (super quick and easy – making them after work is completely reasonable) and there’s only one bar left (it’s Friday) just hanging out in the fridge alone. It’s safe to say we’ll never know how long these truly last in the fridge, because they’ll always be eaten long before then!
You’ll need these fine ingredients to make the crumble bars:
- whole rolled oats
- walnuts (I actually used pecans since that’s what I had in the pantry)
- almond flour
- brown sugar
- ground flaxseed (sneaking in loads of nutrients and omega 3 fats!)
- sea salt
- coconut oil (which you don’t taste at all!)
- lemon juice (fresh squeezed please 🙂 )
- maple syrup
Start by adding the oats, walnuts or pecans, almond flour, brown sugar, ground flaxseed, cinnamon and salt to a food processor to blend all together…just a bit. If you haven’t used almond flour yet, I think you’ll find you love it! It’s such a great alternative to keep a recipe gluten free plus you get bonus points for nutrition. Win win. I used almond flour from Trader Joes this time, but have also used ‘Bob’s Red Mill’ brand – both worked well!
Then add the coconut oil and water and blend once more until everything is mixed and sticks together well. The original recipe says to add the coconut oil and mix, then the water and mix again, but I was making this after work…remember? So I took a quick little shortcut here and I seemed to get by okay! But I’m a little curious so I’ll be a good rule follower next time 🙂
Press 2/3 of the crumble into an 8×8 baking dish to create the crust layer. I decided to line my baking dish with parchment paper, because it makes clean up so darn easy! I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it at least ten more times, parchment paper is your best friend when baking! Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. (I did 20)
While the crust is baking, mix together the strawberries, rhubarb, cornstarch, lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla to make the fruit filling. Use a spatula to stir so it’s easy to get everything off the sides of the mixing bowl!
The crust will need to cool for 10 to 15 minutes after you take it out of the oven. Once that time passes, pour the fruit filling in and spread it over the crust, top with the remaining crumble (I actually didn’t use all that was left because I wanted to make sure the crumble to fruit ratio was on point) and then sprinkle a few more oats on it all. Bake for another 20 minutes and then let it cool to room temperature before slicing.
Another reason I love using the parchment paper is because once the crumble cooled slightly, I just lifted the paper out of the dish and moved that delicious slab to a baking rack to finish cooling. We didn’t indulge this time and serve any of the bars with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, but I’m fairly certain it would be heavenly. These were so good warm, but equally tasty right out of the fridge the next day and pair extremely well with a cup of hot tea in the evenings.
The only change I’d make next time is doing more rhubarb than strawberries, because I love the tartness rhubarb adds to treats like this and I think there’s plenty of sweetness between the strawberries and the crumble. Using pecans instead of walnuts may have helped with that as well. Pretty positive you could also mix it up with the fruit combo and try blueberries, peaches or apples in place of strawberries.
It’s currently 9:00 PM on a Friday night after a busy week of work and planting flowers (more details to come shortly on the flower part) and it’s feeling like it’s time for a snack, a cup of tea and snuggling on the couch with our Max for a movie. Watch out. We get pretty wild on Friday nights 🙂
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars
A delicious gluten free, vegan treat perfect for brunch or simple afternoon snacking
For the fruit filling
- 1 cup diced strawberries
- 1 cup diced rhubarb
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Crumble
- 2/3 cup whole rolled oats & additional for garnish
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp firm coconut oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp filtered water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.
Make the crumble by mixing the oats, walnuts or pecans, almond flour, brown sugar, flaxseed, cinnamon and salt in a food processor. Once combined, add the coconut oil and pulse again. Then add the water and pulse one more time until everything is mixed well.
Press 2/3 of the crumble into the baking dish to create the crust layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes and then remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 - 15 minutes.
While the crust is baking, mix up your fruit filling. Add the strawberries, rhubarb, cornstarch, lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla to a medium sized mixing bowl and stir together.
Spread the fruit filling over the slightly cooled crust and sprinkle with remaining crumble or as much of the crumble as your prefer. Garnish with a few more oats and return to the oven to bake another 20 minutes, until the fruit is soft and the crumble topping is crisp.
Let cool completely before slicing into bars and serve immediately or store cooled bars in a tupperware container in the fridge. Enjoy with ice cream or on their own!
Have a beautiful day!