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Delightfully Healthy Gluten-Free Rhubarb Crumble

June 19, 2014

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Cooking Time:

50 minutes

Yields:

8 servings

Body

Oh rhubarb season—so short, but so sweet! Well, sweet in the metaphorical sense, because rhubarb is known for its tangy taste, but it’s truly one of the most glorious and unique flavors we get to enjoy when spring and summer arrive. Anywhere from late April to early July (different regions have different growing seasons), the characteristic deep pink stalks and floppy green leaves of rhubarb begin cropping up everywhere, and, in this rhubarb-lover’s opinion, are gone far too soon. Luckily, rhubarb freezes very well, so you can access the distinctive flavors and vital nutrients any time of the year as long as you pounce on this seasonal treat when it appears! Choosing seasonal foods not only ensures that you’re getting the freshest produce; it also supports local and sustainable farmers, and reduces the environmental impact of out-of-season food shipped from far away.

Technically a vegetable, rhubarb is packed with all the nutritional goodness typical of veggies. It offers loads of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and vitamins C and B. It also has a heaping dose of dietary fiber to promote healthy digestion, plus it’s a good source of vitamin K, which not only promotes brain health but also works in conjunction with the calcium to help build your bones. On the antioxidant front, rhubarb has the flavonoids beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein, which can improve eye health. Add all of that to the fact that rhubarb is one of the lowest-calorie vegetables around, and you’ve got a plant that packs a serious nutritional punch.

Some people write off rhubarb because they don’t love the tart flavor; still others try to counteract the taste by committing my Number One Rhubarb Sin: adding strawberries (the strawberries turn to mush and the rhubarb flavor is totally wasted. No thanks!). A better way to get all the nutritional value of rhubarb, and actually enjoy its wonderfully unique flavor, is to make a dish that uses healthy natural sweeteners that bring out the delicious tartness of rhubarb while cutting down some of its pucker-inducing tang.

This recipe calls on coconut sugar and honey or maple syrup to do the job, and the result is irresistible. And though I’m usually an advocate of a traditional pie over a crumble, this twist on the classic, which incorporates heart-healthy walnuts, definitely earns my respect. No matter how you feel about rhubarb, this delicious recipe is definitely worth a try!

Do you have a favorite way to serve rhubarb? Share it with us in the comments section below!

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 8 stalks of rhubarb
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • 4 tablespoons of honey/maple syrup
  • half a teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
  • half a teaspoon of ginger (optional)

For the crumble:

  • 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F-400°F.
  2. Wash the rhubarb well, then chop into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Put the rhubarb and water into a pot and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft.
  4. While simmering the rhubarb, add the honey or maple syrup one spoonful at a time. Taste as you go to determine you're perferred level of sweetness.
  5. Add cinnamon and ginger, if you wish.
  6. When the rhubarb has softened, transfer to a pie plate or other oven-safe container. Set aside.
  7. Put the flour and coconut sugar in a bowl. Add the oil and rub into the dry ingredients to create a crumbly texture (you can also use a food processor for this step). If you need extra oil, add one spoonful at a time.
  8. Add the walnuts and mix in with your hands.
  9. Spread the crumble mixture over your dish of rhubarb, covering it as evenly as possible.
  10. Transfer to the oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the topping is crunchy and golden brown.