I absolutely love anything that is made with rhubarb, which is why I featured it heavily in my cookbook Healthy Baking. The magnificent tart flavor just dances on the taste buds, and makes the perfect comfort food.
Rhubarb on its own marries perfectly with orange and vanilla aromatics and the best way of including it in baking recipes is to roast it first so that it keeps its shape, color and distinctive flavor. All you need is a drizzle of orange juice, vanilla extract and a small splash of maple syrup before placing the brightly-colored vegetable in the oven. I find that many people over sweeten their rhubarb recipes in an effort to counteract its natural taste, but all you really need are a few spoonfuls of maple syrup to create the perfect balance of tart and sweet.
While the rhubarb is roasting, I start the oatmeal-based crumble, which will add a crunch similar to graham crackers to the crust. The crimson color of the rhubarb is enhanced by gently folding through a handful of raspberries that I lightly smash with the back of a fork. I serve my rhubarb crumble with thick Greek-style yogurt, coconut yogurt or mascarpone. Leftovers can be devoured for breakfast the following morning.
WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT IT
- 1 large bunch rhubarb, leaves discarded, stems washed and then chopped into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces
- Juice from 2 oranges
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
- 2 tablespoon organic maple syrup or raw honey
- Handful ( 1/2 cup) of raspberries, thawed from frozen
- 1 cup (100 g) almond meal
- 1/2 cup (50 g) rolled oats
- 3/4 cup (80 g) good quality butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 360°F (180° C)
- Combine rhubarb, orange juice, vanilla and maple syrup into a bowl
- Spoon into a baking dish
- Roast rhubarb and aromatics for 20 – 25 minutes or until soft
- Combine almond meal, rolled oats, vanilla and coconut sugar into a mixing bowl then add the butter and rub through until the mix looks crumbly
- Remove roasted rhubarb from the oven
- Fold through the raspberries carefully then taste and adjust to your liking
- Top rhubarb generously with the crumble and bake for a further 2 minutes until golden
- Serve warm or cold with Greek style yogurt and enjoy
NOTES + INSPIRATION: Select rhubarb that has crisp, upright, well-colored, firm stalks and fresh-looking leaves. Avoid rhubarb that looks floppy and wilted. Store rhubarb stalks (remove and discard the leaves) in a vegetable storage bag or wrapped in plastic in the crisper section of your fridge. They will keep up to a week this way. (Never eat rhubarb leaves, they’re poisonous.)
You can also make this gluten-free and vegan by combining 3 cups of almond flour (almond meal) with 5 tablespoons of macadamia nut or olive oil . Then add 4 tablespoons of maple syrup, a little vanilla extract and rub through. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water, if required, to form into a wonderful crumbly texture, and then spoon over the rhubarb to bake.
“My main goal at The Healthy Chef is to get people cooking and eating healthier. Eat natural foods, focus on fresh fruits and vegetables and just keep it simple.” — Teresa Cutter