Rhubarb Crumble Bars
This time of year our gardens are inundated with abundance of Rhubarb. I have to be honest until today, I have never even tasted Rhubarb. That summer I moved into my house my neighbor was trying to get me to take hers and do something with it. Not knowing what to do with it, I declined. She later ripped her plant out and made room for daisies. I regret not taking a start of it, as it is so easy to grow in Montana and as of today I just realized how delicious it is. If you haven’t enjoyed or tried Rhubarb lately you are missing out.
So what is Rhubarb? Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that has bigger than life leaves and very long stalks. This plant is easy to grow, well at least it is in Montana! Rhubarb is commonly paired with other fruits in pies and various desserts. Rhubarb is healthy, being very rich in vitamin C and fiber.
How do I prepare Rhubarb? Cut stalks at base of plant. Wash thoroughly. Cut of ¼ inch or so off each end. The Rhubarb stalk resembles the stalk of celery. You slice this stalk the same. Depending on the recipe you are using slice from ¼ inch slices to 1 inch slices. Some recipes will actually call for it to be diced finely. Follow your recipes instructions or be safe by cutting between ¼ inch and 1 inch. The plant is naturally sour so it is great paired with fruits naturally sweet and you will need to use a generous amount of sugar too. My next quest is to see how it tastes with agave.
You can cut rhubarb, slice, and store 2 cup portions in Ziploc bags in the freezer for up to 6 months. Whenever you are ready to use it pull it out of the freezer and thaw and enjoy Rhubarb all year long!
I have the pleasure of sharing with you this delightful recipe for Rhubarb Crumble Bars. My friend Anne from Polson sent me this recipe a couple of weeks ago. She emailed me the other day asking if I had a chance to make it. I have been so busy preparing and going to the GIG conference in Seattle that I just hadn’t gotten to it yet. I promised I would make it this week. Only one problem, I didn’t have any rhubarb. Kinda hard to make Rhubarb Crumble Bars without Rhubarb.
So I trusted my friend Facebook to help me out. I posted last night a status that read… “Anyone have any rhubarb you can spare.” And indeed I received a response! My friend Leah wanted some too and drove up to my friend Judy’s house and got some for both of us and delivered it to me. I have such wonderful friends and you also got to love Facebook. Today I chopped it all up and put it in ziplock bags and without hesitation started baking.
Anne is new to gluten free. She recently found her husband needed to be gluten free and has been baking for him. Both of them as a result have felt their health significantly improved. Anne is an excellent baker and has really enjoyed accepting the challenge of baking gluten free. After tasting her recipe, I think she is quite talented at it too! Thank you Anne for inspiring me to bake with Rhubarb. We both hope you enjoy sinking your teeth into these delicious bars. ~Written 2009
Crust and Crumb Topping:
2½ cups Mama’s Almond or Coconut Blend Flour (I used coconut blend)
2 cups gluten free oats
1¼ cups brown sugar (not packed)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup butter or dairy free margarine, melted
4 cups rhubarb, sliced ¼ inch thick
3 Tbsp. Mama’s Almond or Coconut Blend Flour
1⅓ cups sugar
Directions: Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl combine rhubarb, flour and sugar. Toss to coat evenly and set aside.
In a medium bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, an baking powder. Pour melted butter over flour mixture and mix with a fork until it is moistened and in pea size crumbs. Remove 2 cups and set aside.
Press remaining flour mixture into the bottom of pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread rhubarb onto crust evenly. Sprinkle with reserved flour mixture, pressing lightly.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until light golden brown.
Serve by cutting into squares. Tastes great warm or cold.
~ Recipe converted to Gluten Free for Anne Vert, Polson, MT