Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
I was given a beautiful big bunch of Rhubarb from a patient last week and went a little bit rhu-mad. Here’s what I discovered.
- Traditional Rhubarb recipes use a lot of sugar, but there’s a good reason for that. Rhubarb can be quite tart, even bitter, if not prepared properly. But that’s not how I cook so I had to find a way to increase the sweetness without too much tooth decay.
- Rhubarb pairs really well with berries. Their natural sweetness covers the tartness of the rhubarb.
- Rhubarb comes in all different sizes. The rhubarb I used was quite unusual as it was super skinny, but it turned out that this was perfect for stewing. Chunks of tart rhubarb don’t make for a nice dessert so in future I will be cutting my rhubarb length ways before I cut it into chunks.
So my rhubarb experiments proved very tasty. I have several recipes to bring you, starting with this Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble. I chose to match Rhubarb with Strawberries for a few reasons, but mainly because they make a great, full blooded, red dessert. The strawberries add a level of sweetness to the rhubarb, and they are stewed in orange juice before baking, meaning that you don’t have to use any added sugars. Actually the only added sugar in the whole dessert is 2 Tablespoons in the crumble, which means you can warm your belly guilt-lessly. I cheated and used frozen strawberries; they were cheap and it meant I didn’t have to hull them. You can substitute other berries for the strawberries but do so only with sweet berries. My warning comes after a not-so-successful attempt at using tart raspberries.
I have topped the strawberry and rhubarb with a quick and easy crumble. This crumble is dead easy to make; just put the ingredients in a blender and go. If you don’t have a blender just use your giant biceps and stir. This crumble is a bit different from a traditional crumble. Crumbles are usually made from butter rubbed in flour. Whilst I often substitute coconut oil for butter I tend not to use too much of it as it’s quite expensive and high in calories. Instead I have used coconut oil and added 2 eggs, which makes the crumble a bit spongey and helps it soak up some of the sweet red juice.
Winter is definitely the time for warming desserts. If you love crumbles, try this simple Apple Crumble or for something a bit more decadent this Steamed Sticky Date Pudding. Lucky for me I still have some rhubarb left so it’s more Strawberry and Rhubarb crumble for me!
P.S. If by some sort of miracle there are leftovers it also makes for a tasty breakfast!
- 200 grams Rhubarb stalks, cut into 2 cm pieces
- 1/4 Cup Orange Juice
- Zest of 1 small Lemon
- 500 grams of Strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/3 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Coconut Flour
- 1/2 Cup Almond Meal
- 1/3 Cup Arrowroot
- 1/4 teaspoon Bicarbonate Soda (Baking Soda)
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (Rice Malt Syrup or Honey can be substituted)
- 2 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 2 Eggs
- 3/4 Cup Desiccated Coconut
- Place the rhubarb, orange juice, lemon and berries in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat.
- Simmer over medium heat until the rhubarb has softened (approximately 8-10 minutes).
- Pour the stewed fruit mixture (including any liquid) into a large casserole dish.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/360F.
- Place all the ingredients, except the desiccated coconut, into a blender and process/blend until well combined. Add the desiccated coconut and pulse in.
- Take the crumble mixture and evenly spread over the fruit. Place the crumble in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until evenly brown on top.
- Serve warm with whipped coconut cream or custard.