I was afraid of rhubarb until I made these strawberry rhubarb oat crisp bars. A benefit of participating in a Summer farm share is that you get vegetables that you may have never tried. In one of my first CSA pick ups I received rhubarb, which I had never eaten before.
Rhubarb has also been one of those vegetables that I heard of, but had no idea what on earth to do with. Sure I have heard of rhubarb pie and rhubarb crisp, but I was always puzzled by the idea of using what is considered a vegetable as a dessert.
A few years ago a CSA food share was introduce at the hospital I worked at. I had participated in a farm share before this, but spent the entire summer that year swamped with tomatoes and kale. The variety just wasn't there. Although I did make this Kale and Apple Salad!
The new CSA was not just from one farm, but from many across our area. CSA's are great because you not only support local farms, but they allow you to try new varieties of produce you may have never tried.
So what was I supposed to with the rhubarb? Thanks to fellow dietitians I was able to find a wealth of recipes over at Teaspoon of Spice. Deanna and Serena love rhubarb!
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The recipe that caught my eye at Teaspoon of Spice was their Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. I am a bit odd (in more ways than one) and I don't like soft cooked fruit. Jam consistency is ok, so I decided to turn their crisp into an oat crisp bar. Plus, I love the idea of making desserts into single-serving portions like these cheesecake bites!
I loaded these bars up with fiber. Not only do they contain whole wheat flour, but they also contain oats, oat bran, and chia seeds!
I have to be honest, I still really don't know what rhubarb tastes like on its own since its mixed with strawberries, sugar, butter, etc in this recipe. I really love this recipe and it was a hit at work. The next time I get rhubarb I will give it an honest try on its own, just so I know what it really does taste like. I need to take baby steps just like many of my clients!
- 2 cups fresh rhubarb cut into ¼ inch pieces
- 2 cups fresh strawberries cut into ¼ inch pieces
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp orange zest zest from 1 whole orange
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 cups whole wheat flour I use white whole wheat
- 1 cup uncooked quick oats
- 1 cup oat bran
- 1 cup brown sugar firmly packed
- 1 cup butter softened
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, and orange zest into a medium saucepan.
- Cook fruit over medium heat, stirring occasionally until fruit is tender (about 10 minutes).
- Stir sugar and chia seeds into fruit mixture.
- Continue to cook fruit, stirring frequently for 1-3 minutes until mixture boils.
- Continue to boil fruit for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
- Remove fruit from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine flour, oats, oat bran, brown sugar, butter, baking soda, and salt,
- Beat crust mixture on low speed until the mixture crumbles.
- Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan with butter.
- Press crust mixture into the bottom of the baking pan reserving 2 cups for the topping.
- Pour fruit mixture over crust carefully spreading fruit close to the edges.
- Top with reserved crumble mixture.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until browned.
- Cool completely.
- Store in refrigerator.
- To lower the sugar content you can use a sugar substitute like Stevia or Swerve in place of the sugar and brown sugar if you wish.
- Refrigerate before cutting. Getting the bars cold helps keep them together.
Have you tried rhubarb? What's your favorite way to prepare it? Let me know in the comments!
Also, if you give these a try please leave a rating!
For more dessert recipes check out my Dessert Board on Pinterest!