By Hayley Stobbs R.Ac, CNC
Rhubarb is one of my favourite fruits. It was always the first to appear in our urban family garden each Spring season whereby I would cut the stalks in preparation for my mom’s delicious rhubarb crisp recipe. It also evokes family special memories of visiting my grandparents in Brancepeth, Saskatchewan — Grandma frequently served a delicious sweet strawberry rhubarb desert with ice cream. Ultimately, my connection to this recipe is family love.
From an Eastern nutritional perspective, rhubarb is cooling, bitter in taste, and enters the large intestine meridian. Energetically it promotes blood circulation, regulates heat, and eliminates toxins. From a western perspective, rhubarb contains a good amount of calcium, potassium, manganese, vitamin K and C.
Although the following recipe primarily uses rhubarb, feel free to get creative by swapping it with a variety of seasonal fruits. I’ve made them with strawberry and raspberry, as well as with cherry — all were delicious!
There’s something about a sweet and sour desert that leaves one feeling completely satisfied. The expansive nature of the sweet flavour and contractive force of the sour flavour compliment the mind and palate with a sense of gratitude and joy. Enjoy the colors, textures, and flavours of this Spring treat and share with others alongside a cup of tea.
Prep time: 20
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yields: 8 – 12 squares
3 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced
2 cups apple (peeled, sliced into thin, 1 inch pieces), sliced strawberries, or pitted cherries
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 - 3 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey
2 teaspoons Great Lakes gelatin mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water, or 1/2 teaspoon agar powder mixed with 2 teasopoons cold water
for the crust:
1 cup coconut flour (I used ‘Bob's Red Mill‘ brand. See note below for a coconut-free crust)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk (I use Aroy-D brand)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1. Wash then thinly slice the fresh rhubarb and prepare the additional fruit. Bring the sliced rhubarb, fruit of choice, and 1/2 cup of water to a simmer in a large saucepan or stockpot. Turn to medium low and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Note: If you choose a different seasonal fruit than rhubarb, simply prepare and place in a saucepan without additional water. Bring the fruit to a simmer, mash with a fork, and stir.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the crust. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease an 8X8 inch pan with coconut oil. Add the coconut flour into a medium sized mixing bowl with the coconut oil and maple syrup. Mix, add the coconut milk, and continue to mix until crumbly. The mixture will look as though it won’t hold together however it bakes well. Press into the baking pan and transfer to your pre-heated oven to bake for 15 minutes or until golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let the crust cool completely.
5. Turn the stove off and add the coconut oil and honey or maple syrup to the fruit saucepan.
Note: Start with 1 tablespoon of honey and then taste and adjust, adding more sweetener as desired.
6. Mix to dissolve the gelatin or agar powder and water in a small bowl. Add this to the rhubarb-fruit mixture and stir for 1 minute.
5. Pour the fruit onto the cooled crust and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. You can speed the setting process by placing the pan into your freezer for 1/2 hour to an hour (agar takes less time to set).
6. Slice into desired sized pieces and keep refrigerated. Garnish with a dollop of full fat coconut milk and top with a piece of sliced strawberry. Enjoy!
For low fodmap use clover honey and fruits such as rhubarb and strawberry.
For low histamine choose from the following fruits: rhubarb, apple, apricot, most berries (except red ones), cherry, pear, permission, and pomegranate.
Coconut-free crust (not AIP-friendly): 2 cups gluten free rolled oats (only oats brand) pulsed in a blender or food processor until it reaches the texture of quick oats + 1/2 – 3/4 cup hempseed + 1/4 cup maple syrup + 1/4 cup ghee (or nut/seed butter) + almond or tiger nut milk (add just enough so that the mixture sticks together) + pinch of sea salt. Mix and press into an oiled 8X8 inch pan. Bake at 350F for approximately 12 minutes. Resume with directions above.
If you’re interested in nutrition and acupuncture I’d be happy to guide you along. Please visit www.vcaspa.com to book online or call 250-590-4341. To learn more about my acupuncture practice, follow @hayley_stobbs on Instagram.
May you be nourished,
Hayley Stobbs R.Ac, CNC