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
5 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced
6 cups water
1 cup strawberries, raspberries, or cherries
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 - 3 tablespoons raw honey
2 teaspoons Great Lakes gelatin mixed with 1 1/2 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)
2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk (I use Aroy-D brand)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1. Wash then thinly slice the fresh rhubarb. Bring the sliced rhubarb and 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan or stockpot. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the rhubarb cook in the residual heat for 10 minutes.
Note: If you are using other seasonal fruits, simply prepare and place in a saucepan without additional water. Bring the fruit to a simmer, mash with a fork, and stir.
2. Pour the rhubarb-water mixture into a fine stainless steel sieve to drain the water into the sink. Hang the sieve over a large measuring cup or bowl for 5 - 10 minutes to allow additional water to drain.
4. 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 and add the coconut oil and maple syrup. Mix, add the coconut milk, and continue to mix until crumbly. The mixture will look crumbly 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.
4. Transfer the rhubarb back to the saucepan with the 1 cup of strawberries, raspberries, or cherries. Simmer over medium-low heat, uncovered, for approximately 15 minutes or until the fruit slightly reduces. Stir every couple of minutes. This allows the water to evaporate and the mixture to thicken.
5. Turn the stove off and add the coconut oil and honey to the fruit saucepan. Whisk.
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 reduced rhubarb mixture and whisk. You may want to use an immersion blender or transfer the fruit to a blender to mix on low to puree the fruit if there are large clumps remaining, for example with cherries.
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