I thought I'd missed the rhubarb season this year. Spring was late and then went by really quickly, taking with it a blast of seasonal produce. Fortunately, rhubarb still seems to be in season, which is great as it's one of my favourite fruits. There's nothing like enjoying a bowlful of stewed rhubarb to remind you that summer is just around the corner.
I say fruit, but if you haven't cooked with it before there is one thing you need to know about it. Rhubarb isn't at all sweet! This is one reason I like to pair it with other, sweeter fruits like apples or strawberries. It has a very distinctive (and delicious) sharp, almost tangy taste but if you're using it alone make sure you add a sweetener. I like using maple syrup or coconut nectar, but sugar would work too.
The Recipe - Rhubarb & Apple Crumble
On to the recipe for this Rhubarb & Apple Crumble! I grew up in a household where crumbles (or crisps) made with apples from our tree were the usual dessert. Rhubarb would sometimes get thrown into the mix too. I enjoyed them, but thought they were nothing exciting as I was used to eating them all the time. It's only now as an adult that I've really developed a taste for the foods I ate growing up.
Adapting my mother's original crumble recipe to one that incorporates the way I eat these days (wholefood and vegan, without gluten or refined sugar) has been a surprisingly easy and enjoyable task. Crumbles lend themselves naturally to a wholefood lifestyle, and are extremely simple and satisfying to make (and eat!). This Rhubarb and Apple Crumble pairs delicious seasonal fruits - which compliment each other perfectly - with almonds and oats. The result is a deliciously comforting and rich, yet nutritious dessert.
Rhubarb and Apple Crumble (vegan + gluten-free)
- 3 medium apples, chopped into rough 1-inch cubes.
- 3 large stalks rhubarb, chopped into inch-long pieces (about 6 cups)
- ¼ cup maple syrup or coconut nectar
- 1½ cups ground almonds
- ½ cup gluten-free rolled oats
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- Preheat your oven to 150°C/300°F.
- Gently heat the rhubarb and apples on a medium-low heat in a saucepan, adding 1-2 tbsp water and stirring frequently until the mixture begins to bubble.
- Continue to cook until the fruits have softened and disintegrate when touched with a spoon (about 15-20 minutes).
- Remove from the heat and stir in maple syrup or coconut nectar. Set aside.
- Mix the ground almonds, oats, coconut sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl until all ingredients are combined.
- Rub the coconut oil into the mixture with your hands until it resembles a breadcrumb-like texture.
- Spoon the fruit mixture into an oven-proof baking dish, and sprinkle the crumble mixture on top.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and the fruit bubbling.
- Serve immediately with ice cream of coconut whipped cream. Enjoy!