Oh boy do I love rhubarb. There is something about combining that seriously tart flavor with brown sugar that just tantalizes my tastebuds. And those beautiful long, red stalks. Then there is the amusement I get from watching my local grocery store employees try to work out what on earth this red celery is at the cash register. But because it only appears for a very brief window each year (and costs an extortionate amount in LA), it is crucial that I make the most of it. After much deliberating on how best to prepare my delicious rhubarb this year, I decided to make these rhubarb crumble bars.
I used to think that crumble bars were a pain to make. Three separate layers just seemed like a lot of work. Then I came across this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. It is genius because the crumble only takes 5 minutes to make, and it forms both the bottom and top layers. You press half the recipe into the bottom of the pan, spread the prepared fruit on that, and loosely top with the remaining crumble mixture. It goes into the oven for 30 minutes and, voila, you have these delicious rhubarb crumble bars.
I did make a few changes to the recipe. I changed the all purpose flour to white whole wheat to increase the fiber. Then I added shredded coconut in place of some of the oats, took out the strawberries, and added more rhubarb in their place. Finally, I added a dash of ground ginger for a little extra pizazz. And while you might think these look like calorie-dense sugar bombs, they are surprisingly ok if you watch your portion size. If you cut the recipe into 16 pieces, each one is only 132 calories with 6 grams of fat, and 10 grams of sugar. That’s not bad for a seriously tasty sweet treat.
- ¾ cup (100g) rolled oats
- ¾ cup (125g) white whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup (25g) unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup (100g) packed brown sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 6 tbsp (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 ½ cups rhubarb (~3 large stalks)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (55g)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp water
- 2 tsp corn starch
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- Heat oven to 375 F (180 C) and grease an 8-by-8-inch square baking pan.
- Place oats, flour, coconut, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl and mix.
- Add the melted butter and stir until it forms lumps. Add a touch more flour if the mixture looks too wet.
- Put ⅓ of the crumble mixture to one side.
- Put the rest of the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and press it down evenly.
- In a separate bowl add the rhubarb, granulated sugar, lemon juice, ginger, cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon of water and mix well.
- Put the fruit mixture in a small pan and cook uncovered on a medium low heat for 5 minutes.
- Spread the fruit onto the crumb base.
- Sprinkle the reserved crumble mixture over the fruit and bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Leave in the pan to coo completely. You can do this in the fridge.
- Cut into squares and enjoy.
- Store in an airtight container the fridge.