Yay, warm weather has descended upon us. In New England late spring equals rhubarb. Rhubarb can be quite prolific, to the point that I have neighbors chasing me down with an armload every few weeks. When life hands you rhubarb, make strawberry rhubarb crisp!
For those unfamiliar, rhubarb is incredibly bitter and requires some sweetness to make it palatable. Rather than spiking blood sugar levels right out of the gate, I prefer to keep this breakfast crisp on the tart side. Ayurveda recommends favoring bitter, pungent and astringent flavors in the spring to balance the more dense, heavy qualities of kapha dosha. In the summer, pungency (spicy) is no longer preferred and gives way to the sweet taste to balance the inherent fiery pitta qualities.
Strawberries are sweet and astringent with just a hint of sour. Traditionally harvested in late spring and summer, they act to purify and cool the blood. Strawberries are loaded with vitamin c, fiber, potassium and antioxidants. Anemic? Allegedly consuming 10 berries per day will help get those iron levels back up. In addition, strawberries are said to help with obesity, gout, arthritis, diabetes, constipation, hypertension, and kidney stones!
Rhubarb is bitter and pungent, providing the antidote to the damp and heavy qualities naturally abounding in springtime. This herbaceous perennial helps to balance excess pitta and kapha dosha. The short thick rhizome tonifies the colon, aids in purging bile, moves the blood, and can contribute to weight maintenance and fat loss. A gentle purgative, rhubarb aids in moving heat down and out of the body and keeps you regular.
Breakfast is the 2nd most important meal of the day (lunch is VIP in Ayurveda), so why not crush it with a breakfast crisp? The density of the crumble paired with the cooked fruit will keep you satiated until lunch rolls around.
- 4 rhubarb stalks – cleaned and sliced into ¼ inch pieces
- I pound of strawberries – washed, hulled and quartered (monster strawberries cut into 6-8 pieces)
- ¼ cup raw cane sugar (adjust to your taste preference)
- ½ lemon – juice and zest
- 2 Tablespoons white rice flour
- 1 tsp of grated ginger (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 cup white rice flour (or flour of your choice)
- ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ⅓ cup unrefined coconut oil – melted
- 2 T maple syrup
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a deep oven-safe baker, combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, 2T flour, grated ginger (if using), and vanilla extract. Toss until the strawberries and rhubarb are fully coated with the sugar, lemon juice, etc.
- In a medium size bowl combine all the crumble ingredients. Stir to completely integrate. The crumble should be moist but not super wet. Feel free to add more coconut oil if the mixture seems too dry.
- Add the crumble to the top of the prepared strawberry/rhubarb mixture. Pack firmly in place with your hands.
- Bake uncovered for 1 hour.
- To brown the top, broil on low for a few more minutes (watching like a hawk) until light golden brown.