Rhubarb Crumb Bars are a healthy snack bar that's gluten-free and vegan. Guilt-free bar, not too sweet. Perfect for packing in lunches of with a mid-morning coffee.
Oh the joys! Rhubarb is here.
Rhubarb is one of those vegetable, like zucchini, where I get so excited for the first harvest. But then by the end of the season - I'm done. I've had enough already. Rhubarb is like that. There can be just so much.
As I was growing up I didn't understand rhubarb. I looked like a vegetable (it is) and it just did not seem right to make into sweet things. It wasn't until I was in high school when I worked at the local bakery that I discovered the most deliciousness that is rhubarb pie... I still remember that pie. Wholly goodness in a crust. But it wasn't until last year when the local CAS bin came with rhubarb week after week after week that I ever attempted to make something with it. You could say I'm converted. I love this stuff.
Freeze extra rhubarb for later
But I've learned that rhubarb freezes amazingly well. Just clean and chop it into small pieces and toss it in the freezer and it will work just like fresh. And I've learned that rhubarb works in just about any recipe that calls for fresh fruit - think blueberry, strawberry, raspberries... rhubarb will likely find a good home in any of those favourite recipes.
This is a healthy rhubarb snack cake
- I've loosely based the Rhubarb Crumb Bars on this recipe for blueberry snack cake. The bars are vegan and gluten-free. I've added a touch more sugar to the rhubarb version, but considering the goodness going on here, I don't feel badly about it at all.
- This snack cake gets much of its sweetness from bananas instead of heavy amounts of white sugar. They are just sweet enough.
- If you are concerned about gluten make sure you use certified gluten-free oats.
- This recipe uses no added flour - just whole-grain oats pulsed in a blender to make a fine powder or flour. A high-speed blender will make quick work of this, but any standard blender will do. It just takes a couple of minutes.
- I've used coconut oil to keep these vegan. Any vegan buttery spread will work. Or you could use real dairy butter if vegan is unimportant to you.
Here is how you make them:
Rhubarb Crumb Bars
- 2 cups regular oats pulsed in a blender until a fine flour
- ½ cups regular oats unprocessed
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup coconut oil melted and slightly cooled (or vegan margarine, or butter if not vegan)
- 2 medium very ripe bananas peeled and mashed
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk I used almond
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
- ½ cup fresh rhubarb diced small
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
For the crumb topping:
- 2 Tablespoons oats
- 2 Tablespoons slivered almonds
- 1 Tablespoon white sugar
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper
- In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients - oats, sugars, baking powder, spices and salt.
- In a smaller bowl mix together coconut oil, bananas, milk and chia seeds. Add liquids to dry ingredient and gently fold together. Add rhubarb and almonds and mix until just combined. It's okay if you have a few dry spots. You want the batter to just come together.
For the crumb topping:
- In a blender or food processor, combine the ingredients for the topping and pulse 3-4 times. Just slightly chopping up the almonds and the oats.
- sprinkle crumb topping evenly over bars.
- Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are slightly browned.
- Allow to cool and cut into squares.