Rhubarb Strawberry Streusel Bars

Rhubarb Strawberry Streusel Bars
Last Sunday morning was my first foray of the year to the farmers’ market. Weekends have been so busy—there hadn’t been time to venture to the charming downtown St. Paul market, but now that the local Sunday market is open on my grocery shopping loop, it will be part of my weekly routine through October. Oh, how I’ve missed it!

This early in the season the selection is limited, which is probably a good thing because I still ended up buying way too much for a household of only two. Needless to say, I’ve been spending lots of time in the kitchen this week—and have loved it! It started with herb-scallion eggs and veggie hash for Sunday’s breakfast, followed by broccoli soup, lettuce-based salads with every meal, potato salad, and finally, what to do with the rhubarb and strawberries? I used some of the rhubarb in a savory dish, roasted golden beets and rhubarb topped with toasted walnuts. While it was a very pretty dish, the unsweetened rhubarb still has a bit too much tang for my liking, even when taken with a bite of sweet beet. Probably not a combination I’d do again, but it did make an attractive photo!
Roasted Rhubarb & Golden Beets

In a moment of whimsy, I imagined my will power strong enough to turn the remaining rhubarb and fragrant strawberries into something sweet, but of course (in my whimsical world), I wouldn’t eat any. It would just be for Pete, who never gains an ounce. Snapping back to reality, I reasoned that if I made a healthy sweet treat, I could say, “Will power could be damned!”

The result is these sweet-tart, gooey, crunchy, good-for-you, and delicious Rhubarb Strawberry Streusel Bars. Adapted from Robin Asbell’s Big Vegan, fruit, nuts, coconut oil, and hemp milk combined with a few other ingredients for healthy treat with just a hint of decadence. Enjoy!
Streusel Bar Stack

Rhubarb Strawberry Streusel Bars

Canola or grapeseed oil (for greasing baking pan)

2 cups rolled oats

2 cups white whole wheat flour (up to half of that could be whole wheat pastry flour, if you’d like, or use all gluten-free flour)

1 cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup coconut oil, melted

¼ cup non-dairy milk, plus 3 tablespoons (I used hemp, but almond, soy, rice, etc. would work)

5 cups total, chopped rhubarb and strawberries

1 cup organic sugar (such as Florida Crystals), adding another ¼ cup if using only rhubarb

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup chopped, toasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease a 13x9x2 pan.

In large bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, and salt. Mix in the melted coconut oil, then the ¼ cup non-dairy milk. Mix with your hands to make crumbly chunks.

Measure out 2 cups of the biggest chunks and set aside. Drizzle in another tablespoon of milk if the remaining mixture is too dry to make a dough that will hold together. Transfer the dough to the baking pan and press over the bottom to form a crust.

Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, and sugar in a large saucepan. Over high heat, stir until the mixture bubbles. Turn down heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, 5-10 minutes until the fruit is tender. Stir in the cinnamon.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk with the arrowroot. Pour the arrowroot mixture into the fruit and cook, stirring, until mixture is thickened and glossy. Cool the mixture slightly and then pour it over the bottom crust. Sprinkle the reserved chunky crumbs over the fruit.

Bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle toasted walnuts on top, and bake for another 10 minutes or so until the fruit bubbles around the edges. Cool in pan on wire rack, then cut into bars. Makes about 24 bars.

 

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4 thoughts on “Rhubarb Strawberry Streusel Bars

  1. Suz,

    They look beautiful and delicious! Too bad the recipe with the beets and rhubarb was a dud.

    Love, Mom

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. Oh, excuse me while I mop up the drool on my keyboard – those look astounding! I’ve yet to get to a farmer’s market this summer (where did June go), so thank you for the inspiration 🙂

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