This dessert is a real favourite of mine. It is great to make at this time of year when both rhubarb and strawberries are in season. Tradititional crumble is made using flour (which contains gluten), sugar and butter. I wanted to recreate a crumble that is free from gluten, refined sugar and dairy and contains decent amounts of key nurtients. One that will fuel and energise our bodies instead of creating an energy slump and one that can be enjoyed by those who are gluten intolerant, vegan, vegetarian and on a low sugar diet.
Instead of using butter, I use coconut oil for fat. Coconut oil is a saturated fat made up of medium chain triglycerides. I used almonds instead of white flour. Almonds are a great source of healthy fats and also contain vitamin E, magnesium and potassium. I use honey instead of refined sugar. I always keep in mind that honey is still sugar, albeit a natural sugar. So while it may have the edge over refined and processed table sugar, I don't eat excessive amounts of it. In this recipe I keep it to one tablespoon. You can of course leave out the honey altogether as you will still get sweetness from the fruit sugars and the dates in the crumble.
Rhubarb and strawberries are a classic flavour combination and work so well together. Rhubarb contains fibre and vitamin K and strawberries are high in anti-oxidants and are a great source of vitamin C.
This dessert is perfect served after a meal or served with an afternoon cup of tea or coffee.
Just a word of warning, don't eat the leaves of the rhubarb as they contain high levels of oxalic acid and alwas wash and cook rhubarb before eating it.
For the fruit filling
5-6 stalks of rhubarb
1 and 1/2 cups of strawberries
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the crumble
1 cup of almonds
1 cup of gluten free oats
1/2 cup of dates
1 tablespoon of water
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Wash the rhubarb, strawberries and apple. Chop the rhubarb into half inch pieces and cut the strawberries in half. Peel and core the apple and chop into bite size pieces.
Add the rhubarb, strawberries and apple to a saucepan along with the cinnamon, the honey, the vanilla extract and a tablespoon of water.
Heat over a medium heat for about 15 minutes stirring regularly.
While the fruit is stewing, prepare the crumble. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius / gas mark 4. Melt the coconut oil in the oven.
Add the almonds to a blender and pulse until they break down into a course flour. Don't over blend the almonds into a fine flour. Add the almonds to a bowl along with the oats and cinnamon.
Place the dates and the water in a blender and blend until a thick puree forms. Add the date puree to the bowl along with the melted coconut oil. Stir to combine all the ingredients together.
Place the stewed fruit into an oven proof baking dish and spoon the crumble mixture on top. Sprinkle some oats over the crumble. Place in the oven for about 25 minutes keeping an eye on it to make sure the crumble doesn't burn.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes before serving. This is really delicious served on its own or with coconut cream.