Nothing tastes as good as a beautiful locally grown sun ripened strawberry, juicy and sweet, for me it encompasses the taste of summer.  I’ve had my sandals on and it has finally started to feel more summery over here on the South coast of England over the past couple of weeks. This is my absolute favourite crumble combination, the tart rhubarb with the gorgeous sweet strawberries and crunchy oat topping makes for a great summer dessert and a tasty breakfast the following day.

I think rhubarb is such a beautiful plant with it’s huge leaves and the pink & green colour of the stalks, but most of all I love it’s sourness! It is very high in vitamin C and A, and interestingly it has a very high calcium content – one cup of cooked rhubarb containing as much calcium as a cup of milk!! It’s also better absorbed than it’s dairy counterpart and I will discuss the dairy / calcium myth further in another post. For now back to these beautiful summery ingredients. Berries are being hailed for their antioxidant  properties and strawberries are there with the rest of them, they contain high levels of phyto-chemicals, which research is beginning to show as having potential health benefits against cancer, ageing and inflammation. Strawberries are also high in vitamins C, A and E and minerals like potassium, manganese, iron and copper. Clever little things those berries.

I chose gluten free oats for this recipe as I can tolerate these much better, but if you aren’t avoiding gluten then regular rolled oats are fine. Oats are fantastic for digestive health, being super high in soluble fibre; fibre also helps reduce cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels. Oats are also very high in Iron and Magnesium needed for healthy blood and bones. Yay, let’s get cooking then.

Rhubarb strawberry oat crumble 1Rhubarb strawberry oat crumble 2
Ingredients:
3 stalks of rhubarb
approx 15 strawberries
250g gluten free oats
4 large tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp honey (substitute with maple syrup if vegan)
1-2 tbsp maple syrup (adjust sweetness to taste)

Rhubarb strawberry oat crumble 3Rhubarb strawberry oat crumble 4Rhubarb strawberry oat crumble 5Rhubarb strawberry oat crumble 6Rhubarb strawberry oat crumble 7

Instructions:

Preheat the oven at 160 degrees C (gas mark 3).

Cut the rhubarb into 1cm thick pieces and place in a pan with 1/2 cup of water and 1-2 tbs maple syrup and place on a low heat.
While the rhubarb is slowly cooking place the coconut oil and honey (or maple syrup) into a small pan and melt.
Place the oats into a bowl and add the melted coconut oil/ honey mixture and the cinnamon and combine.

Once the rhubarb has softened, place it in a baking tray along with the fresh strawberries. Cover with the oat crumble mixture and sprinkle almond flakes on top.

Bake in a preheated the oven for 15 min until golden on top.

Enjoy as a dessert or luxurious breakfast.

Further reading:

http://foodfacts.mercola.com/rhubarb.html

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/strawberries.html