As you may or may not have noticed, this past month I’ve been trying to do my best to bring you more savory recipes. When I did my reader survey last year, many of you wanted more healthy meal options.
But sometimes I just can’t help but bake, I think it’s my true calling in life. Last week I had a 6am flight out of Chicago to see Tony. I knew I had to leave by 4am in order to skip traffic and give myself enough time. You think that I would have went to bed at 8pm the night before, but nope, there I was baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies at midnight. I call it stress baking. Some things never change.
Anyway I want to take full advantage of this year’s farmer’s market fruit and so throughout summer I plan on bringing you fresh, seasonal recipes… Maybe a fruit pie, or two?!
There’s a small farmers market a few blocks away from my house that always seems to have the best fruit selection. (Wait, don’t they all?) From the moment I spotted the beautiful rhubarb, I knew that a crisp needed to happen.
If you’ve ever been to the Midwest, you know how we love our strawberry rhubarb combos. The sweet and tartness is everything you could want, especially paired with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I decided to make this crisp both gluten free and vegan so that everyone would be able to enjoy it. Basically it just meant replacing butter with coconut oil and using oat flour instead of regular flour for the topping. You can mix and match if you aren’t gluten free and/or vegan; I’ve indicated more tips in the notes below the recipe.
What really makes this crisp stand out is the addition of vanilla and coconut sugar. The vanilla adds a lovely flavor to the fruit that makes it unforgettable, I swear.
And the coconut sugar? Well it’s an unrefined sweetener that isn’t processed like regular sugar, meaning it provides more nutrients and minerals, along with adding a unique flavor. And no, it doesn’t taste like coconut. I recommend giving it a try if you haven’t, it’s one of my favorite sugars to bake with these days.
Last but not least, I love love love the pecan oat topping. While the crisp bakes, the pecans get all toasty, nutty and sweet. Perhaps it’s just me but I think pecans are one of the most underrated nuts out there. But who knows maybe you aren’t a pecan fan; if that’s the case, feel free to sub in almonds.
I cannot wait for you to try this one out on your family and friends, or just eat it all yourself. This crisp is best served warm with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream. Enjoy! Xo.
If you make this, be sure to snap a pic and upload to Instagram using the hashtag #ambitiouskitchen! xoxo.
Lightened-up Vanilla Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (vegan, gluten free)
A lightened up version of everyone's favorite strawberry rhubarb crisp with a delicious oat-pecan topping and a touch of vanilla. Gluten free, vegan, dairy free and refined sugar free. Incredible when served warm with a scoop of ice cream!
- For the crisp topping:
- 1 cup gluten free oats
- 1/2 cup gluten free oat flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- For the filling:
- 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 5 stalks rhubarb, diced into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- 2 tablespoons gluten free oat flour
Make the topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, oat flour, cinnamon, pecans, coconut sugar and coconut oil; set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x9 inch baking pan with coconut oil (or generously coat with cooking spray).
In a large bowl, add coconut sugar, vanilla bean, strawberries, rhubarb and oat flour; toss a few times to evenly coat the fruit with the sugar and flour. Pour into prepared pan and evenly sprinkle the topping over the fruit.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the filling begins to bubble and the top is golden brown. Cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Top with your favorite ice cream, if desired. Serves 9.
You can replace the oat flour with regular flour if you are not gluten free.
You can also use softened or melted butter in place of the coconut oil if you aren't dairy free.
You can also use brown sugar in place of the coconut sugar if that's what you have on hand.