A few years back when I was planning out my garden, I knew that I wanted to have lots of berry bushes and of course rhubarb. I selected raspberry, haskap, saskatoon, and blueberries to plant which went in perfectly down along the fence. I realized that I forgot to draw in rhubarb plants in my garden so I rushed out to the garden center to pick up 2 bulbs to plant.
I remember clearly waiting in the line outside while the sun warmed my face when I heard a few giggles behind me. I turned around and saw an elderly lady looking at my bulbs, smiling and giggling to herself. When we made eye contact she could not help herself but ask if I was “planting not one but two rhubarb plants on purpose?!”. I told her I was and then began to list off all the many culinary treats and canning recipes they were intended for. She continued to laugh and was like “good luck with that, it’s a weed and you will always have too much”.
I planted them despite this wise women’s advice thinking I knew better. The next season only one came back, but wow did it come back! and every year since then this rhubarb gets bigger and bigger taking up more and more room in my garden. As a strong food insecurity advocate, I don’t like to see food wasted so I am always giving it away to neighbors, incorporating it into recipes, and freezing slices stalks for the winter months. While I find ways for the pounds and pounds of rhubarb to be used from my one plant, I can’t help to laugh at myself and remember that lady who was much wiser than I.
Enter.. a new rhubarb garden recipe! The sweetness of the blueberries pairs lovely with the tart rhubarb. I have adapted the recipes several times finding ways to reduce the sugar more and more and still have it be a lovely treat. Also adding in plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fats help to balance these bars to move from a dessert to a healthy snack. This also helps to slow blood-sugar spikes that can occur when consuming fruits. I will enjoy one with my morning smoothie or as a 3 pm snack when you feel your energy crashing.
Let me know how you enjoy these bars and also what are your favorite healthy rhubarb recipes? (as you know I still have a lot to use). Have a great Sunday! XO Jo
Blueberry Rhubarb Morning Oat Bars
- 1/2 tsp coconut oil (to grease the pan)
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 cup rhubarb, chopped
- 1/4 cup good quality honey or maple syrup
- 1 large lemon zest & juice of 1 lemon
- 1/8 cup water
- 1 tbsp vanilla powder or contents of 1 vanilla bea you can use liquid too
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder or irish moss you can use cornstarch as well
- 4 cups rolled oats use gluten-free as needed
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 tbsp cold pressed coconut oil (melted oil)
- 1 tbsp liquid vanilla
- Preheat Oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x12 baking pan with a little coconut oil.
- In a medium saucepan, bring fruit, honey, zest & juice of the lemon and water together over medium-high heat to a boil. Once bubbling, remove from the heat and add in the thickener (arrowroot/moss/cornstartch) and vanilla. Stir until the fruit it well coated and let cool.
- Place 2 cups of oats in your blender or food processor and blitz into a fine powder. Combine the oat powder with the other 2 cups of oats and all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Add in the wet ingredients and mix with your hands.
- Take 1/2 of the mixture and press firmly into the bottom of the greased pan.
- Pour the fruit mixture overtop and spread it out evenly over the oats
- Sprinkle the other 1/2 of the mixture overtop for the crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Allow the pan to completely cool before cutting into squares. Enjoy!