I’ve been making this gluten free rhubarb crumble for YEARS and it’s a classic in our home. Not only is it gluten free, but it’s a reduced-sugar recipe that you can feel good about using over and over.
Rhubarb is delightfully tangy and a classic addition in any garden, large or small. Rhubarb is one of the first things to harvest in the early spring and is great in baked goods from crumbles and pies to breads and muffins!
Let’s jump in!
Love for Rhubarb
Did you know that rhubarb is a vegetable? It may have a sour, fruity taste, but it belongs in the polygonaceae family along with buckwheat and sorrel. Despite this, rhubarb is often treated as a fruit by creating jams, jellies, and delicious desserts like this rhubarb crumble!
My favorite thing about rhubarb is that it is a perennial, so it will faithfully come back year after year. It’s one of the first things to sprout in the early spring, which is always welcome after a long winter! My rhubarb plant is actually over 100 years old and it’s still going strong. It can be treated as a family heirloom to be passed down from generation to generation, which I love!
What You’ll Need for My Gluten Free Rhubarb Crumble
You won’t need much! My rhubarb crumble utilizes basic ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen. The only thing that you’ll need fresh is rhubarb, of course!
- 8″x8″ Glass or Porcelain Baking Dish
- Pastry Blender – You can use a fork in a pinch!
- Mixing Bowl
- Mixing Spoon
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Cutting Board
- Sharp Knife
- Fresh or frozen rhubarb – fresh from the garden or Farmer’s Market, if possible!
- Sugar (I use this organic cane sugar) – coconut sugar works great, too!
- GF flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour) – almond flour, cassava flour (grain-free, nut-free option), buckwheat flour or rice flour are wonderful, too!
- Extra thick rolled oats or sprouted oats (One Degree Sprouted GF Oats is my favorite!)
- Brown sugar
- Nutmeg or cinnamon
- Organic, grass-fed butter (Organic Valley, Kerrygold or Vital Farms are good brands) – If you can source some butter or raw cream from a local farmer, that’s my favorite option!
- Chopped nuts (optional) – pecans or walnuts are my favorite in this dish
Where to find rhubarb
If you have rhubarb in your garden, then you’re off to a good start! Please just remember that this plant takes several years to establish. Wait to harvest until your plant is 3 years old.
A note on oatmeal
For years, I thought I was destined to make a soupy rhubarb crisp. It never came out with a “crisp” topping as I wanted. It was always soft and a little mushy, no matter how long I baked it. Then, I started to experiment with different types of oats and I realized my mistake!
If you are using thinly sliced oatmeal, you’ll end up with a mushy topping.
Once I discovered One Degree Sprouted GF Oats, it was a game changer. I achieved the most amazing textured crust, plus all of the health benefits that come with sprouted grains! Sprouted grains are a method that humans have been using for centuries, but we’ve recently forgotten about in our modern world.
By allowing oats to sprout before consumption, this essentially makes them a “living” food that’s bursting with more bio-available nutrients. A recent study in 2021 found that sprouted oats contain more amino acids (protein), fatty acids (healthy fats), y-aminobutyric acid (a calming neurotransmitter), free phenolics (plant pigments) and antioxidants than non-sprouted oats. Additionally, they found improvements in enzymatic activity, which means easier digestion for you!
Don’t have time to sprout oats?
Not a problem! Not everyone can plan ahead 2-3 days before baking, so One Degree has done a fantastic job with their sprouted GF oat product!
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One Degree Organic Foods sprouts their gluten free oats to unleash their superpowers. They boast more nutrients and are easy to digest. There’s nothing but organic, sprouted, gluten-free, non-GMO oats from a family farm.
Want to sprout oats yourself?
You can sprout your own by covering oat groats (don’t use already processed oatmeal) with water and letting them soak for 6 hours. Rinse and drain the oats, repeating the rinsing and draining every 8 hours for 2-3 days until they begin to sprout! Use promptly, or dehydrate in a dehydrator (this is the one we use and love).
Don’t want to mess with sprouted oats altogether?
That’s fine too! I would recommend using a thick-cut oat rather than instant or even old fashioned oats.
How to Make My Gluten Free Rhubarb Crumble
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Chop rhubarb into 1/2-1″ pieces, then add to 8″x8″ baking dish
Stir the chopped nuts into the crumb topping (if desired)
Sprinkle the crumb topping over the rhubarb.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Sometimes I like to broil the rhubarb crumble for a minute or two at the end to caramelize everything.
Let cool slightly before serving. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to ice cream to serve it with, try plain greek yogurt! It’s a great combo and an excellent way to add some protein to your dessert.
FAQ About Rhubarb & My Rhubarb Crumble
Is rhubarb healthy?
Yes! Rhubarb is a great source of fiber (4g per cup), plus vitamins and minerals. Where rhubarb really shines is in its vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, potassium and magnesium content, according to NutritionValue.org.
The biggest catch when it comes to health and rhubarb comes down to how much sugar is added to it when cooking. Rhubarb is very, very tart and most people find this hard to tolerate on its own. Thus, sugar is often added (like in this recipe!) to balance out the tart.
Be mindful of how much sugar you are adding and try to use as little as possible! I’ve been perfecting my sugar to rhubarb ratio and think I found a good balance between letting the tartness of the rhubarb shine without making your face pucker.
Is rhubarb poisonous?
The stalks are not poisonous, but the leaves are! Rhubarb leaves contain a compound called oxalic acid. If consumed, it can produce symptoms of breathing difficulty, nausea, diarrhea, kidney stones, seizures, and weakness, just to name a few!
Don’t panic, though. The oxalic acid content in the rhubarb leaves isn’t very concentrated. You’d have to eat 11 lbs of rhubarb leaves to reach a lethal concentration of oxalic acid.
Just because rhubarb leaves are toxic, doesn’t mean that they don’t have a purpose. They are a lovely addition to your compost pile!
Is rhubarb easy to grow?
Rhubarb is one of the easiest vegetables to grow, in my opinion. I swear it would survive if a bomb landed over it. My plant is over 100 years old and survived the voyage across the ocean from Sweden with my Great Grandparents!
We have another rhubarb plant that was here when we moved in. I haven’t gotten around to digging it up yet, so we’ve actually been mowing it over the past few years and it’s still growing and very much alive! If you think you have a “black thumb,” rhubarb is a good one to try!
Want some growing tips? Check out my article Rhubarb Companion Plants: Friend or Foe?
Can I use frozen rhubarb to make this recipe?
Absolutely, and please do! When rhubarb is coming in strong in the spring, I like to freeze a good chunk of it so that I can enjoy this gluten free rhubarb crumble during the cold days of winter. There’s nothing like having a slice of spring on a cold January day!
To be successful, freeze your rhubarb pre-chopped and in 5 cup increments. When you thaw the rhubarb, there will be some juice in the bottom. That’s ok! Don’t drain it out. Simply pour the entire rhubarb contents into your baking dish and continue with the recipe.
Does the rhubarb crumble have to be gluten free?
Absolutely not! You can easily swap out gluten free flour for your standard wheat flour. Not a problem. I personally have a sensitivity to gluten, so we default to gluten free flours over here.
Can I add strawberries?
Of course and please do! Rhubarb and strawberries are lovely companions in about any dish. They are both spring producers and often available at the same time.
Strawberries have a higher sugar content than rhubarb, so if you add strawberries you can get away with adding less sugar (a win-win!). Therefore, I would reduce the added granulated sugar to 1/2 when adding strawberries to the mix.
Other Articles You’ll Love
- Gluten Free Quiche with Garden Veggies
- Homestead Refried Beans
- Rhubarb Companion Plants: Friend or Foe?
Gluten Free Rhubarb Crumble Recipe
Garden Fresh Rhubarb Crumble (Gluten Free!)
- 1 8"x8" Baking Dish Glass or Porcelain
- 1 Pastry Blender
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 1 Mixing Spoon
- Set of Measuring Cups
- 1 Set of Measuring Spoons
- 1 Sharp Knife
- 5 cups Fresh or frozen rhubarb (if frozen, thaw first and do not drain), chopped Typically 12-15 stalks
- ⅓ cup Sugar I like organic cane sugar
- 3 tbsp Gluten free flour Wheat flour is ok, too, if you wish!
- ½ cup Gluten free oats Thick-cut or sprouted
- ¼ cup Brown sugar
- ¼ cup Gluten free flour Wheat flour is ok, too, if you wish!
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg or cinnamon
- ¼ cup Organic, grass-fed butter Chilled and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup Nuts, chopped Pecans or walnuts are my favorite
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Chop rhubarb into 1/2-1" pieces, then add to 8"x8" baking dish
- Mix in 1/3 cup of sugar and 3 Tbsp gluten free flour, set aside
- In mixing bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, 1/4 cup of gluten free flour and nutmeg/cinnamon
- Add slices of chilled butter to mixing bowl. Cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture becomes crumbly.
- Stir in the chopped nuts (if desired), then sprinkle the crumb topping over the rhubarb.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Sometimes I like to broil the rhubarb crumble for a minute or two at the end to caramelize everything.
- Let cool slightly before serving. If you're looking for a healthier alternative to ice cream to serve it with, try plain greek yogurt! It's a great combo and an excellent way to add some protein to your dessert.
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