Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (Grain Free & Oil Free)
This strawberry rhubarb crisp is a wonderful summer dessert. It is made with cassava flour, tahini, shredded coconut and walnuts. It has a sweet and tangy filling and a delicious crunchy topping.
It is kind of funny because my boyfriend and I would regularly talk about how hard it must be to be a vegan if you cannot eat nuts, seeds, grains and legumes. In fact, it would be pretty much impossible as all those foods together provide so much nutritional value that a vegan diet needs.
Nuts and seeds are high in healthy fats, protein and vitamins
Grains are a wonderful source of fibre, protein, minerals and B vitamins
Legumes are very high in protein, fibre and minerals
Therefore, after doing an intolerance test to try and figure out what has been making my skin breakout for over 10 years, I had my fingers crossed that it was neither of these foods, but rather 1-3 specific vegetables or fruits.
However, the test came back and I was shocked. Literally all nuts were making my body inflamed, excluding walnuts. Not many seeds were tested, but out of those that were, I could only consume sesame seeds. My body did not react well to any grain except quinoa (which technically is a seed) and millet. Finally, I found out that I should stay away from red kidney beans, soy and white beans. Unfortunately, black, pinto or mung beans were not tested so I am not sure about my reactivity to those, but I know that chickpeas and lentils are ok – thank God.
I came back home a bit stunned, and kind of worried about how I was going to tackle this challenge. Of course, when you need to eliminate so many foods at once, within the first few days you start craving them more than ever before. I wanted to indulge in baked goods so so bad. I wanted a big spoonful of peanut butter and a big bowl of rice topped with miso glazed tofu. I resisted the urge and instead, I went to my favorite place to find inspiration for new recipes: the Internet.
Thankfully, my pantry was stocked with sesame seeds, tahini, walnuts, quinoa, coconut and lots of fruits of veggies. So I could start recipe building from there. I also had a whole lot of rhubarb and strawberries that I had been meaning to use in a dessert. The brilliant idea came to me: make a grain free crisp.
Crisps are a perfect summer dessert and are pretty easy to make. The first hurdle I encountered was: what would the topping be made out of? All grains and most nuts and seeds were off the table so I dug in my pantry and found that I had some cassava flour (made out of the root vegetable yucca or manioc) so I decided it would be my starting point. To add a bit of richness and texture, I incorporated some chopped walnuts and shredded coconut. Finally, to make it all stick together, I used tahini + maple syrup.
Of course I had to play with the quantities a little since I had never made this recipe before, but I was so glad I was quite successful right off the bat. The rest of the recipe development was a breeze. I just needed to make the filling sweet and I did that by using a combination of maple syrup and date syrup. The reason I did not want to use 100% maple syrup is simply because I find that dates and tahini work really beautifully well together and because I like to include as much whole foods as I can in my recipes.
After putting this crisp in the oven, I must say that I was pretty proud of my accomplishment, but this feeling totally intensified when I had my first bite. The topping is nice and crunchy while being rich from the walnuts, tahini and coconut. The filling is juicy, sweetened to perfection and bright in flavour. As they say in French: UN DÉLICE (a delight)! So delicious, the whole crisp was gone within 36hours of getting out of the oven!
A FEW NOTES ON THIS RECIPE
Can I swap out the cassava flour? Maybe... I have not personally tested other flours at the moment, but I would say other flours such as oat, spelt and whole wheat should work well.
I do not like walnuts, can I use another nut? Absolutely! Use the one you like the most or have on hand. The only nut I would stay away from is peanut as the flavour would be too strong and would compete with the delicate flavour of tahini, strawberries and rhubarb.
Is almond butter ok to use instead of tahini? Yes, and so is cashew butter.
I don’t have dates on hand, can I just use maple syrup to sweeten the filling? Sure. I have not personally tested it so I would not be able to tell you exactly what quantity would yield the best level of sweetness, but my guess would be 1/3 cup.
Well, on that note, I hope you guys try out this crisp. The final result was surprisingly incredibly tasty and I know I will be making this recipe again – especially in the next 6 weeks that I am on this weird diet.
If you guys give this recipe a try, share it on IG and tag me (@muriellebanackissa)!
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (Grain Free & Oil Free)
Prep time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 25 minutes
Total time : 35 minutes
Yield : 6-8 servings
2/3 cup cassava flour (I buy this one)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp ground cinnamon
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup runny tahini
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups diced fresh rhubarb (about 3 stalks)
3 cups quartered strawberries
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Start by making the topping by adding the cassava flour, walnuts, coconut, cinnamon and salt to a bowl. Mix to combine.
Add tahini and maple syrup and mix until incorporated. Use your hands to create chunks of crumble – those will be nice and crunchy after baking.
In another bowl, add rhubarb, strawberries, vanilla and maple syrup. Mix to combine.
Add dates and water to a high speed blender and blend until homogeneous and smooth.
Pour date syrup into the bowl with the strawberries and rhubarb and mix.
Pour filling mixture into a glass pie dish. Top with crumble and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the topping is nice and golden-brown.
Let cool slightly and enjoy as is or with a scoop of ice cream or a tablespoon of coconut whipped cream.
Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.