During the summer after my freshman year of college, my mom and I traveled to Alaska for a week-long volunteer trip. We assumed we wouldn’t have much time for ourselves during the week, so we flew up a couple days early to squeeze in some sightseeing.
We stayed at an adorable B&B with an incredibly gracious hostess, and she recommended a three-hour boat tour that left from the Seward harbor and cruised around the various bays. Although chilly and windy out on the water, especially compared to our summer California weather, we loved every minute of it — and we even witness a ten-story-sized chunk of ice falling off of a glacier during the boat tour!
Once our week of volunteering began, we actually ended up with a few free late afternoons and evenings, so our group leader organized a hike at Exit Glacier and a trip to the Alaska SeaLife Center right in Seward. We took hundreds of photos at each place and learned a lot too!
On one evening, the town’s church members hosted a potluck dinner for the volunteer crew, and each local family brought a dish to share. There were lots of typical potluck foods like casseroles, lasagna, and potato salad, but my favorite dish that evening was the strawberry rhubarb crumble.
I had never tried rhubarb before, so I cautiously took my first bite, not quite sure what to expect… Yet its bright tartness paired perfectly with the sweet juicy berries, and the spiced streusel topping made it even more irresistible. I wasn’t the only person to go back for seconds!
And now, too many years later, I finally got around to making a more wholesome version. This healthy strawberry rhubarb crisp tastes just as sweet and comforting as the original one I sampled in Alaska, and it’s surprisingly simple to make. Even better? It’s almost healthy enough for breakfast!
So it probably comes as no surprise… I definitely went back for seconds of this lightened-up version too!
CRISP OR CRUMBLE?
What’s the difference, you might ask? In a nutshell… Only the letters after the “cr!” 😉
That’s right — “crisp” and “crumble” are generally interchangeable and typically refer to the same type of dessert: a soft, often fruit-based filling that’s covered with streusel (often oat-based!) and baked. No crust, nothing underneath… Just a delicious layer of sweet, crunchy crumbs on top!
Tip: They’re different than cobblers, which traditionally have a batter- or biscuit-based topping — not a streusel- or crumb-based one.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE A HEALTHY STRAWBERRY RHUBARB CRISP
With that out of the way… Let’s go over what you’ll need to make this healthy strawberry rhubarb crisp! Or healthy strawberry rhubarb crumble. Whatever you prefer to call it, you’ll make it the same way!
We’ll start with the crumble topping. It’s a combination of old-fashioned rolled oats (like these!), whole wheat flour, cinnamon (this is my favorite kind!), pure maple syrup (like this!), and a small amount of melted butter. I prefer using melted butter, rather than cold cubed butter, because it’s much easier to incorporate. Just stir it in and you’re done!
As for the maple syrup, be sure to use the real kind that comes straight from maple trees! The only ingredient on the label should be “pure maple syrup,” and it usually comes in thin glass bottles or squat plastic jugs (like this!).
Tip: Gluten-free rolled oats and many gluten-free flours will also work, if you’d like to make this healthy strawberry rhubarb crisp gluten-free. See the Notes section of the recipe for my recommendation about the best ones to use!
Next comes the filling. You’ll use equal amounts of fresh diced strawberries and rhubarb. You want to cut them to be about the same size so your crumble bakes evenly — and so it’s easier to cut and serve each slice!
You’ll also add a few more ingredients to your bright red filling: cinnamon (remember, this is my favorite!), coconut sugar (like this!), and cornstarch (like this!). Coconut sugar is an unrefined sweetener that has a rich caramel-like flavor similar to brown sugar, and you can often find it on the baking aisle near the granulated sugar. Because rhubarb is naturally tart, the coconut sugar helps make the filling taste just as sweet as traditional full-fruit crumbles.
As for the cornstarch, that thickens the strawberry and rhubarb juices that they release while baking as the crumble cools. I strongly prefer to let my crumbles cool all the way to room temperature, which allows the cornstarch to do its job and helps the juices fully set. Then I simply reheat individual portions if I want to eat them warm — and maybe with a little ice cream!
HOW TO MAKE A STRAWBERRY RHUBARB CRISP
But I’m getting ahead of myself… We still need to assemble this healthy strawberry rhubarb crisp before baking it! It’s really easy to do.
First, spread that filling into your pan, and gently press it down with a spatula to make the top as even as possible. This ensures it bakes properly, and it also helps prevent the oat crumble topping from falling down into any nooks and crannies between the bits of berries and rhubarb.
Next, you’ll sprinkle that oat streusel topping over the filling. The streusel tends to clump together in the mixing bowl, so rub it between your fingers to break up those clumps so you end up with an even crumb layer on top!
Then all that’s left to do is pop it in the oven, set a timer, and wait… As (im)patiently as possible!
Just look at that gorgeous pink color! Doesn’t it look so summery and tempting?? ♡ And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tag @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy strawberry rhubarb crisp!
Healthy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
FOR THE TOPPING
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat an 8”-square pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- To prepare the topping, whisk together the oats, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Make a well in the center. Pour in the maple syrup and melted butter. Stir until fully incorporated.
- To prepare the filling, toss the strawberries and rhubarb with the coconut sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl until completely coated. Sprinkle in the cornstarch, and gently toss again until coated.
- Transfer the filling to the prepared pan, and gently press down with a spatula. Sprinkle evenly with the topping. (The topping tends to clump, so try to break it up into fairly small pieces.) Bake at 350°F for 50-60 minutes or until the rhubarb is fork tender. Cool completely to room temperature; then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving to allow the juices to fully thicken.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Apple Crumble
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Blueberry Crumble
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Healthy Peach Crumble
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♡ Healthy Blueberry Mango Crumble
♡ Healthy Almond Berry Crumble
♡ Healthy Strawberry Crumble Bars