Honey rhubarb crumb bars are made with whole grains and other good-for-you ingredients and take about 20 minutes in hands-on time to make. They are a healthy snack choice or dessert served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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This rhubarb crumb bar with a honey sweetened filling is one of my favorite ways to use rhubarb. They are easy to make and are full of healthy ingredients, and taste like a cookie.
I'll think I have to go on record as saying that I really like a lot of rhubarb recipes!
But - and this is a big but - you'll notice that you won't find any recipes on on the site that contain large chunks of rhubarb because tough and stringy is not my thing.
To be honest, whenever I did try rhubarb growing up (which I think was all of 2 times) it was in pies or crisps with big 1 and 2-inch slices, which is why growing up I thought I didn't like rhubarb. Serious texture issues.
But when I started gardening, I wanted to grow everything and rhubarb made the list, since it was a perennial, low maintenance plant (you can learn more about growing, harvesting, cooking, and preserving rhubarb in this guide here).
The first thing I made was spicy rhubarb chutney which is when I realized that without the texture issue, I really liked the tangy flavor of rhubarb.
So this honey rhubarb crumb bar was literally the second thing I made because the filling is cooked into a jam-like consistency, much like the chutney I loved.
After that I was hooked - there was no going back to a rhubarb-less life.
Cutting the stalks into small diced pieces is another way to enjoy rhubarb in recipes like muffins - and it's also why I don't need to peel the stalks as some do to combat the strings - and they turn out just right.
Honey Rhubarb Crumb Bars Recipe
To make these bars I updated a classic crumb bar recipe with whole grains, used honey to replace the sugar in the filling, and include the option to use coconut oil and different sugars in the crumb mixture. It's all real ingredients- and it's all good.
- Rhubarb - fresh or frozen
- Potato starch, arrowroot, or cornstarch
- Rolled oats
- Whole wheat pastry flour (or regular whole wheat, spelt - or oat flour for GF)
- Brown sugar or coconut sugar
- Baking soda, salt
- Optional nuts like walnuts or pecans
For this recipe, we'll make the filling first so it has a chance to cool down a bit while we make the crumb mixture.
Simply combine all the filling ingredients into a medium saucepan and cook over medium to medium-high heat until thickened and rhubarb is starting to break down, 8-10 minutes.
While the filling is cooking, grab the crumb ingredients and mix them all together in a large bowl until combined.
You want to mix just until some of the mixture starts to come together in chunks, but not so much that it's all one big clump. Stop mixing when all the dry ingredients are incorporated and some of it starts coming together as shown in the photo above.
In a parchment lined 13x9 pan (or just greased, but bars are so much easier to cut when lined so you can lift them out) press about 3/4 of the crumb mixture into the bottom as the crust for the bars.
Spread the filling over and the crumble the remaining oat mix evenly over the top.
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until the edges are bubbling a bit and the topping is lightly browned.
Cool, cut, and enjoy as a snack with milk or tea - or serve as a light dessert with a small scoop of ice cream.
It's all good - very good.
Honey Rhubarb Crumb Bars FAQ
Yes, you can use chopped, frozen rhubarb in place of fresh in most recipes, even muffins. Frozen rhubarb is especially good in this recipe, since you cook it down.
There is no difference between the two except for color. Older varieties tend to be more green since wild rhubarb is green and newer varieties have been bred to be more red. Both work in recipes, though the color will obviously be different in the finished product.
No, you make the recipe as written. The filling is like a jam, so you don't want it to be too runny.
They should be kept in an airtight container and will be good for a few days at room temperature, a couple weeks refrigerated, or up to 3 months frozen.
Honey Rhubarb Crumb Bars
- medium saucepan
- large mixing bowl
- 13x9 inch baking pan
- 3 cups chopped rhubarb
- 3/4 cup honey or maple syrup, though will affect flavor
- 2 tablespoons potato starch, organic cornstarch, or arrowroot powder
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cookie Crust & Topping:
- 1 ½ cups whole rolled oats
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour*
- 3/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter, increase to 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 cup butter softened and cut up (or coconut oil)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
- Combine filling ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then lower heat to keep mixture at a very low boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and rhubarb is starting to break down, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool while continuing with the recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with parchment, leaving some to hang over sides to lift bars after cooked (or grease well).
- Add all crumb ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and stir until combined and large crumbs form. Set aside 1 ¾ cups for the topping.
- Press remaining crumb mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Pour partially cooled rhubarb mixture over crust and then sprinkle evenly with the reserved crumbs for the topping, pressing down slightly.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until browning around edges and filling is bubbling some.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before lifting bars out of the pan using the parchment and cutting into 24 bars.
- Serve within a couple of days, refrigerate for a week, or store in the freezer for up to 3 months.