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Simply Food: Rhubarb Bars By Liz Bares

And now for the full story on rhubarb…

Rhubarb is full of potassium. Potassium is crucial for life. Your heart, kidneys and other organs need potassium to work normally. If your potassium levels are low, you have a greater risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, infertility and digestive disorders. Rhubarb also has calcium and vitamin C. It’s an all-around healthy food!

Rhubarb can be tough to choke down on its own due to its extreme tartness. This is why most folks pair it with strawberries for a delicious pie. This recipe is sort of like a rhubarb crisp but with two layers of “dough” so the rhubarb is sandwiched in-between. My son is a big pie eater, much more than cookies or cake, so I pack these in his lunchbox for a sweet treat.

We will be roasting the rhubarb before we make it into a bar so this recipe has two steps essentially. The bars last for about five days in your fridge. You could probably freeze them, too. I’ve never done it; they may defrost on the soggy side.

I like these bars on the tart side, so you can increase your sugar a bit if you’d like them a bit sweeter. If you keep them on the tart side, you can eat them for breakfast without too much guilt — at least that is what I tell myself.

 

1 pound of rhubarb

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup old fashioned oats ( quick oats work well too, in a pinch)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon flax seeds

pinch of salt

8 tablespoons butter, melted

Makes 16 bars

For roasting the rhubarb, heat your oven to about 350 degrees. Cut up your rhubarb in 1/4” pieces. You want the rhubarb to lie nicely so your bar is easy to eat with your fingers. Toss together the rhubarb and the sugar. Place in a small baking dish and roast for about 20-30 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft but not mushy. Let cool.

For the topping, place all ingredients, starting with flour and ending with butter, into a large bowl. Use a fork to gently stir everything together. You want to make sure the topping isn’t too crumbly.

In an 8’ x 8” pan lined with parchment paper (going up on all sides), take about half the topping mixture and press it firmly and evenly throughout the bottom of the dish. Next, carefully layer your rhubarb over the topping mixture. If the rhubarb is very watery, use a slotted spoon to get out only the fruit. Drizzle some extra juice on once you have a nice layer, but not too much or it will become too soggy. Finally, add the rest of the topping. Carefully press the topping on top of rhubarb layer.

Place the dish into a 350-degree oven and cook for 45 minutes. Your topping should be a golden color when finished. Make certain the bars are completely cooled before cutting.

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