Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (Low Carb and Gluten Free)


Yeah, yeah, I know. There have been hundreds of strawberry rhubarb crisp recipes lately in the food blogging world, each one more tasty than the last. So why would I dare post another and put myself up against so many talented bakers? Well, mine is specifically for the low carb/diabetic crowd. My strawberry rhubarb custard pie, although very good, just didn’t scratch the itch I had for an intensely rhubarb dessert. I wanted Rhubarb with a capital R. I wanted the dessert of my childhood, a true strawberry rhubarb crisp.

This was quite a challenge, considering how many crisp ingredients are off-limits to me now. Let’s see…no flour, no white sugar, no brown sugar, and little, if any, oats. Ouch! Oh, I can have butter aplenty, but I don’t think a crisp would get very crisp if it was topped just with butter! The one redeeming thing is that both strawberries and rhubarb are relatively low in carbs when it comes to fruit. I don’t quite know what I will do in late July and early August when peaches are in season. Cry, probably.

This was a real low carb makeover experiment. I pulled out a number of ingredients from my cupboard that I thought might work and just put a little of this and a little of that until I got the right “crumb” consistency. I actually ended up with a little too much of the topping and had to hold some back. Then I popped the whole thing in the oven and said a little prayer.


The Results: Maybe it was pure luck but this turned out better than I’d dared to hope. The crumb topping certainly looked the part during baking, and it all smelled very good when removed from the oven. I won’t pretend that it tasted exactly like the real thing, but it was close enough to satisfy my craving. The topping wasn’t quite as “crisp” as a traditional recipe (it would need real sugar for that), but it held up better on the next day, not getting soggy like a regular crisp topping sometimes does. I am very pleased and would happily recommend this to the low-carb crowd. With a little whipped cream on the side, it was a delicious low-carb dessert!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

3 cups rhubarb, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 tsp stevia extract
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional, firms filling)

2/3 cup almond meal
1/4 cup flax seed meal
2 tbsp coconut flour
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup oats (optional, adds carbs)
1 tsp stevia extract
2 tbsp granulated erythritol
5 tbsp butter, in 1/4 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl, mix together rhubarb, strawberries and stevia. Sprinkle xanthan gum over and mix well. Spread filling in a 8×8 glass casserole dish or baking pan. If using a metal pan, grease bottom and sides prior to spreading the filling.

Combine first seven topping ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spread topping evenly over filling.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until filling bubbles up and topping is golden brown. If topping appears to be browning too quickly, cover with foil until filling is done.

Remove from oven and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 10. Total carbs 10.6 per serving, 4.2g carbs when subtracting erythritol and fiber.

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  1. Dawn says

    I've just started following your blog, and I think I'll be trying all your recipes! (Linked over from Dr. B Forum.) I've already made the "Notella" cookies (fab!) and also my own batch of homemade "Notella" in a related effort (also yummy). My story seems to be similar to yours — I'm a good cook and baker (and have a "foodie" husband too), but now I'm having to come to terms with diabetes that has "stuck" after having GD. Oh well, at least there are some goodies still available to us!

  2. Carolyn says

    Hi Dawn! So glad my kitchen experimentation is inspiring you. If you come up with any good low carb treats, be sure to post them on DF (or heck, just send them straight to me!).

  3. Jodi says

    Just made this last night. Fantastic! Even my picky husband thought it was great. We’ve been low carbing it for a while and he said the other day, “I could really go for a good rubarb dessert.” So I knew I had my work cut out for me. But this recipe made it VERY easy! Thank you! =)

  4. Hope says

    I made this last yesterday as per your advice to use 1/2 Swerve in place of the liquid Stevia in the topping. Absolutely DELISH! I like it better than traditional crisp, the topping is so flavorful and as you said, it held up beautifully overnight in the fridge. Even my Norwegian husband, who was raised on sweet sweets (his family puts sugar on tomatoes rather than salt) was nom-nom-nomming!

    • Carolyn says

      Yay, so glad it worked! I have rhubarb in the freezer, I really ought to try this again with Swerve.

  5. Melanie E. says

    I’m thinking of making this tomorrow! I’m guessing the carb count doesn’t include the optional oats, right? Also, for the stevia, is that the pure stevia extract (the white powder)? Usually you measure your liquid stevia in drops, so I wanted to double check.

      • Melanie E. says

        That’s what I thought and why I wanted to double check since it wasn’t listed in “drops” and didn’t say “liquid” like your other recipes do. There are too many varieties of stevia! Whew!

  6. Nic says

    Sorry to be commenting on an older recipe…but now that you bake mainly with Swerve, what quantities would you recommend using that instead of stevia?

    • Carolyn says

      Hi Nic…I think that this recipe needs to be redone. Which is fortunate, because I am writing a recipe for Live Better America for rhubarb crisp. When I’ve nailed it, I will let you know!

      • Nic says

        I look forward to it! Though this still came out delicious with the weird mix of Truvia, Sweet Drops and Z-Sweet that I had on hand, along with a tiny bit of brown sugar in the topping. :)

  7. Frank weir says

    Carolyn….nailed it indeed! Just made your Live Better version and its remarkable. Used Splenda as no Swerve. I used left over crisp topping this morning as a granola adding a couple cut up dried cherries and sliced almonds. Had it with cold almond milk and I’m back having a cold cereal option for breakfast but lowcarb! Will now make just the crisp topping recipe with the pecans or walnuts along with the sliced almonds as I didn’t have any and will at least double the cinnamon. For granola i would like a noticeable cinnamon flavor. Will bake a little longer to try to crisp and chunk it up a bit more although refridgerating it helps…maybe ill freeze it. BRILLIANT! Thank you for all you do! Like you, I also am a type 2 diabetic and have lost 30 pounds and have a 5.4 a1c eating low carb.

    • Carolyn says

      Thanks, Frank! It does make tasty cereal, the first time I made it, I made WAY too much topping and that’s how we ate it too! Great A1c.

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