You may or may not recall that I am a member of something called the Secret Recipe Club. It’s been a few months since I participated. December was simply too busy, so I skipped that month. And then the whole club took a break for January while some changes were enacted. See, the Secret Recipe Club is pretty darn huge, and the administration duties for its founder, Amanda, have been enormous. She and her group of volunteers have done an admirable job keeping the club going. I don’t think she ever realized how popular her little brainchild would be, but there are hundreds of members now. Talk about a blogger success story!
This month, I was assigned a blog that I have actually heard of before, although I don’t often read. Meet The Swans is a blog run by husband and wife team Krista and Brett, and it contains a great deal more than food. They post about everything from their home remodeling project to ideas for weddings. Fortunately, the blog also contains plenty of great recipes and I had no trouble finding inspiration. The minute I saw a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars that Krista adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, I knew I had to recreate. I adore rhubarb and have had some in my freezer that I’ve been hoarding since last June so that I could bring a little taste of summer into our lives in the middle of winter. This seemed like the perfect opportunity.
I really should be calling these Rhubarb Strawberry Crumb Bars, as they contain much more rhubarb than strawberry, but that doesn’t quite roll of the tongue as easily. Like Krista, I upped the amount of rhubarb because I love the flavour and tartness, and kept the strawberries to a minimum. I did add a little arrowroot starch to the filling to help thicken it, as the absence of sugar means it doesn’t thicken up as much as the original recipe. Of course, I couldn’t make my version with flour and oatmeal, so I created a crumb-like crust with almond flour and erythritol. I did add a touch of ground ginger to the filling, as in the original BHG recipe, but again like Krista, I skipped the ginger icing because I just didn’t think the bars would need it.
The Results: It really is nice to bring the flavours of summer into a dull, wintery day. These bars are lovely and soft and crumbly, with a not-to-sweet, strawberry rhubarb flavour. That said, I do think that next time I would make more filling, as I found the filling to crust ratio a little on the skimpy side. But I am a rhubarb fanatic and I always want my rhubarb desserts to have an intense rhubarb flavour. On the whole, I think these bars are an excellent treat.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars
2 cups sliced rhubarb
1 cup strawberries, chopped
¼ cup water, plus 2 tsp
¼ cup Swerve Sweetener or other granulated erythritol
½ teaspoon ginger
10 drops liquid stevia extract
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
Crust and Topping:
2 cups almond flour
⅓ cup Swerve Sweetener or other granulated erythritol
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, chilled and cut into chunks
20 drops liquid stevia extract
For the filling, combine rhubarb, strawberries, ¼ cup water, sweetener and ginger in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture bubbles and fruit is soft enough to be mashed with a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in stevia extract. Sprinkle with xanthan gum and whisk quickly to combine. Let cool until thickened.
For the crust, preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8×8 inch pan.
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, sweetener, and salt. Add butter and stevia extract and cut in with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press half of mixture into bottom of prepared pan and bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until edges are just golden brown.
Spread filling over bottom crust and sprinkle with remaining almond flour mixture. Bake 20 minutes, or until topping is golden and filling is bubbly. Cool in pan.
Makes 16. Each bar has a total of 5 g of carbs and 1.7 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 3.3 g.
Tara Rockey says
Made these yesterday and they turned out well. I made two changes. Didn’t have enough strawberries in the yard so I supplemented with raspberries. Added a little less than 2 Tbsp of coconut flour to the 2nd half of the Shortbread topping in an attempt to make it a little more crumbly.
I do think cooking the filling well to reduce the liquid is wise. Probably depends on the moisture content of your fruit. And I cooked the bars quite long – until the top was golden brown based on some of the other comments. I then refrigerated the bars overnight before slicing.
Perfect treat with my coffee this morning!
Mariann Major says
Any way to incorporate lemon in these bars?
Probably but I haven’t tried with this recipe.
Can frozen strawberries be used……no sugar, just berries?
Sure but they tend to release a lot more liquid so I would thaw and drain first.
Jovina Coughlin says
Not sure about the water measurement. Do we add 1/4 cup plus the 2 teaspoons to the filling or 2 teaspoons water added somewhere else? The directions say 1/4 cup water for the filling.
Finally tried these and they came out awesome!! They didn’t appear to hold together at first but did once in the fridge overnight. I waited until the next day to cut them. Baked them for longer too. Probably for 35-40 minutes. Delicious with some keto vanilla ice cream.
i made these today and my family devoured them!. i didn’t have strawberries so i used all rhubarb, added some sliced almonds to the top before baking and a little bit of almond extract to the batter. delish is an understatement. i cut the pan into 9 squares, 4 ppl finished them in one setting. the batter almost tastes like sugar cookie dough before you cook it. i caught myself eating some of the dough before i baked it. so yummy.
Glad you liked them!
I made these, but they were pretty soggy even after baking. They certainly wouldn’t have stacked nicely like the photo! Any thoughts?
Wondering what kind of almond flour you used?
I used Honeyville. Now that I’ve done more of your recipes, I think they just needed more time.
maybe try cooking the rhubarb filling a little longer to get some more of the moisture out. mine came out soggy in the middle pieces as well(no one complained) but the edge pieces came out ok like bars.
Thank you for the suggestion!
These bars were very tasty! My first attempt at baking with rhubarb. My bars didn’t really turn out like bars though….more like a pudding! Not complaining, the pain disappeared quickly.
Simon Hamilton says
Thank you for this recipe 😀 Its amazing! Tho i did tweek it slighty.
I ran out of sweetener so i put sugar free blackcurrant jelly powder in the fruit. Came out amazing when cooled. The gelatin kept the fruit firm and lovely 🙂 Also used a cake tin and cut into 8 triangles as i didn’t have a 8×8 pan lol.
liam b says
These do look great, I will have to get some rhubarb as i live where almost all of the worlds rhubarb is grown!
Emily @ Life on Food says
I love the idea behind the SRC. I am so happy you participate. Each month I seem to find new blogs from the postings. This looks like a delicious recipe. My husband would love it.
Roxana GreenGirl says
rhubarb and strawberry is such a happy combo in my belly! I saw some rhubarb at the store the other day.
Now that some of my friends are going gluten -free I have many more excuses to try these. yum!
I adore rhubarb and wish I froze some this summer. Love these yummy bars and could eat one now for dessert;)
Golly, I haven't had rhubard in DECADES!! I remember it being very tart out of the garden. These do look good. If we ever get rhubabr in the deep south, I will have to try these.
Kim Bee says
Carolyn these look really yummy. I must try these for hubs.
It's been a long time since I've had rhubarb! When I was a kid, I used to eat it raw from my grandmother's garden. Love it :). And strawberries are always a good match for rhubarb! The bars look delicious!