Rhubarb Raspberry Crisp

Yes, I have returned to the beautiful and delicious fruits of the earth! I tried, for the past week, to eliminate all fruit from my diet, but after that initial drop on the scale, I have held on stubbornly to every ounce. Because we do not, at this time, own a shotgun, I have not been able to take my revenge on the scale. Instead, I have turned to baking.

The rhubarb in my garden was transplanted last year and so we are only just harvesting our first batch from the newly divided plants. In case you were wondering, rhubarb is ridiculously easy to grow. It is a perennial (comes back every year without needing to be re-seeded) and seems to thrive on complete neglect. Just my kind of plant. One warning: do not eat the leaves which are toxic. Only the stems can be consumed.

If you have never tasted rhubarb, it is pretty sour. Although it is the stem of a plant, it is usually treated as a fruit. Strawberry rhubarb pies, jams, crisps, and cakes abound. Since my strawberry plants are only just starting to bloom, I used a bag of frozen raspberries to make my crisp instead. Rhubarb, on its own, is just a tad bland, but you can always jazz it up with spices or other flavors.

Here is a photo of the rhubarb sprinkled with Truvia and tapioca, before adding the rest of the layers:

As you can see, my rhubarb is very green. At first I thought this meant it was unripe. But eventually I realized I had planted a mostly green variety. If you shop for rhubarb at the store or the farmers' market, you will usually find rhubarb that is mostly red. The red color is definitely prettier but the taste is the same either way.

Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp

One large bunch of rhubarb, about 4 cups sliced
2 TB quick tapioca (for absorbing any liquid and thickening)
3 packets Truvia (stevia-based sweetener) or your favorite sweetener
1 12 oz. package frozen raspberries, unsweetened
1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup melted butter (half a stick)
1 TB ground ginger (or less. I tend to like a LOT of ginger.)
1/2 cup raw, shelled hemp seeds (optional, but adds loads of health benefits!)
1 heaping TB honey (or other sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup raw whole almonds

Preheat oven to 350F. Dump rhubarb slices into a 9x13 pan and sprinkle with Truvia or sweetener and tapioca.  Sprinkle frozen raspberries over the rhubarb. In a microwaveable bowl, stir together butter, oats, honey, and the rest of the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Spoon oat mixture over the fruit evenly.

Bake for about 35-45 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and bubbling at the bottom. Serve warm or cold, plain or with Greek yogurt, whipped cream, or your favorite creamy topping. Fabulous for breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea, or dessert. Makes about 8 generous servings.