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Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

This grain-free, gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crisp has the most flavourful and healthiest topping ever! Top it with your favourite ice cream and you've got the perfect early summer dessert.
Jun 2, 2018 | Joy McCarthy

This weekend Walker, Vienna, Walker's mama and I went to the farmers market. And yes that makes it two farmers market visits in one week! This time we went to one in Newmarket because it's close to Walker's mama's home.

Vienna loved the splash pad at the market. She was pretty soaked, but fortunately I brought a change of clothes. These days, now that Vienna is potty trained, I don't go anywhere without a second set of clothes for her because accidents can happen.

Even though the markets aren't abundant yet because it's still quite early for much of a harvest in Ontario, there was plenty of rhubarb and asparagus to be had.

I was on a mission for rhubarb so it was perfect.

I bought two large bunches and had more than enough to make this incredibly delicious, flavourful and juicy Grain-free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.

I'm having a ball in the kitchen these days now that Vienna always wants to help. She's a little bossy mind you, always wanting to take over, lol. Plus she likes to eat as she's cooking. 

In this photo she was literally saying "no mama, no mama, I want to eat them!". Her mouth is FULL of strawberries as she is saying "cheeeese". 

The reason I added strawberries is because if you don't add a sweeter fruit when baking with rhubarb then you have to add a ton of sugar because rhubarb is quite bitter. It's easy to find organic California strawberries right now. In fact, I got two pints for $5 today at my local health food store -- that's a steal!

I still added some cinnamon and coconut sugar to the fruit to ensure it was nice and sweet, but not too sweet of course.

As for the topping, I don't eat a many grains which is why I wanted to create this recipe as grain free with a super flavourful nut and spice topping. If you have a nut sensitivity in your home, then you're best bet for a topping is to use oats or quinoa flakes. 

The nuts really balance out the carbs from a blood sugar perspective but you're on your own once you add your choice of ice cream, haha! This crisp topping was incredibly flavourful from the spices and the nuts, with a nice schlop of vanilla coconut milk ice cream you'll be in heaven!

Another ingredient that added to the flavour profile was the butter. Now of course normally I use coconut oil, but as I was about to add coconut oil I realized I purchased a MASSIVE jar of "refined coconut oil". Ugh, I'm so annoyed with myself. I never use it because it has no flavour as it's been deodorized (definitely avoid refined). So butter it is! As you will see in my notes you can use coconut oil or butter. I have nothing against butter, I just tend to use coconut oil more often. 

I'm gonna get to this recipe now, but last thing I wanna say before I do that is that rhubarb and strawberry is a match made in recipe heaven. Beyond flavour, they are both incredibly rich in phytonutrients for heart health and have tons of fiber for colon health. 

This recipe is gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free if you use coconut oil, vegan and totally awesome amazing! Don't you love how the rhubarb looks like little hearts?

Here's the recipe for Grain-free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp!

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  • 2 cups roughly chopped strawberries
  • 2 cups roughly chopped rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups ground nuts (pecans, cashews, hazelnuts)*
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp cold butter or coconut oil, crumbled**
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. In a large bowl, combine strawberries, rhubarb, coconut sugar and cinnamon.
  2. In a separate bowl make the topping. Combine the ground nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut sugar and butter or coconut oil.
  3. Place the fruit mixture into a baking dish. I used a 6 or 7 inch white ceramic round dish. Evenly spread topping across fruit.
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the rhubarb is fork tender. Just be careful you don't burn the nuts. If they look like they are getting too crispy, just cover the dish with tin foil.
  5. NOTE: Keep in mind rhubarb is very water dense and a lot of water will come out as it cooks. This is normal to have lots of rhubarb/strawberry juice at the bottom of your pan. It tastes lovely when it's all mixed together and you've added a dollop or schlop of ice cream. Enjoy!


Serves 4-6
*You can use whatever nuts you have on hand. I tossed three different kinds into my mini food processor and blitzed for 5-10 seconds.
**I just cut the butter into crumbly bits but don't worry about perfection here, it's going to melt and mix in to the crisp anyhow.

And please, enjoy it with some vanilla ice cream. I often buy Coconut Bliss ice cream or from my local ice cream shop Delight. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! Have a joyous day friends!


Jess   •   June 3, 2018

I was very much hoping you’d do a strawberry rhubarb crisp recipe! :) can’t wait to make it!

Joy McCarthy   •   June 3, 2018

Candice   •   June 3, 2018

I cannot wait to make this! Your recipes are always so delish!!!

Joy McCarthy   •   June 3, 2018

Jenny   •   June 3, 2018

Help! I use refined coconut oil because I dont want my food to always taste like coconut. I have Non GMO Spectrum Organic brand. Is it ok? And aside from my concern on the oil, I do appreciate your seasonal rhubarb recipe so thx!

Joy McCarthy   •   June 4, 2018

Natalie Ellis   •   June 5, 2018

Aw, your daughter is so adorable! As rhubard is quite bitter, I often use it as an ingredient for my salty dishes. Your recipe seems interesting, this combination will keep the flavour balance. Next time, I'll try it!

Joy McCarthy   •   June 6, 2018

Colleen   •   June 7, 2018

This looks absolutely delicious! I can't wait to make it with local strawberries!

Joy McCarthy   •   June 8, 2018

Leslie   •   June 16, 2018

Fingers crossed 🤞 It’s so hot- I don’t want to turn my oven on - so I am trying to bake this in my toaster oven right now- let you know how it goes First time personally cooking rhubarb I think I purchased it Thursday at the St.Jacobs market- first market outing of 2018

Joy McCarthy   •   June 17, 2018

Michelle Heitzner   •   June 24, 2018

Can you make this vegan?

Joy McCarthy   •   June 25, 2018

Robyn H.   •   June 4, 2019

I can’t wait to make this for Farher’s Day - my father-in-law is 93 and a half and will love it! Love your photos and those great dessert dishes. But most of all, you have such a lovely looking little girl. So good to see her in the kitchen at an early age. Cheers! 💗

Robyn H.   •   June 4, 2019
Joy McCarthy   •   June 4, 2019

Sheila   •   June 4, 2019

Have never thought of chopped nuts for my crisps. Am trying to eat less GF oatmeal so nuts get there chance in my baking. As cows milk gives us great cream hence lots of butter and buttermilk in freezer. Use both in baking, on my out to pick rhubarb now. Thanks so much as recipes like fruit crisps I grew up on.

Joy McCarthy   •   June 4, 2019

darlene   •   June 4, 2019

I love rhubarb and mango - It is delish, and has more flavour than wimpy cooked strawberries ( unless they are in season here in Ontario). Try it sometime - no need for sugar!


Jeremy   •   June 5, 2019

I love strawberry rhubarb crisp so I will make this variation. I buy the massive tubs of Nutiva organic refined coco oil to use to rub on my skin to keep eczema in check. It seems to work as it's been gone for almost 3 years. Is it safe for the skin?

Joy McCarthy   •   June 5, 2019

Anna B.   •   June 6, 2019

Would this work with other fruits as well, like blueberries or apples? Thanks!

Joy McCarthy   •   June 7, 2019

Eileen H.   •   June 27, 2019

Looks great! Are the 2 cups of nuts measured before or after grinding? Thanks

Joy McCarthy   •   June 27, 2019

Frieda   •   June 6, 2020

With the absence of oats, wouldn't this be a crumble? Still delicious, I'm sure.

Joy McCarthy   •   June 9, 2020

Lois   •   May 27, 2021

Wow, this was a hit in my home. I’m always looking for healthier recipes that you don’t loose the flavour. I love the idea of nuts for the delicious crunch effect, which were even better than if flour and oats were added.I am making two more for my family,and going to try to freeze one for a quick dessert in the future.Thanks for sharing. Lois

Joy McCarthy   •   May 28, 2021

Kelley Massinon   •   June 17, 2021

This recipe looks amazing! I am trying to cut out sugar. What substitute would you use for the sugar?

Joy McCarthy   •   June 18, 2021

Kumi   •   July 6, 2023

Joy, the nuts are allergens for my gang, could I replace with GF oats?

Joy McCarthy   •   July 8, 2023

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