Whole Grain Rhubarb Crumble

Whole grain rhubarb crumble

It is rhubarb season here on the west coast. That provides another opportunity to experiment with organic whole grains, and give treats to neighbours who try to eat organics and local foods as much as possible. That said, this is a pretty decadent dessert and I did useĀ refined sugars, which I generally avoid.


  • 3 cups whole grain flour (today I used soft white wheat, but have also used barley)
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • about 10 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cupsĀ  sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the dry (first four) ingredients and mix until crumbly. Press half this mixture into the bottoms of lightly greased ovenproof dishes.

Slice rhubarb onto this oat base.

In a saucepan, combine water, sugar and cornstarch, bring to the boil, and boil for a few minutes. Take off the heat, cool slightly, and add vanilla. Pour this mixture over the rhubarb.

Crumble the remaining oat mixture on top. I had about a cup of leftover porridge and decided to mix it in with the topping. It reduced the sweetness (which I liked and my husband didn’t) but I didn’t find the texture quite as good as the last time when I made a similar dessert with barley flour.

Bake at 350 F. I baked this in four containers: one large 9″ deep dish pie plate and three small casserole dishes, each containing two good sized servings. I baked the small dishes for 40 minutes and the large one for 55 minutes.

All the grains were–of course–from Vancouver Island Grains and Milling.

Set yourself up for successful experiments

When I started to focus more on personal health–including use of whole grains–I decided I would not buy white flour. I used to use white flour daily; I kept it in a handy, large, stoneware crock on the counter. If I had had it in the house, it would have been too simple to use it.

A customer was getting her monthly order of whole grain flours and cereals today and I mentioned my white flour ban. She told me she hasn’t had white flour in the house for 10 years, and she is also very selective about the types of sweeteners she uses. I found this quite amazing and quite inspirational. When I mentioned that this morning’s breakfast was maple walnut pancakes made with freshly milled oat flour, she said she is very impressed by the slightly sweet flavor of the oat flour we are using. There is so much to learn. The experimentation feels good: support for organic farmers, great taste and good health.

I didn’t photograph the pancakes, but will share how I made them. Sorry — I didn’t measure a thing! All measurements are approximate.

2 c. [freshly milled] oat flour
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. milk or almond milk
2 T. melted butter (or oil for vegan pancakes)
2 T. maple syrup
3/4 c. chopped walnuts, gently toasted in the oven or in a frying pan
2 fresh, free range eggs (use blended flax and warm water for vegan pancakes)

Add milk or almond milk to flour to moisten and let sit for 1/2 hour (optional). Add all remaining ingredients, adjusting liquid/dry ingredient balance to get the thickness you want. Fry in butter or oil. Top with maple syrup.