Is there anything greater in life than food that is grown, picked and delivered in a day? That is what I was lucky enough to receive this week when a friend of mine arrived with a huge bag of local rhubarb. That was good enough for me and then she had to top it off by telling me that she had picked it herself. I had a total ‘I love living in the country’ moment.
So there I was, the entire kitchen counter covered in dirt and rhubarb and me standing by with a huge grin on my face. Rhubarb is Alex’s favourite fruit so I wanted to do something special with it. Something were it was the star ingredient and I really really didn’t want to crumble. So instead i made….crumble. This crumble is different, its perfect for spring time. It is lighter, fresher, fruitier and healthier. This crumble is sugar free and uses dates in a rather clever way (if I do say so myself). In order to make this you need to soak the dates in coconut water for 48 hrs in the fridge. This leaves you with sweetened coconut water in which you can stew the rhubarb and soft dates which will bind the crumble topping. The fig in the topping adds an additional sweetness and is the perfect compliment to the ginger and rhubarb.
Buying local food is a great way to boost your health. You immediately reduce your carbon footprint. You also get to eat foods that have ripened in the natural way, they have had longer in the soil or the sun rather than in a container using chemicals. You get to eat foods that are in season for where you are in the world, foods that belong in your diet and that are at their prime. If you are brave then talk to your neighbour or a local farmer. They are often more than happy to have someone relieve them of a glut of fruit or vegetables. And remember that you don’t have to have lots of space to grow your own. A pot on a balcony or a small window box is more than enough for herbs, strawberries or lettuce.You can also easily sprout sprouts at home too.
Rhubarb is in fact a vegetable and, like spinach or kale, is a great source of Vitamin K. Vitamin K helps promote bone health and protect us against osteoporosis and can also help with brain function.
- 150ml coconut water
- 3 dates
- 6 stalks of rhubarb
- 1 can coconut milk (chilled in the fridge for a day)
- 1 vanilla pod
- 1 tsp rose water (optional)
- 50g ground/flaked almonds
- 2 dried figs
- 100g oats
- 1 small piece ginger
Place the dates in the coconut water and place in the fridge for 48hours. Chop the rhubarb and place into a large pan with the coconut water and one date. Simmer for 10minutes until it has broken down and become stewed. Taste – if not sweet enough you can add sweetener of your choice to taste. Leave to cool. Place the oats, ginger and almonds into a food processor and blend to a fine crumb. Add the date and figs and process till you have a sticky dough. Spread the dough onto a baking sheet and bake for 10minutes. Remove from the oven and break into pieces. Place back into the oven for 5 mins. Remove and leave to cool. Take the chilled coconut milk and open the can. Using a spoon carefully remove the top thick cream and place into a bowl. Add the rose water and vanilla and whip well to form a thick cream. Layer the rhubarb then the coconut cream in glasses or small jars. Top with crunchy fig and ginger crumble. Enjoy!