Outside in my garden, plants are busy growing everything delightful and delicious, from apples on heirloom trees to dependably productive zucchini. Spring breezes and plentiful rain have given the seedlings a happy start. Along with the hard work I have put in to amend the formerly clay soil with compost and manure, all conditions seem right for an abundant harvest over the coming months. I’m already looking forward to the bounty.
In the more mature section of my garden, several rhubarb plants explode with crimson and green. These I planted over 12 years ago, as an ode to my father, from whom, I believe, I got the “gene” to play in the dirt and grow things. One of my earliest memories of his garden was rhubarb bursting from the barely thawed earth. I wanted to grow similar plants. But mine have begun to show signs that they need to be divided – when the stalks become spindly that’s your clue. However, I was able to gather enough ruby red stalks to create a divine recipe for your morning breakfast (and mine) or, just because.
As I write this blog, the heavenly smells of vanilla, rhubarb, and baked oats are filling the cottage. I may have to sample this crisp with a hot cup of herbal tea before I have finished my writing. These delicious fragrances and the happiness of creating something clean, harvested from my own garden and filled with love, are among my most precious moments. They are moments filled with abundance and hope. Even when other parts of my life may feel totally out of control, creating beautiful foods is a completely grounding experience, for me, at least. Bake these Rhubarb Peach Oatmeal Breakfast Squares too, and you will see what I mean.
And remember, I am always listening.
PS – I am curious to know what you do with your rhubarb. Do you have a vegetable garden? What are you growing? I’d love to hear about yours. Share your comments in the Comments Section below.
RHUBARB PEACH OATMEAL BREAKFAST SQUARES
10 mins (add another 15 minutes to savour your garden if you have one – otherwise peek over the fence at your neighbour’s)
1 hour 5 mins
For the filling:
3 cups chopped rhubarb, fresh if you have, or frozen does nicely too
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups frozen peaches
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the crumble:
2 and ¾ cups organic all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (I used Rogers Porridge Oats steel cut oat blend)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch unrefined sea salt
1 cup unsalted, grass-fed butter, cold & cut into ½-inch pieces
Make the filling:
In a small heavy saucepan, combine rhubarb, maple syrup, and water.
Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Reduce heat to low and simmer until rhubarb is tender and beginning to break down, about 8-10 minutes.
Add peaches and vanilla and cook 5 minutes more.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Make the oatmeal squares:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Prepare a 9×9-inch baking pan by coating with coconut oil.
In large preparation bowl, combine flour, oats, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt.
Add cold butter, and using fingers, rub butter into dry ingredients until the mixture becomes uniformly coarse.
Reserve 2 cups oat mixture and set aside.
Press remaining oat mixture into prepared pan.
Pour rhubarb mixture onto oat mixture in prepared pan, spreading evenly.
Sprinkle reserved oat mixture over rhubarb/peach filling layer.
Bake 50-55 minutes, until top is uniformly golden brown and filling is bubbly.
Remove from oven.
Place on cooling rack and let cool for 2 hours before cutting into squares.
Squares keep for 2-3 days, covered and at room temperature.