Recipe: Summer Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

It’s going to be a great summer!

Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.

~ Zig Ziglar

Holla friends and readers!

I’m back in action after a tremendous few days. I mentioned in my last post that I might be (just a little) absent here in the blog world while I tackle a fairly big project.

I am happy to report it was (for me anyway) as successful as I ever could have hoped, and it is great to be back here – I am looking forward to catching up with you all!

On Saturday, Not So Fast hosted its first ever faster sponsored cooking class for youth.

You may have read here, about Not So Fast and the food support we offer through ‘living with less’. If you are new to IPOM, I would be honored to introduce you to Not So Fast here.

As a result of Chris & Carla’s amazing effort and contribution to our cause, we gathered with 10 enthusiastic youth to cook a nutritious meal together (yup it included lentils & barley!).

We not only cooked food for the kids to take home, but we also cooked enough food for the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner to feed 40 people!

It was a giant challenge (I love a giant challenge), and with the help of some super amazing people, we prepared a (rather tasty) menu that embodied the simple philosophy of the recipes found here at IPOM.

It was nothing short of amazing.

Today I’ll share with you the fantastic dessert we prepared for the evening. This is a classic summer dessert in every sense of the word. Stay tuned for more from the weekend, but for now, let’s talk (just a little) summer dessert!

Love is the absence of judgment.

~ Dalai Lama

First, the rhubarb.

This locally abundant (here in BC) spring & summer treat has earlier been featured in these yummy dessert bars, but there is nothing as classic as pairing them with another classic.

Strawberries. Local strawberries. The truest sign of summer if there ever was one.

Local strawberries flood me with memories of garden patches covered in green mesh to keep the birds out. Fortunately little hands (mine) were always wily enough to push around the mesh to find the little red gems under the white blossomed strawberry plants (don’t tell).

This recipe is not for those who are shy in front of sugar (or butter or flour), but I am quite confident my vegan and gluten-free readers have more than an ample supply of tricks up their sleeves to make this combo shine with any sub or clever replacement.

After all, everyone should enjoy this classic combo, right?

The Less:

Less ingredients in baked treats make quick work for the chef. Less store-bought summer pastries means more goodness for far less cost. Less heavy, crumbly topping means more flavor for less portion size, so enjoyment needn’t come at a heavy cost.

The More:

More real, straight up ingredients means simple purity in taste and method. More fresh local summer fruits means more of the classic tastes like we remember. More flavor, sweetness, and balance, means your guests will go for seconds, so making this for a gathering means you’re guaranteed to be a star.

Summer Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp:

~ Adapted from Canadian Living

  • (3) cups chopped fresh strawberries
  • (3) cups chopped fresh rhubarb stalks
  • (3/4) cup granulated sugar (you can also use brown, feel free to reduce to 1/2 cup if you prefer)
  • (2) tbsp white or whole wheat flour


  • (1) cup white or whole wheat flour
  • (1/2) cup slow oats
  • (3/4) cup brown sugar
  • (1/3) cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • pinch each cinnamon and salt

Start by buying the freshest fruits you can. Rhubarb can be bought several days ahead for this, but fresh strawberries are the best, especially if they are locally grown.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Wash your fruits and cut them into (somewhat) uniform sizes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour and mix all with your hands gently.

In a separate bowl, toss together the flour, brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon and salt. Add the cold butter and cut the mixture with a pastry cutter, or your hands (like yours truly does).

Grease well an 8 inch square pan. Spread the fruit mixture evenly to cover the bottom, then top with the crumble topping and press together lightly to ensure it is even.

Bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes, until the topping is fragrant and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving. Serve as is, with tart plain thick yoghurt, or vanilla ice cream.

Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.

~ Norman Vincent Peale

My heart is full lately. It’s full of the promise that summer might just come. It’s full of the warmth of the community I am proud to be a part of.

It’s full knowing that the classics never go out of style, and easy comforting summer memories are easily at hand with just a few simple steps.

Everyone who got where he is has had to begin where he was.

– Robert Louis Stevenson

It’s safe to say this was a giant hit at the dinner. The kids didn’t cook this one, but the volunteers who make it all happen all year-long sure enjoyed it.

I’ll share the simple menu we prepared together in an upcoming post, after I catch my breath and finish the last few bites of this delicious crumble ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes, my heart is full. Full with gratitude for all who took part and contributed their time and talents to pulling this together. You know who you all are!

Carly prepares to cap off the crumbles…

Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

~ Dalai Lama

Enjoy this delicious version of a summer classic. As the days are now (hopefully) as long as our smiles, the time is now to revel in the goodness of fresh local foods.

I am looking forward to catching up with you all, I hope you are all fabulous!

  • What is your favorite summer fruit dessert?
  • Are you reveling in the glory of local berries?

Do tell as I am sure there are more than a few berry lovers out there!

My humblest thanks for reading (as always) – stay tuned for more from this weekend, and here’s to the official start of the summer season!

Yours in Less,


Filed under Cooking, Desserts, Fasting, Food, Not So Fast, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Sweet Treats, Vegetarian

61 responses to “Recipe: Summer Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

  1. Awesome! So happy for your success on Saturday. So inspiring and this dessert looks amazing. Great post Shira!

  2. Somer

    You are so lovely and thoughtful with all your little shout outs to your veganista followers ๐Ÿ˜‰ Woot Woot! Your volunteer dinner sounds amazing, and so does that strawberry rhubarb crisp!

  3. Jami

    Yum! This looks so good, I’m going to try my luck at this and make some this year, I’ve never made it before. Wish me luck !

  4. Well done my friend!
    This crisp is just insanely heavenly!


  5. This is so great, congratulations! And the crisp looks amazing, of course. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. i really love reading your blog. it is a great message with wonderful fresh food. thanks!

  7. Alexiasana

    oh this looks more than yummy, your summer recipes really inspire me! I recently tried to make my own version of a crumble and i totally messed it up. oh dear.. although it is so easy I still didnt manage. haha.. i guess i should stop trying to incoporate too many crazy expensive health things like quinoa flour, coconot flour etc… will have to try this crumble!

    • You are so creative Alexia! Sorry that didn’t work out – this one is sure to please, even if it means treating to the real things (like sugar, butter, and flour) – sometimes there is nothing like the real thing!

  8. Definitely on the menu this weekend. I wonder why it never occurred to me to try whole wheat flour in a crisp before? I must have been stuck in a follow-the-recipe-exactly rut. I suppose in that same vein, I could add in a little ground flax too.

    • Flax for sure Heidi! The funny thing about these recipes (I find) is as long as the butter and sugar are working in the right proportions, anything goes! I’d love to hear how it goes ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I’m so glad to hear the even went well! How amazing you cooked all that food and got youths involved. It’s awesome the impact you are having Shira ๐Ÿ™‚

    This recipe looks amazing! Who cares about all the sugar- we all need sugar sometimes ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s a nice treat and what is life without a little fun and special moments?

    Have a lovely week!

    • Thanks girl! It was so much fun ๐Ÿ™‚ I agree with you, there is no substitution for a little sweetness here and there! You too my friend! xox

  10. Rhubarb is absolutely the epitome of spring and early summer, I am lucky enough to have an Aunt with her own organic patch! Strawberry Season certainly kicks off summer for us in New England! Our berries are earlier than last due to the wonderful warm spring we had….I love Strawberry Rhubarb Pies and Crumbles – simple and amazing! Another yearly tradition is a Sunrise Hike up a local mountain that boasts stunning views of the surrounding lakes and mountains then picking the wild mountain blueberries – so yes, you can definitely count me in as a berry lover!

    • Heather I love your hiking tales…they are inspiring me to get out in the woods! Sooner rather than later, what a beautiful picture you paint ๐Ÿ™‚ Lucky girl to have all that early fruit too!

  11. After a long time I’m reading your post – have been bookmarking all your posts but just couldn’t get any time. Missed them. Rhubarb fascinates me not because I love them but because I am not used to them that much. Hence always thinking whether I should pick them up or not. This recipe looks tempting enough for me to go and pick up and try something new:)

    • Great to have you by Ishita – we’ve missed you here! Saw you on the Foodie Blogroll (congrats!) but like you, I am suffering from a lack of time these days ๐Ÿ™‚ I will get caught up – I hope you try this recipe, it is a great intro to rhubarb!

      • Thanks Shira! With some of you I’ve become so comfortable with the knowledge that we like each others’ stuff – and will read them anyway! Folks were around:)

  12. Wow Shira, that sounds like such an amazing experience! how awesome for those kids to be able to take part! you go girl! ๐Ÿ™‚ and that crisp — fabulous! i love the summer strawberries in there! mmm mmm mm ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Very nice, Shira. that’s absolutely gorgeous. I love a good crumble. Rhubarb and Strawberry is SUCH a good combination. I love recipes that use very few ingredients. They really showcase the flavour of what you do have. Sometimes I think a lot of ingredients are wasted by disguising their flavour. It’s a shame. Cracking recipe, as usual.

  14. Your recipe sounds wonderful and what you do for the less fortunate is heart-lifting.

  15. Love that you did this! so inspiring! and the recipe looks great too! thank you for sharing, I will definitely give this one a try!

  16. Shira, love the use of whole wheat flour and slow oats here! What a fantastic recipe. Perfect for those summer strawberries too.
    What a fabulous thing you are doing for those less fortunate! I firmly believe teaching our youth to cook for themselves is key to healthy living and healthy generations to come.
    I commend you on your work! We need more Shira’s in the world!

    • Thanks Karista – that is such a sweet thing to say ๐Ÿ™‚ I am so happy and relieved it was a success. I never thought it would be so rewarding, I can’t wait to do it again! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. This reminds me of the strawberry-rhubarb pies my mom would make in the summer. Lovely memories, thanks for that! And yours look gorgeous, and I bet they taste gorgeous too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Shira, you make doing good taste great!! I love this post featuring this seasonal recipe that makes me eager to get back to the best coast. Congrats on the success of the event and fr making a difference.

    • Thanks Meg (you are adorable, and it’s true it does taste sweet!)!! You are missing the start of the local season (can you believe it is so late?) – and the fruit is being welcomed rather excitedly as a result ๐Ÿ˜‰ Appreciate the kind words – A LOT! Cheers!

  19. I love strawberries and desserts with strawberries in it. One of my favourite berries is Saskatoon berries – great for making pies. Normally my mother-in-law makes pies with berries and mixes a whole bunch of berries together (sweet with sour); she doesn’t add any sugar because my father-in-law is diabetic.

    Awesome work that you are doing! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks for this suggestion – it sounds fabulous! And thanks for reading about the weekend too ๐Ÿ™‚ Always nice to get a visit from you!

  20. Grabbing my ice cream scoop – YUM:) Reminds me of when my mom made this for us growing up! Have a Great Day!

  21. The berry bounty is wonderful right now! Myself, I’m loving them over a scoop of soy ice cream lately.

    Your event sounds so cool! I’m so glad it went well! You never cease to amaze and inspire me, Shira! xoxo

    • Thanks Kristy! Honestly, every time you visit you make my day – I really can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support! Next stop…figuring out how to involve non-locals – I’d love to have more people involved with this!! I am working on it…I hope you are well! Sending TONS of love your way ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. Shira! oh i feel like a bad blog friend…so much to catch up on. Just finished my exams and am SPENT. So looking forward to some rest and relaxation. I already have big plans to cook up a storm with mom on friday….this dessert looks like a real treat so I’m definitely going to suggest it. How is everything going?

    • Hi Sarah! Everything is GREAT! Congrats on finishing your exams – you must be sooooo relieved! Happy to have you back – I think this recipe is perfect for you and your mom to make, though I think it is fall in your part of the world? You could use any fruit…it’s the topping that makes it so ACE! Hope you are well! ๐Ÿ™‚ xox!

  23. Love how simple this recipe is!! I bet it’s sooo good warmed up with some vanilla bean gelato. Loooove it! Great spin on apple crisp. It’s a must try!!! Bookmarking this!

  24. Thats awesome! wish you lots more success at Not so fast! I am loving strwberries as is at the moment.. they are so ripe and sweet and vibrant(unlike the missing summer here)!:)

  25. Shira…that was a challenge for sure, and I can’t believe that it could have been better-met than it was! Full of heart and kindness and generosity! and I’ll bet that the “goodness” of that meal will last beyond what you might imagine…goodness usually does. ๐Ÿ™‚

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