These rhubarb flapjacks are a perfect way to make the most of the short rhubarb season. Moist and slightly chewy, they are a delicious healthy treat. They are like a portable rhubarb crumble, with an oaty base. They are gluten free, low in added sugar, and easily adapted to vegan.
As a child, I couldn't bear rhubarb, but now I can't get enough of the tart fruity flavour. And these fruity oat bars are a great way to turn rhubarb into a tasty treat. If you love rhubarb crumble, you'll love these too and they can easily be served any time of day. And as they are healthy, they are also totally guilt free.
This rhubarb flapjack recipe is also really easy to make. You can quickly mix them by hand, and the ingredient list is short and simple.
Oats. The slightly nutty flavour of oats is a perfect complement to rhubarb. Oats are also a healthy wholegrain, and are high in fibre. One particular fibre, beta glutans has been shown to lower cholesterol and help to control blood sugar levels. Oats are also high in B vitamins and a number of important minerals including iron and magnesium. They are also a good source of protein. (See here for more info about the health benefits of oats.) You'll need porridge oats for this recipe. If you want your rhubarb flapjacks to be gluten free, make sure that you use certified oats which have been processed separately to other grains.
Rhubarb. Rhubarb is usually in season from mid to late Spring, and is available in the supermarkets for 3 or 4 months. If you've got the space, rhubarb is also really easy to grow. It'll come up year after year, and needs very little looking after. Rhubarb also freezes really well, so if you've got an excess, you'll be able to enjoy it for longer.
Applesauce or apple puree. Applesauce acts as both a sweetener and a binder in these rhubarb flapjacks. Make sure that you buy, or make, applesauce without sugar, as the apple itself will provide plenty of sweetness. If you need to make a small batch of applesauce for this recipe, simmer one medium to large apple with a splash of water for a few minutes, then blitz or mash with a fork. You could also substitute a large mashed banana.
Olive oil. These healthy rhubarb flapjacks are low in fat, but they do have a couple of tablespoons of oil to keep them moist and bind the mixture together. If you prefer, you could use melted butter or coconut oil.
Honey. This recipe is very low in added sugar, but you do need a little sweetener with rhubarb. If you want the recipe to be vegan, use maple syrup or stevia. Or even just a little brown sugar.
Cinnamon and ground ginger. Including sweet spices in the recipe helps to lower the amount of sugar that you need. Cinnamon and ginger both go really well with rhubarb. As well as tasting delicious, cinnamon and ginger are both good for blood sugar levels and have numerous other health benefits.
How to make healthy rhubarb flapjacks
It's best to line and grease your tin for this recipe so it's easier to remove the oat bars when cooked. I find a 19x10cm loaf tin with a 2lb capacity is just right for this quantity of mixture, but the high sides make it a little tricky to remove the flapjacks. If you have a small baking tray with similar dimensions, that's even better.
Cook the rhubarb first so that it has time to cool whilst you are making the oat crumble biscuit base. It should be soft, but just holding it's shape. After 10 minutes there shouldn't be any excess juice, but if there is tip it away. Add the honey at the end of the cooking, as it's much less likely to stick to the pan.
To make the base for the rhubarb flapjacks, put aside 25 g of the oats, and then simply stir the remaining ingredients together.
Spread two thirds of the mixture into the bottom of your prepared tin, press down firmly and bake for 10 minutes. This will help to dry out the base. Meanwhile, stir the remaining 25 g of oats into the remaining oat crumble bar mixture. It'll start to clump together.
Take the tin out of the oven, and spread over the cooked rhubarb. Add the oat crumble topping, leaving the clumps to add texture.
Cook for a further 20 minutes, until a light golden brown. Remove from the tin when cool enough to handle and leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 6 slices.
Frequently asked questions
This recipe is low in added sugar, low in saturated fat and high in fibre. So go ahead and enjoy them as a health treat:)
They'll keep well for up to 3 days. Store in a cool place.
Make sure that the flapjacks are completely cool before you cut them. If you are in a hurry, you can put them in the fridge so that they set more quickly.
You might also enjoy...
- 100 g rhubarb
- 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon Divided into 1tsp plus ½tsp
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoon water
- 6 teaspoon honey Divided into 2tsp plus 4 tsp
- 125 g porridge oats Divided into 100g plus 25g
- 120 ml unsweetened apple sauce or apple puree
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Wash and chop the rhubarb into 1.5 cm pieces. Add to a pan along with 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, plus the ginger and water. Cover and simmer very gently over a low heat for 10 minutes. The rhubarb should be soft but still retain some shape. Stir in 2 teaspoon of the honey and leave to cool.
- Grease and line a 19x10cm tin. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 fan)
- Place 100 g of oats, plus the apple puree, olive oil, remaining ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and remaining honey in a bowl and stir until well mixed. Place ⅔ of the mixture into the prepared tin, and smooth down. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the rest of the oats to the remaining ⅓ of the mixture and stir. Squish some of the mixture into clumps with the back of the spoon.
- Remove the flapjack base from the oven. Spread the cooled rhubarb mixture over the top of the base. Add the remaining crumble mixture, leaving the clumps for texture. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly golden.
- Carefully remove from the tin when cool enough to handle and allow the rhubarb crumble bars to get completely cold on a wire rack. Cut into 6 slices.
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only.