Monday, May 21, 2012

strawberry rhubarb coconut crumb bars + virtual veggie potluck

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who doesn't love a potluck?crazy people that's who.
where else can you try amazing food made by equally amazing people.
my friend court from The Fig Tree has put together an amazing potluck event -
 the virtual veggie potluck - celebrating delicious vegetarian & vegan food with friends.
we should also celebrate the amazing friends and blogs that made this wonderful event possible.
make sure to check out the other great potluck eats at the bottom of this page!

my dish to share - strawberry rhubarb coconut crumb bars.
to me, nothing says spring more than rhubarb and strawberry. my aunt Nancy has a rhubarb patch in her little garden that she glady shares. this time of year fresh rhubarb makes a welcome appearance on our family table, typically in pie form thanks to my aunt Nance. however this year i wanted something a little different - enter the strawberry rhubarb coconut crumb bar, vegan and gluten free. does life get any better? only when you share these with your friends and family.

local strawberries - the last of the bunch from last year, fresh rhubarb and coconut make these crumb bars extra special. i loved the sweetness of the berries and the tart rhubarb with the coconut.
i used whole strawberries, feel free to slice them along with the rhubarb. the berries and rhubarb are tossed with a bit of brown sugar and gluten free flour.
the berries & rhubarb are layered on top of a lemon scented shortbread style cookie layer


a simple struesel made of almonds, coconut oil, vegan butter, coconut flour & brown sugar tops the berries & rhubarb
the lemon shortbread style cookie crust is made with a combination of gluten free baking mix and coconut flour - have you ever tried coconut flour? if not you totally should, coconut flour is loaded with fiber, and the smell - OMG the lovely smell of coconut flour is totally intoxicating.
the one thing that i find with vegan struesel toppings is that over time, when covered they lose part of their crispness. i am not sure if it was because i used coconut oil or a side effect of vegan butter. i found that these were best stored uncovered and eaten the day they are made. however, now that i think of it, these would probably last a little longer and stay more "crisp" if stored in the fridge.


like with most treats i make, i encourage you to share these with your friends and family. a cute little box went to my mom and her friend and of course a box was dropped off to my aunt Nance. it was after all her rhubarb that made these amazing bars possible.
a scoop of coconut bliss island vanilla "ice cream" would be incredible served alongside these bars.
also totally tea worthy as a late morning snack - or for breakfast if you are feeling like a rebel


i love everything spring has to offer - getting back to eating as local as possible this time of year is so energizing and exciting. i love using ingredients found in my own backyard, or in this instance my aunts backyard.

so, go on and find your own little rhubarb patch and make these beautiful bars for your next potluck, BBQ or for those extra special people in your life.
Strawberry Rhubarb Coconut Crumb Bars
makes 16 bars

you will need:

for the struesel
2 tbsp vegan butter
2 tbsp softened coconut oil (not melted)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup coconut flakes - divided (1/4 cup division)

for the bars
1 cup rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 cups whole strawberries, hulled
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose gluten free baking mix
1/2 cup+ 3 tbsp coconut flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
5 tbsp vegan butter, softened
4 tbsp coconut oil, softened (room temp)
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 flax eggs
 (3 tbsp ground flax + 9 tbsp hot water mixed and allowed to sit for 5 minutes)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Pre heat oven to 350*
line a 9 x 9 square baking pan with parchment, with parchment overhanging 2 of the sides

for the struesel - in a medium bowl combine sugar through 1/4 coconut flakes(reserving the remaining 1/4 cup) whisking until combine, with a fork or pastry cutter incorporate vegan butter and coconut oil until large clumps form. store in fridge until ready to use.

for the bars - in a medium bowl combine strawberries, rhubarb, brown sugar & 3 tbsp of coconut flour - set aside.

in another medium bowl sift the remaining coconut flour, all purpose gluten free baking mix, baking powder and salt. in the bowl of a stand mixer or using a electric mixer beat butter, coconut oil and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. beat in flax eggs. add vanilla, slowly add the flour mixture until well mixed. spread batter in prepare pan. top with the strawberry rhubarb mix and sprinkle the streusel over the berries & rhubarb.

bake until golden brown - about 45 - 50 minutes. remove from oven, top with remaining 1/4 cup flaked coconut and allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. remove the bars by lifting the overhanging parchment paper. cut into squares and sprinkle with additional powdered sugar if desired.



Big Bertha Burger by Helena - Peaches & Cream

 Avocado & Potato Salad by Genevieve - Vanilla & Spice

Super Green Salad with Strawberries by Caitlin- the Vegan Chickpea 

 Chocolate & Banana Rolled Oat Bites by Natasha - VIMWAC 

 Peaches & Cream Granola Parfaits by Willow- Will Cook for Friends 

 Mango Avocado Salad with Pineapple Mint Dressing by Courtney - the Fig Tree 

Broccoflower Guacamole by Elaina- flavour food and wine

Chard Cauliflower Carrot Wraps by Richa - Hobby & More

Lime Cilantro Black Bean Quinoa Salad by Destini - The Healthy Wife



  1. these crumb bars look fantastic! can you believe i've never had rhubarb before? i really must try it soon.

    1. You absolutely have to try it soon - there is a few more weeks left in the season!

  2. I'm in heaven, here. I love strawberry-rhubarb anything, and the coconut just sounds like the cherry on top! I've never tried coconut flour, and hadn't considered that it would actually smell coconutty... sounds wonderful!

    1. The first time I used it Justin thought I was crazy - I kept tell hime to "you have to smell this flour, come on just smell it; amazing!!" I love Coconut Flour, it is a bit pricey but so worth it!

  3. I'm loving all the potluck dishes so far, and I got especially excited when I read the title of your post! I absolutely love strawberry-rhubarb desserts and adding coconut to the mix just makes it even more amazing! This sounds like one my favourite things - strawberry rhubarb crisp (which my mom just made for us this weekend!) but in bar form - great idea! And you gave me another idea to use my coconut flour!

    1. Me too - I love how we all have such similair tastes. This has been so much fun! I remember that I actually started following you after reading Court's Liebster picks and I am so glad!

    2. It was fun! Hmm did she do the Liebster? My memory is fading of how I initially met all of you, but I'm glad too :)

  4. I'm so far behind on my post today--eek! I am doing something different than the salad, p.s. :) Back to what matters though, I don't think I have had a strawberries and rhubarb combo ever before but this sounds so freaking good, Heather! Can I start with dessert first???

    1. I can't wait to see what you come up with, I am sure it will be fabulous!

      Whaaat? You have never had Strawberries and Rhubarb before together, oh my poor Cara you have been missing out on one of springs best flavor combos! - You can totally start with dessert first, thats where I started :)

  5. beautiful recipe Heather! I am super jealous that you have access to fresh rhubarb like that! I loooove rhubarb! When I was little I used to go to the market with my babysitter and dip fresh rhubarb in sugar and much away. It was like a healthier version of those Fun Dip things. Your post just brought all those memories back!

    Also, I love love love all your cutlery and plates! I want to go shopping at your house :)

    1. Mmmm rhubarb dipped in suagr - I remember just wating the sour stalks straight up!

      Plates = Carnival Glass found at The Salvation Army Thrift Store

      Cutlery = Mod Shop (I think, its on my pinboard under things I'm loving)

  6. I'm not joking, I have rhubarb and strawberries, just sitting in my kitchen waiting for a fabulous recipe to fulfill their destiny! Wonderful post, looking forward to following your blog :)

    1. It was totally meant to be! I am also looking forward to following you too, it is so nice to meet you :)

  7. Rhubarb & strawberries...mean summer to me. Oh how they go well together. Beautiful recipe..& gorgeous always !!

    1. We are like food soulmates Lysa - we share love for so many springtime eats!

  8. These bars these barss!!! its been a while since i ate any strawberry rhubarb together.. and all that coconut, and its gf too! i bet they taste awesomely delicious!
    i was going to ask you about the plates and i see gabby has already done the deed.
    i am loving the color play as usual. how do u figure out the colors! someone suggested i get a quilting color wheel. i think thats what i am picking up on my next trip. :)

    1. I was so proud of my Gluten Free creation - the more cook/bake gluten free the more confident I am becoming :)

      Colors :) I have a color wheel in my head, like the one in grade shcool that I refer to once in a while....but most of the time I simply go with what I like and what seems to work....trial and error - I always try to keep in mind the feeling I am trying to convey/ mood of the photo. I would really like to take a composition class in the future :)

  9. I adore rhubarb and strawberry together! Coconut just brings it up to a whole different level! YUM!!!!
    Love the cookie crust and the awesome sounding crumble on top! I am SO excited to make these!!!! I have some rhubarb in the freezer and strawberries in the fridge. I'll be making them sometime this week. Sounds so so so so yummy! I think you should start a catering company and ship to Canada :)

    Thank you so much for contributing + participating today. Means so much! Loved your post! xoxo

    1. It was meant to be! The coconut was so good, although I think anything that contains coconut is wicked amazing so I am kinda bias when it comes to coconut anything!

      THANK YOU for being such an amazing host & friend and for inviting me to your potluck, it was so much fun :)


  10. These bars look amazing! I love strawberry and rhubarb, but I really love bars like these with the fruit in the middle. The coconut flour sounds so good, and the coconut flakes are so pretty!

    1. Thanks Heidi - I love fruit desserts too, I can't wait to try these out when blueberry season comes!

  11. These bars look amazing!! I may just have to make these when I get back from my trip. Great addition to the potluck! And fancy meeting you :)

    1. It is so nice to meet you too Destini!

      Thanks for stopping by :)

  12. Mmm, those look awesome! I love using coconut flour, and this would be perfect for my GF sister. Now I just need to get my hands on some rhubarb!

    1. If you can't find Rhubarb just go straight up Strawberry, they would still be super yummy!

  13. This is no doubt a delicious treat to share - coconut flour? I had no idea :D
    Looks stunning!

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Coocnut Flour would totally by up your alley, you should definitely get some and start experimenting!

  14. Oh my, these are just lovely! I have some rhubarb crowns in my patch at the moment but we are just heading into winter so I'll have to wait a while to use it, it definitely sounds like my thing though so have bookmarked for future reference.

    I love the sound of the vego potluck and there are some great recipes listed as well. Looks like I've got some reading to do.

    1. Hi Erin! Thank you so much for the wonderful comment, I hope you have fun checking out all the great dishes in the potluck - these are some super talented ladies!

  15. These look so pretty! I love the colors and textures! and oh my gosh -- it's only 10am and I'm already craving sweets! it's gonna be a long day! :) thanks for sharing!

    1. These are the good kind though, totally suitable for breakfast :)

  16. Great addition to the veggie potluck! I absolutely adore your photos. I hope I eventually get to grips with my camera enough to produce such impressive results. great!


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