Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Alternative Baking with Blueberry Rhubarb Crisp

I don't think I would have necessarily sought out a variety of gluten-free recipes on my own; after all, my body and my diet are both very gluten-friendly. But when I was given a gift of flours for my birthday, I realized what a wide world of baking there is beyond the “unbleached white” or even “whole-wheat pastry flour.” Using alternative grains is an absolute art in baking, and a very nourishing one, too. Many alternative grains, such as Kamut or Teff flour, are filled with protein and a host of vitamins.

Generally, gluten-free or alternative grain desserts are not necessarily “healthy,” due to the butter or sugar. But, this can be remedied with alternative sweeteners and butter replacements. From my experience with alternative and healthful baked goods I've bought, and the ones I've made myself, I much prefer the wholesome ones to the full-fat kind (yes, even my birthday cake was a bit too much butter and sugar for me to handle).

I would never look down upon any baked good, regardless of its nutritional content; however, if I'm going to be baking as often as I do, for all of the people I care so deeply about, why not make something that is actually good and satisfying for the body, as well as the soul?

This Blueberry Rhubarb Crisp definitely qualifies for these condition: sweet and tangy, and with a topping that does not overwhelm the natural flavors of the blueberry and rhubarb. And of course, if you do not want to make it with the alternative grains, then it's just fine to use whatever you have in your kitchen.

Blueberry Rhubarb Crisp
From Bob's Red Mill Baking Book


¼ cup Amaranth flour
¼ cup Teff, soy or barley flour
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and diced

¼ cup honey
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons Teff flour
2 cups (about 3/4 pound) rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups blueberries


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 2-quart shallow baking dish.
2. For the topping, combine the flours, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Add the butter and work it into the flour mixture with your fingers until crumbly. Refrigerate while making the filling.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the honey, cinnamon, and flour. Add the rhubarb and blueberries, tossing well. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle topping over the fruit and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the topping is brown and the fruit is bubbling. Serve warm.

1 comment:

Mel said...

Came across a natural sweetener the other day - "stevia" - and wondered if you had tried it?