Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rhubarb Oat Bread (gluten-free, vegan)

Yesterday was a glorious day here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Our beloved Farmer's Market opened again for the 2012 summer season. And this year was also a 'grand opening' of a new and expanded marketplace. It was pretty exciting just to see the mounds of people electrified about fresh locally farmed food. My mouth was watering just looking at the buttery asparagus and my nose tingling with happiness with the scent of fresh and growing herbs and other vegetable plants. It was a pretty great day to be in Grand Rapids. I bet many of you have had similar experiences this past weekend with opening market's or maybe you have been blessed to enjoy a year-round local farmer's market. In Michigan, with our four distinct seasons, it is easy to have significant starts and ends to the year and the first weekend in May is kinda an unofficial start to the summer with the beginning of our cherished farmer's market.
Last night we ate a few pounds of roasted asparagus (I think I ate a pound just by myself!) and today I was excited to make a few special treats with some fresh rhubarb. Oh, I wish I had some wild growing asparagus and rhubarb growing in my backyard. I think I will have to investigate how to make that happen for me someday :) In the meantime, I love supporting my local farmers that bring their bounty to sell to the city-folk like me.
It was also a busy weekend in my own backyard garden. I planted many seeds. Zucchini, Cucumber, a few different squashes, lots of herbs, lettuce, kale, and a few different beans and peas. It was a dramatic start to our doubled-in-size garden. We plowed another 28 x 22 plot in out backyard to plant more. I think our urban neighbors think we are a bit silly (and maybe we are!), but it has become somewhat a hobby as well as a way to learn to grow and eat food from our own sweat and land. 
I would encourage you to try and grow something this summer, even if it is just a little mint plant in a pot on your window sill for home brewed tea. Or investigate back porch or container gardening if you do not have the ground space. Or I have heard a great deal of love for square foot gardening as well. Either way, it is worth trying and experiencing the joy, disappointment, tears and fulfillment in growing your own food. It seems like you are a bit closer to God, or heaven, or at least how God intended it to be. 
And with all that fun in the garden this weekend with a fair share of rain, sun and humidity), we were all in agreement about a yummy baked treat. And since rhubarb has made her spring debut in our house, we made oat bread with rhubarb, plus a little rhubarb butter to spice it up. This recipe is based off of my basic gluten-free oatmeal bread. Delish!
Rhubarb Oat Bread Recipe (gluten-free, vegan)

1 cup of certified gluten-free rolled oats (I used Bob Red Mill's)
1 1/4 cup of boiling water
2/3 cup of non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious Coconut Milk)
2 TB of fresh lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon or sub apple cider vinegar)

In a medium bowl, pour the boiling water over the rolled oats. Let sit for a few minutes and then add the milk and lemon juice. Continue to let sit for 5-10 more minutes until the oats are soft and you can see some cultured milk and water from the lemons. Then mix with the following ingredients...

1 cup of freshly ground buckwheat flour
1/4 cup of chia seed meal
1/2 cup of freshly ground GF oat flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1 ts of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1/2 cup of sucanat (or your preferred sweetener)
1/3 cup of baking oil: grapseed, melted coconut oil or light olive oil
1 ts. of pure vanilla or 10 drops of pure vanilla stevia liquid (I used NuNatural's)

1 heaping cup of finely chopped fresh rhubarb

In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients with a whisk. Then add the wet oat mix and the oil.  Mix well and let the batter sit for just a few minutes to soak up the moisture. Lastly, add the finely chopped rhubarb and mix well together. Then pour the batter into a well oiled bread pan and top with a sprinkle of dry gluten-free oats. Then put in a preheated 350 degree oven and let bake for 45-55 minutes. Check then to see if the bread is baked through in the middle, if not, let it continue to cook for 5-10 more minutes until it is not gooey and golden brown. 

Pull from oven and let cool at least 15 minutes before pulling from pan to let it cool on a grate or plate.  This bread will make between 12-15 slices depending on how thick you like to cut each slice. 
Serve bread warm with a touch of vegan butter or fruit butter. I made some rhubarb butter to add a nice tart touch. The simple recipe is below.
Honey Rhubarb Butter Recipe
1 cup of washed and chopped rhubarb
1 TB of water
2 TB of raw honey
1/2 ts. of ground cinnamon
1/4 ts. of ground cloves

In a small sauce pan, cook the chopped rhubarb with the water until the rhubarb turns to a thick mush. This takes about 10-15 minutes on medium heat. Then pull from the heat and add the honey and spices. Then let cool and place in a high speed blender. This recipe is a very small amount, but is intended to be doubled or tripled depending on your amount of rhubarb. Store in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or preserve using traditional canning methods.
The perfect spring-time bread recipe. And, this bread does not contain too much sweetener, so if you want it make it more a sweet bread then add more sucanant. I wanted this bread to be a bread that could easily be toasted and topped with honey or rhubarb butter for the extra sweetness. 
Good to the last bite! I hope you enjoy and find joy and excitement this spring with added growth and life!

Much love as always!


  1. Looks really good, and you know I love your oatmeal bread! We made some strawberry rhubarb pi last night, and I have some rhubarb left I know what to do! Thanks!

  2. How do begin, when I only have a few things in my cupboard and frig? Do I throw out everything that's not healthy and start over?

  3. Do you think the rhubarb butter could be made and then frozen?

  4. I am so excited I came across your recipe! I went to the famers market yesterday and came back with way too much rhubarb... gf rhubarb crisp is in the oven now, and this bread will be next! Thanks!