Rhubarb has been on my mind for quite some time, yet it has always somehow danced on by my personal recipe collection. I remember once eating this gluten-free strawberry rhubarb pie on a trip to SF, years ago, before being gluten-free was a thing. I was so overjoyed that I ate the whole thing, without any guilt!! ;) It's still pretty rare to find one of these pies, and now that refined sugar and other processed ingredients are also out of my life, it is near impossible. Making our own is always better anyway, and we can infuse our love in there as well! The process of making/creating is what really makes our food special, and truly received by our bodies through not only our digestion but our thoughts. More on that later!
Rhubarb has a unique quality, a tartness and such a soft texture when baked. I love that I can use a vegetable in my dessert too, and make it deliciously sweet. This combo also uses plums, which I found at my local farmers market. Using a sweeter plum is ideal in this recipe since the rhubarb is tart, and you may take the skin off the plums if you wish.
For this crust I was thinking something rich and grounding, to compliment the rhubarb tartness. Using pecans and coconut is the perfect combo, and gives a nice crumbly and buttery texture. But use whatever crust you wish, these recipes are just a guide to inspire your own creativity!!
Rhubarb & Plum Tart
Makes 1 10" tart, 12-16 servings
Pecan Coconut Crust
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 cup coconut flakes
1 cup quinoa flour or almond flour
2 T cane juice crystals or coconut sugar
2 T lucuma powder
2 T chia seeds, ground into powder and mixed with 1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp each cinnamon, ginger, vanilla bean
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix pecans in a food processor or a blender to make pecan 'flour' then mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix in the chia gel and coconut oil by hand if it is solid, or simply mix with a spoon or spatula if liquid. Once all ingredients turn into a crumbly 'dough' press into a springform tart pan or pie plate until evenly distributed. Set aside. **For chia gel, when using a small amount of chia seeds using a spice grinder will turn it into a powder. If you want to make a larger amount in a blender, use 1/4 cup chia and about 1 cup water and blend together for a gel.**
Rhubarb Plum Filling
4 stalks rhubarb (about 2 1/2 cups chopped)
2 cups plums, pitted and chopped
3/4 cup cane juice crystals or coconut sugar
1 T lucuma powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp rhodiola extract powder (optional)
Chop rhubarb into small pieces, 1/2" or so with a sharp knife. Pit your plums and chop into small chunks. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix together until everything is coated. Spoon filling into the pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes or until the crust just starts turning golden, and your rhubarb is fork-tender. Let cool about 10-15 minutes before serving, and decorate with edible flowers for a beautiful presentation.
On to the medicine! >> Rhubarb root has been used medicinally in ancient Chinese medicine as a purgative (cleansing), and the rhubarb stalk was not even used as a dessert food in the West until the sugar trade exploded.
Rhodiola is my special herbal addition to this recipe, along with medicinal spices of cinnamon, ginger and vanilla bean. Rhodiola is a hardy plant that grows in harsh climates, and thus an adaptogenic herb which helps to modulate stressors in the body and assist it in many ways. It is known to help with energy and endurance, and for me personally, it has really assisted in my adrenal healing, being one that I've actually noticed a difference from after taking for a month.
I thought of using these two together, the rhubarb and rhodiola since they both start with RH, funny I know. But it makes for a very interesting combination, and the bitterness of both only add more flavor to this recipe, combined with the sugar added to the mix. They both happen to grow in or be indigenous to similar climates, which I also think about when making recipe combinations.
Now a little more about the making of food, and the thoughts that we have while processing ingredients and creating recipes to share. This is simply my take on the idea. I see the making of food as a meditation, especially when I'm creating a recipe for sharing with others. This is always the case when making desserts, because I love to share them and never only make them for myself! So, in this meditation state, I make space for new and creative ideas to emerge. When relaxed and joyful, I think we can allow ourselves to have inspiration come through. This is the starting place, then moving into making the recipe, I make sure I have all necessary ingredients and tools, then begin. It's a fun and beautiful process, as long as you keep the meditation. The flavors come together and you are able to really taste the food. This open state allows for deliciousness and beauty to be presented in the final product. A little patience and a lot of presence!! Keep these ideas in mind while making your food and notice the subtle differences in what you create from day to day.
Enjoy the recipe and stay inspired!
Find more deliciousness in my recipe book 'Raw Cookies'