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A Fresh Approach to Eating

Make a Low Fodmap Dessert

Try making these strawberry crumble bars, they are delicious and also low fodmap, gluten-free and vegan. In addition to the strawberries, oats and peanut butter, these bars also have an additional ingredient which is near and dear to my heart, rhubarb!

Rhubarb is a special fruit to me. Yes, it is sour, but it has a great sweet and sour flavor when you add sweetener. The leaves are actually poisonous with excessive amounts of oxalic acid so don’t eat them. When I was a kid, I loved seeing the big, healthy stalks of rhubarb in my great-grandmother’s garden. After we harvested the stalks, rhubarb rolls were made to eat (which was sort of an apple dumpling, but instead had chopped sweetened rhubarb). It was glorious!

The part the I really love is the fact that every birthday that I had growing up, not only did my mom bake a decorate a birthday cake for me but in addition she always made me some rhubarb rolls! After my great grandma passed away and her house was sold, my mom would always end up every year with frozen rhubarb for my rolls. Having it frozen was a necessity since my birthday is in early January.

I have found myself with rhubarb in my garden and rhubarb in my freezer, and I like to have some rhubarb rolls once a year. So now I am on the lookout for other ways to include it. Rhubarb is a healthy food to include in our diet.

Rhubarb Nutrition

Rhubarb is high is a source of vitamin C, and K. It is also rich in anthocyanins and phenols which are beneficial plant chemicals. There are very few calories in rhubarb but without some sweetener, it would be really sour! It also has 2 g of fiber.

It also has calcium, but this is difficult to be absorbed because of the amount of oxalate in the stalks so it binds up the calcium. And don’t eat the leaves because they are toxic since they are extremely high in oxalate.

Health Benefits of Rhubarb in IBS

In addition to all the other health benefits, the most interesting benefits are the digestive health advantages. I recently discovered during my training to be a Monash trained low fodmap dietitian, that rhubarb has the perfect combination of fiber for our gut health. That is because it is an unusual combination of both insoluble fiber and low fermentable fiber.

This means that it can help someone who is constipated get some insoluble fiber to help them go to the bathroom without the bloating and gas. These symptoms are uncomfortable for all of us, but it is especially painful for people with IBS because they can be very painful.

Another positive quality that rhubarb has is that it is a lower in fructose than many fruits. Fructose is a fodmap that many that may increase symptoms of IBS. Technically rhubarb is a vegetable but since it is prepared like a fruit, it is a fruit to me.

Rhubarb also contains a plant chemical called sennoside that actually has a laxative effect which may be additionally beneficial for IBS-C but it is also rich in tannins which are helpful for people with diarrhea also. So, it probably it should only be used short term for constipation relief or periodically. You can find out more about this and other natural plant laxatives here.

Laxatives for Constipation: How to Safely Use, Natural, and More (

You may want to consult with your medical provider about whether you should use one of these remedies.

What Does Rhubarb Taste Like?

Rhubarb is very sour. The closest to me is a gooseberry (which is my husband’s favorite. I would compare it to a super sour raspberry which is not totally ripe.

Here is a Delicious Low Fodmap Dessert

These Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars are a lower sugar treat than my Grandma Ida’s rhubarb rolls and they are gluten-free, low fodmap and vegan. You can top them with a plant-based whipped topping.

Platter of strawberry bars
Make you some strawberry shortcake bars. With a little added rhubarb.

Strawberry Crumble Bars

These bars are gluten-free, low fodmap and vegan. They are delicious and easy to make too! The strawberries and rhubarb are both tart but the strawberries really help temper the fruit filling from being too sour and the addition of a small amount of maple syrup and brown sugar also help to provide balance.

Makes 12 bars

3/4 cup gluten-free flour (I used Trader Joes)
1 1/2 cup gluten free oats
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons Earth or Smart Balance
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make strawberry rhubarb filling:
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries (can use frozen)
1/2 cup chopped rhubarb (can use frozen)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. To make strawberry rhubarb filling, add fruit in a medium saucepan and add 2 tablespoon maple syrup and 2 tablespoon brown sugar.

In a small bowl, add the corn starch and mix with the water. Then take a tablespoon of the fruit mixture and add it to the corn starch. Carefully add the corn starch mixture into the saucepan.

Simmer until the mixtures cooks down to about half of its original volume (you don’t need to actually measure). And thick sort of like a pie filling. Allow the filling to cool while you make the oat topping.

To make gluten-free oat crust and topping:

In a large bowl, add gluten free flour, oats, brown sugar, salt and almonds. Toss them until mixed well. Add maple syrup, peanut butter, Earth or Smart Balance, canola oil and maple syrup.

Divide the oat crust/topping in half. In an 8 by 8 baking pan, press down half the topping in the bottom of the pan and press it a slight bit up on the side (about half an inch).

Add the cooled filling on top of the crust. Then, add crumbles of the topping to the top of the filling.

Bake for 25 minutes. Allow bars to cool and cut them into 12 squares.

Delicious Strawberry and Rhubarb Recipes

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Here is a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp that I put together for a spring brunch for my family loves that I hope that you will too!

Festive Spring Vegetarian Brunch Recipe Ideas (

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Brunch Recipe
With strawberries and rhubarb coming fresh from the garden and farmers’ markets, what better dessert to make than with one using all of these!

Spring Strawberry Asparagus Salad

This spring recipe uses pairs strawberries with asparagus. Asparagus is not a low fodmap food however, but you can substitute roasted broccoli which I have been enjoying lately or substitute some fresh greens for a different but equally delicious recipe!

Anti inflammatory food list pdf (

Spring Strawberry Asparagus Salad Recipe in one of the best anti-inflammatory diets
This salad highlights two of my favorite things from the garden!

Here is a great post with rhubarb recipes that you will love also!

Rhubarb – FODMAP Everyday

Enjoy a few Low Fodmap Desserts

If you are looking for something different to make for a snack or dessert, you might want to try these bars! They are a great way to use strawberries and rhubarb this spring without the excess sugar. And they may provide some additional benefits also.

As an Asheville nutritionist and registered dietitian, I love working with my clients helping them find the foods and meals that work best for them and their lifestyle. If you are wanting to know more about how to take better care of you with the foods you eat, I would love to help! You can find out more about me here. In addition, you might like to find out more about my Fresh Approach to Eating Programs!

Bar of Strawberry Bars
Here is a pan of strawberry crumble bars with rhubarb.
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