Big things are happening over here, so we're celebrating! I graduated last week with a master's degree in nutrition. The last two years of school have been some of the busiest, most stressful times I can remember, but the truth is, I loved every minute of it. Nothing has ever convinced me more that going into this field was the right decision. While the next 8 months are a little up in the air for me, I'm very excited to finally have some free time and not be super stressed out all the time.
To celebrate this accomplishment, we're turning to the season's best produce - strawberries and rhubarb! To be honest, this recipe was mostly inspired by seeing other people posting crisp recipes in their cast iron skillets, so I figured I should give that a try too, right? I'm not sure if the skillet makes a difference in the taste, but it sure looks pretty! I also decided to use chia seeds to thicken up the sauce, rather than using a starch, to up the nutrition profile a bit. Feel free to substitute for corn or tapioca starch, or grind the chia seeds before hand to make them less noticeable in the crisp.
The combination of strawberries and rhubarb is a classic that never goes out of style. I love combining the two in pies and crisps the few weeks each year that rhubarb is available. This time, I dabbled with coconut oil in the crisp topping instead of my go-to butter substitute. I was concerned because I'm not a huge fan of the coconut flavor, but I was pleasantly surprised with how subtle it was in this topping. I will definitely be using coconut oil more often!
How do you celebrate?
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
1/4 cup sugar
5 cups diced strawberries
2 tablespoons chia seeds
Zest of one orange
1/4 cup orange juice
5 cups diced rhubarb
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3 tablespoons coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 F
1. Toss the strawberries with the sugar and let sit for a few minutes. This will sweeten the berries and bring out some of their juice.
2. When the berries have released their juice, add in the chia seeds and the orange zest and juice. Let it sit again for 10-20 minutes, until the chia seeds begin to soak up the liquid. Then mix in the rhubarb and pour the whole mixture into a baking dish or cast iron skillet.
3. Combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and coconut oil in a small bowl. Feel free to use your hands here. Mix until the oats start forming clumps. Spread this mixture on top of the the strawberry and rhubarb mix, covering it evenly.
4. Bake the crisp for 35-45 minutes, until the top is crispy and the bottom is bubbling. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving, or allow to cool completely and serve room temperature. Either way, it would be great topped with some vanilla ice cream!