There was another wonderful selection of produce at our CSA pick-up last week including a pretty bunch of rhubarb. I have to say the most striking differences between the fruits and vegetables I am used to buying at the grocery store and those I am receiving from Rexcroft farm are size and flavor. Those from my local farm are tiny by comparison however, they are packed with flavor.
The rhubarb stalks I am used to working with are easily 1 – 1 1/2 inches thick. My thickest one from the farm was about 1/2 inch. It’s the same thing with my strawberries. They are teeny tiny compared to the ones I generally buy, even the organic ones, yet incredibly sweet. A lot of the vegetables are small too. Little cucumbers and squash that look like those we might characterize as “baby” normally. They are still full of flavor. The largest items I’ve received are the greens.
It makes you think a lot about what is being put into commercially sold produce which makes it get so much bigger. Whatever it is, is definitely not adding any flavor. If a CSA is not an option for you, I highly recommend shopping your local farmer’s markets when you can. Especially in the summer since there is so much delicious fruit out there right now.
Rhubarb is actually a vegetable. However it was legally defined as a fruit in 1947 by a New York court because it was more often used as one in recipes and apparently tariffs are lower for fruit than vegetables. Who knew? Whatever you want to definite it as, it is a great filling for pies and mixes well with some other fruits like strawberries and blueberries. I wanted to keep it simple today with a muffin recipe you could whip up and eat for breakfast or a midday snack.
I used the new Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 baking flour blend. Samples were sent to Bon Appétit recently. One of the editors swung through the test kitchen and dropped off a couple of bags for me to try. I’m pretty happy with it so far. I definitely find it to be more versatile than their other all purpose flour blend which has chickpea flour in it. The 1-to-1 blend worked great in these muffins as well as a batch of cranberry muffins I made in the test kitchen a few days ago. For both recipes, I added some almond flour to give it a little bit of a nutty flavor. Enjoy!
- 1½ Cup gluten-free flour blend (Bob's 1-to-1 or your favorite)
- ¼ cup almond meal
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup 2 % milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup + 2 tbs diced rhubarb, about ¼" (a little smaller for topping)
- ¼ cup gluten-free rolled oats
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cold butter, cubed
- Heat oven to 375 and prepare a muffin pan with liners
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together
- In a small bowl, whisk melted butter, milk, egg and vanilla together
- Prepare a well in dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients into it. Fold wet ingredients into dry until well-combined, but do not over-mix
- Fold 1 cup diced rhubarb into batter until evenly distributed
- In a small bowl, combine remaining 2 tbsp rhubarb, oats, brown sugar and cold butter. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, mash the butter into the other ingredients until they are no longer dry and resemble coarse crumbs
- Distribute batter evenly into muffin liners and top each with the oat crumble, pressing it gently onto the top of the batter
- Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing to a rack. Serve warm or cooled completely. Store remaining in a sealed plastic container or large ziploc bag.