Breakfast Rhubarb Granola Crisp

by byn on June 27, 2010

in Breakfast

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Last year was my first time baking with rhubarb, and to say I was obsessed was an understatement. To that point, I had only had rhubarb in lackluster store-bought strawberry rhubarb pies, but for some reason, I just became totally fixated on it last spring. I think I made almost every single rhubarb or strawberry-rhubarb recipe on smitten kitchen; there was a strawberry rhubarb crumble, strawberry rhubarb pie, big crumb coffee cake (with rhubarb filling) and a strawberry rhubarb pecan loaf.

After I got back from Montreal at the end of May, I was lounging in Aoife’s backyard talking about how sad I was that I missed rhubarb season (yes, these are the kinds of things I talk about in my spare time). Her dad proceeded to wander to the back of the yard and return with about a dozen stalks of rhubarb for me – so I guess I didn’t miss it after all!

For you guys who don’t know, rhubarb (which is actually a vegetable) basically looks like long, pink celery, and if you ate a piece raw, it’s taste and texture is closest to a tart apple. But when you cook it down, it kind of falls apart and gets very soft. By adding sugar, or pairing it with a sweeter fruit, it becomes less tart and even more delicious.

I decided to take a different approach to rhubarb this year, and instead of only using it in desserts, wanted to be able to eat it for breakfast and snacks too. So instead of making these tarts, I just made the rhubarb vanilla compote, and spooned it into my yogurt for morning snacks. I also got to use my new vanilla beans again!

Next up, I did a mash-up of two SK recipes. I took the rhubarb part of Rhubarb Cobbler and the granola part of the Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp, and created a Breakfast Rhubarb Granola Crisp. I find Deb’s approach to fruit crisps very reasonable – if you dial back the sugar, and make the topping more granola-like, there’s no reason you can’t eat this for breakfast with yogurt, instead of with ice cream for dessert. A quick note though – because rhubarb is so tart, even a half cup of sugar doesn’t do too much to sweeten it up.  But I found that the granola and vanilla yogurt balanced it out perfectly. Halving each of these recipes was perfect to fit in my little throwback corningware pan, or would also work in an 8×8 glass baking dish.

Breakfast Rhubarb Granola Crisp

Source: Mash-up of these two recipes on Smitten Kitchen


Rhubarb Part

1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 3 cups)

1/2 cup sugar

1 inch piece of vanilla bean, split lengthwise, pulp scraped (or a splash of vanilla extract)

2 tbsp cornstarch

Granola Part

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

1/8 cup honey

1/4 cup flour

1 cup oats

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional, I left them out)


  1. Put the rhubarb in your 70s throwback corningware pan (or other shallow casserole dish, or glass baking pan) and toss with sugar, vanilla, and cornstarch. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then stir.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the honey. Stir in the flour, oats, almonds, coconut and a pinch of salt until clumps form. Sprinkle evenly over the rhubarb mixture.
  3. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. I covered mine with foil so the granola wouldn’t get too brown, and took it off for the last 10-15 minutes or so.
  4. Cool to room temperature, then store in the fridge to eat for breakfast with yogurt.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ginger Smoothy and Otto Pilot August 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I like this recipe. We live in Northern Ontario. Rhubarb grows everywhere. You just can’t give the stuff away here because everyone has it. My boyfriend loves growing it because you don’t have to do anything to it and it survives any type of weather. Let me know if you need any I’ll fedex it to you lol.


aoife-nd July 5, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I actually need this recipe…like tomorrow. I just picked rhubarb at Dad’s on Saturday!


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