Recipe of the Month: Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch

Each month Lummi Tribal member and NWIC employee Gail Julius shares a healthy recipe with readers in an effort to make eating healthy easy, and fun.

“Eating healthy is a personal decision and often a hard one to make when we feel crunched for time or overworked,” Julius said. “It is easy to lose sight of what we put into our bodies, but I have significantly changed my eating habits since joining the Traditional Plants & Foods Program team, and now I am asking my readers to challenge themselves. As we enter the summer season, shop at fresh produce stands and start incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your own recipes. Truly give your body a chance to benefit from them.”

This month, Julius shares a spin on a summer-time favorite: low-sugar strawberry rhubarb crunch.

This month’s recipe, like all that Julius provides to the community, is rich in vitamins and minerals thanks in large part to rhubarb. Rhubarb is rich in the following vitamins:
• Vitamin C: bones, teeth, tissue development and repair
• Vitamin K: facilitates in the absorption of other nutrients
• Vitamin A: supports eye sight
• Vitamin E: acts as an antioxidant to scavenge disease causing free radicals

Rhubarb fun facts:
• Rhubarb, which is technically a vegetable, was declared to be a fruit for the purpose of regulation and duties by a New York court in 1947 – taxes were higher for vegetables than fruit.
• Rhubarb’s green leaves are toxic, but the stems offer multiple vitamins and minerals.
• Medicinally, rhubarb is used as a laxative.

“I can’t think of a better way to enjoy this ‘vegetable’ than by following this month’s recipe,” Julius said. “It’s a party tarty treat.”

Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch
Original recipe is from allrecipes.com and can be viewed at: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/low-sugar-strawberry-rhubarb-crunch

INGREDIENTS
• 4 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
• 1pint strawberries (cleaned, sliced)
• 1 Tbsp honey
• 1 cup rolled oats
• ½ cup packed brown sugar
• ¼ cup butter
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon

PREPARATION
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Place rhubarb, strawberries and honey in a bowl, mix and place to a baking dish,
3. Using the same bowl, mix the oats, brown sugar and cinnamon together
4. Add butter and mix until it crumbles
5. Spread over the top of the rhubarb/strawberry mixture
6. Place in the oven and bake 30-40 minutes until topping is dark golden brown
7. Serve with ice cream, frozen yogurt or alone

Julius is a program assistant for the Lummi Traditional Foods Project portion of Northwest Indian College’s Traditional Plants & Foods Program. That program – part of the college’s Cooperative Extension Office – helps to promote self-sufficiency and wellness for indigenous people through culturally grounded, multi-generational, and holistic classes related to Native foods and medicines.

Julius teams up with Vanessa Cooper, Traditional Plants & Foods Program coordinator, to host regular cooking and harvesting classes at NWIC’s Lummi campus (visit www.NWIC.edu for a calendar of events).

“Come join us at one of our cooking classes,” Julius said. “Share your recipes and tell us how changing your diet made you feel.”

For more information about the program or classes, contact Gail Julius at gjulius@NWIC.edu or (360) 483-9967, or Vanessa Cooper at vcooper@NWIC.edu or (360) 392-4343.