Rhubarb bread is a distinct signal of spring to me! Rhubarb grows so prodigiously in my parents’ midwestern garden in the spring and summer that you can harvest it by the harmful and come back the next day and not believe you picked any at all. It is welcome though, because it comes after a long winter without any local fresh fruit. Rhubarb sauce, rhubarb pie, rhubarb bars… and my favorite because it is just so darn easy: rhubarb bread.
I no longer have access to a rhubarb patch in my back yard, but we loaded up on rhubarb on our last driving trip back home and still have a couple bags in the freezer. The weather is starting to warm here and I was craving tastes of spring, so I decided to see if I could transform an old family recipe for traditional rhubarb bread into a paleo friendly version without grains or dairy. I’m pleased to say that my efforts were a success!
Rhubarb is a great food for people with Crohn’s disease or other digestive issues to include in their diet because it is low-FODMAP. I was also surprised to discover that it has been found to be high in vitamin K. At least one study has found that patients with Crohn’s disease have significantly lower amounts of vitamin K in their blood and that this deficiency is a cofactor for the high rate of osteoporosis in patients with Crohn’s. Additionally, rhubarb is also a good source of vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and manganese.
Side note – rhubarb actually is a vegetable, but I don’t care about the semantics since we eat it like a fruit. Plus it probably makes up for all the times the poor tomato gets miscategorized as a vegetable when it is really a fruit. The great cosmic balance of mislabeling works out in the end I guess!
Notes for healing diets
- Rhubarb is low-FODMAP, however this recipe will require some additional modifications to be acceptable for people on a low-FODMAP diet. Instead of honey, try using maple syrup. Omit the apple sauce and increase the amount of coconut milk to 1 cup.
- To make this recipe SCD legal, omit the tapioca starch and increase the coconut flour to 3/4 cup.
Most health food stores will carry the ingredients needed for this recipe, or you can purchase them online. This is the brand of tapioca flour (also referred to as tapioca starch) that I use.
Important note on palm shortening: I use this because it is a healthy alternative to dairy. It is important to source palm shortening from reputable and sustainable producers, however. This is a brand I trust.
UPDATE! This was delicious but everyone who ate it agreed that the rhubarb flavor could be stronger. So I made it again but doubled the amount of rhubarb. Unfortunately, that was a total fail. Way too much moisture and it just never “set” like bread (still tastes great though!). I may try again and play around with the amounts of the other wet ingredients, but in the mean time I’d say stick with it as written. Enjoy!
Paleo Rhubarb Bread Recipe
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup applesauce
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup palm shortening
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup rhubarb
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a small bread loaf pan (8½ by 4½ inches) with parchment paper.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients (tapioca flour, coconut flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder) - making sure to break up all lumps.
- By hand or with an electric mixer, beat together the lemon juice, coconut milk, apple sauce, eggs, honey, shortening, and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in the rhubarb.
- Pour batter into prepared bread loaf pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until set in the middle.
- Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Other great ways to eat rhubarb
- Persian Lamb Stew With Rhubarb & Mint – And Here We Are
- Open Faced Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie – Frisky Lemon
- Strawberry Rhubarb Paleo Mini Tarts – Beauty and the Foodie
- Rhubarb 4 Ways – The Nourished Cook
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