A baking rack with gluten free rhubarb streusel muffins surrounded by chopped rhubarb and a rhubarb leaf

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Rhubarb Streusel Muffins, and anything rhubarb, reminds me of spring. That’s when rhubarb starts to poke out of the ground, most often around the snow. It is a miraculous sign of life that amazes gardeners year after year.

In my garden the ground is frozen well into April, my rhubarb slowly grows in May and then it thrives all summer. It is spring weeks before I will have enough rhubarb to cook with so that’s when I look in the bottom of the freezer. Usually I can find some already chopped up rhubarb ready to cook with.

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Rhubarb Streusel Muffins and Rhubarb Coffee Cake

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Neighbourhood Rhubarb

There’s something Canadian about rhubarb. In the summer I pick a few stalks from my rhubarb patch here and there. I give some away and I chop some for the freezer. I never pick all of it because I love the crazy look of those gigantic rhubarb leaves all summer long, some leaves grow to be three feet across.

Those giant leaves remind me of us kids running around the yard wearing rhubarb leaves on our heads. Our neighbours dipped the long stalks in small dishes of white sugar and ate it like that. (I didn’t.) My mom stewed rhubarb plus baked pies, crisps and cakes. Sometimes I wonder if anyone even likes rhubarb, it’s just a weed growing in gardens and back alleys everywhere. But now that farm-to-table and grow-your-own are catching on it’s food for the picking.

My go-to rhubarb recipes are these muffins, my Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp and Rhubarb Coffee Cake. I might try a new rhubarb recipe, sometimes something weird, but I definitely make these ones every spring and summer. My rhubarb patch is prolific so if you’re ever in the neighbourhood just come by and ask for some. I’m happy to give it away.

Freezing Rhubarb and Streusel Topping

The streusel topping is that delicious, sweet crumble seen on coffeecake, muffins and pies. It is often made with wheat flour but it doesn’t need to be. Brown sugar and cinnamon are key but you can experiment to come up with the streusel you like best. Many recipes use oats, nuts or gluten free flour. Just get in the kitchen and see what happens.

Rhubarb can easily be frozen, just wash the stalks then chop it up. Freeze it in a bag or container in the amount you would use for a recipe. I prefer to freeze it in a single layer and portion it into containers after it’s frozen. Then I just take out as I start to bake and it can be folded into the batter when still partially frozen.

Like bananas, applesauce and pumpkin, rhubarb adds lots of moisture to baking. This is ideal for gluten free flours that don’t absorb moisture the way wheat flour does.

Kitchen Tip – Let the batter sit for up to 30 minutes if you find your muffins are gritty tasting.

Get The Tools

Many people struggle with baking. Every oven is different and even standard baking pans vary a bit. Then there is the oven temperature and many more factors that challenge us everyday home cooks.

My advice is to buy quality bakeware since it will likely last you for more years than you can imagine. Then it’s up to you to make notes about how long a particular recipe takes to bake in your pan and your oven. These are so many choices for baking pans that I’d love to try but there is absolutely nothing wrong with all the metal pans I have. Here are a few choices:

If you’re lucky enough to grow rhubarb or be given some, try making these Rhubarb Streusel Muffins. In the comments below I’d love to hear your rhubarb story or how your muffins turned out.


More Muffin Recipes

Recipe Round Up – Gluten Free Muffins

Recipe Round Up of Gluten Free Muffins

Ingredients

DRY INGREDIENTS
1⅓ cups GF flour (I used my mix)
1 cup chopped rhubarb
⅔ cup brown sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
WET INGREDIENTS
½ cup yogurt or sour cream
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
STREUSEL TOPPING
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp melted butter

Directions

1
Preheat oven to 350°F.
2
In a large bowl combine flour, rhubarb, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and xanthan gum. Stir until evenly combined.
3
In a 2-cup measuring cup combine yogurt, oil and egg. Stir then pour into dry ingredients and mix until combined.
4
Use a portion scoop to fill 12 paper-lined muffin tins.
5
STREUSEL TOPPING - In a small bowl combine sugar, walnuts, cinnamon and butter. Stir with a fork until well combined. Top each muffin with a small spoonful of streusel topping. (Store any extra streusel in the fridge or freezer for another use.)
6
Bake muffins in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until browned around the edges.
7
Cool on baking rack for 2 minutes then remove muffins to the rack and let cool completely.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • DRY INGREDIENTS
  • 1⅓ cups GF flour (I used my mix)
  • 1 cup chopped rhubarb
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • WET INGREDIENTS
  • ½ cup yogurt or sour cream
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • STREUSEL TOPPING
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp melted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, rhubarb, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and xanthan gum. Stir until evenly combined.
  3. In a 2-cup measuring cup combine yogurt, oil and egg. Stir then pour into dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Use a portion scoop to fill 12 paper-lined muffin tins.
  5. STREUSEL TOPPING - In a small bowl combine sugar, walnuts, cinnamon and butter. Stir with a fork until well combined. Top each muffin with a small spoonful of streusel topping. (Store any extra streusel in the fridge or freezer for another use.)
  6. Bake muffins in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until browned around the edges.
  7. Cool on baking rack for 2 minutes then remove muffins to the rack and let cool completely.