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Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Lilac Sugar

Sweet Treat for Spring with Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp 

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Lilac Sugar

When we moved to South Berwick, Maine the town would creep out of Winter as soon as our rhubarb grew in. Evenings this time of year often include the holler of a grandmother looking to take a piece of our giant patch. One time we even had an old towny roll up on his tractor begging for rhubarb for his wife. It was during this visit that we found out our rhubarb garden is over 100 years old and has been the sign of hope for our sweet little town here in Maine after the long cold winters. The man visiting had harvested rhubarb from that very patch as a child for his own grandmother. Late Spring it ripens alongside the lilac bushes and we must tell you, Lilac Sugar makes the MOST delectable fragrant addition to a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. You may have to try it for yourself!




Best Tastes for Spring

You may be wondering why we are sharing this recipe after reading some of our other posts. Our Kapha Dosha Diet outline clearly states that during the Spring season you should focus on pungent, bitter and astringent tastes. Strawberries, rhubarb and sugar are hardly any of those. We what also mentioned though is to eat what is local and in season. In Maine these grow abundantly and seem fitting for an afternoon treat if and when Kapha is not provoked. 

It’s important to remember that the Ayurvedic Diet is not about firm rules. It is about monitoring both your physical body and the world around you to reflect the desired experience of health and balance. We choose to make Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp after a long day of Spring planting when the sun is hot. You know those days that almost feel like Summer blessing us a season early. They make the perfect afternoon to enjoy a sweet treat when agni (digestive fire) is high, you are hungry and feel light in body to be able to consume and assimilate the sweet taste as nourishment and not stagnation. There is nothing you CAN NOT have but there are ways in which we can consume food to allow it to become the best support for long term health. This starts with the Healthy Eating Guidelines, if you haven’t come across them in our knowledge share we recommend you read more. Other ways to support the heaviness of the sweet taste is with digestive spices like cumin, carom, dill seed, fennel and coriander. We make a special Agni Spice Mix we can send to you or try making it yourself with our recipe

Nibbling digestive herbs before or after indulging in dessert helps the body use nourishment from the sweet taste to promote tissue growth, strength and stability instead of heaviness, lethargy or weight gain. Consider these concepts before we move on to the recipes.



Lilac Sugar

Carefully pick the flowers off the main stem of the lilac, layer and cover with sugar (we use organic cane sugar). Place in a clean glass jar, cover and shake. Over the next 3-4 days shake the jar daily. After the sugar sets you can pick out the flowers or keep them in the sugar for baking. Enjoy!

As we mentioned above the sweet taste should be reserved for days you feel like digestion is ready to process the food. Make sure you are hungry and try not to create a habit over sweets. It is important to enjoy food and have experiences surrounding food that make you feel good! That is the key to nourishment and once in a while dessert can create a feeling of nurture, compassion, joy and bliss that we all should enjoy. If you are curious to learn more about the concept of taste in Ayurveda you can find it on the BLOG.

We also offer ongoing educational programs supporting individuals, families and health professionals on how to implement Ayurveda into daily life. It’s a life changing practice that becomes second nature over time if you have the information to support you. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time: 50 Minutes
Total time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Servings: 6


Crisp Filling
  • 3-4 Cleaned Rhubarb Stalks cut into bite size pieces
  • 3/4 lb fresh quartered Strawberries
  • 1/2 cup Lilac Sugar or Sugar of choice
  • 1 1/2 Tbl cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Crumble Top
  • 3/4 Cup Whole Wheat, Spelt Flour or Almond Meal
  • 1/2 Cup Lilac Sugar or Sugar of choice
  • 3 Tbs Coconut Butter
  • 3 Tbs Coconut Oil, Vegan Butter or Unsalted Organic Butter
  • 3/4 cup whole Oats
  • 1/4 cup Almonds or Walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan Pink Rock Salt


1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Combine ingredients for filling, toss gently and set aside
3. In food processor combine ingredients for crumble topping and pulse
4. Put filling in deep dish pie pan
5. Top with crumble topping
6. Bake at 350F for 50 minutes or until golden brown
7. Let cool and serve with fresh lilac flowers or a spoonful of fresh whip cream

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