I Eat Real Food | Fruit Bars
Hayley Stobbs, rhubarb bars, dessert, snack, Spring, cherry, coconut, gluten free, dairy free, paleo
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-433,single-format-standard,,qode-child-theme-ver-,qode-theme-ver-7.9,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.2.3,vc_responsive

Fruit Bars

Rhubarb is one of my favourite fruits. It was always the first to appear in our urban family garden each Spring season whereby I would cut the stalks in preparation for my mom’s delicious rhubarb crisp recipe. It also evokes special memories of visiting my grandparents in Brancepeth, Saskatchewan — Grandma frequently served a delicious sweet rhubarb desert with ice cream.



From an Eastern nutritional perspective, rhubarb is cooling, bitter in taste, and enters the large intestine meridian. Energetically it promotes blood circulation, regulates heat, and eliminates toxins. From a western perspective, rhubarb contains a good amount of calcium, potassium, manganese, vitamin K and C.


Although the following recipe uses rhubarb, feel free to get creative by swapping it with a variety of seasonal fruits. I’ve made them with strawberry and raspberry, as well as with cherry — all were delicious!

There’s something about a sweet and sour desert that leaves one feeling completely satisfied. The expansive nature of the sweet flavour and contractive force of the sour flavour compliment the mind and palate with a sense of gratitude and joy. Enjoy the colors, textures, and flavours of this Spring treat and share with others alongside a cup of tea.

Prep time: 10
Cook time: 60 minutes
Yields: 9 – 12 squares



  • 5 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced, or seasonal fruit of choice
  • 6 cups boiling water (only for rhubarb)
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. coconut oil (optional — adds texture and creaminess)
  • 3 tbsp. honey (for rhubarb)
  • 2 tsp. Great Lakes gelatin, mixed with 2 – 3 tbsp. cold water, or 1/2 tsp. agar powder mixed with 2 tsp. cold water
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (I used ‘Let’s Do Organic‘ brand. See note for a coconut-free crust)
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (I like Aroy-D brand)
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup



  1. Wash then thinly slice the fresh rhubarb. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add the rhubarb to the water, turn off the heat, cover, and let the rhubarb cook in the residual heat for 10 – 15 minutes. If you are using other seasonal fruits, simply prepare and place in a saucepan. Bring the fruit to a simmer, mash with a fork, and stir.
  2. Drain the water from the rhubarb then add 3 tablespoons of coconut oil to the saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat, uncovered. Stir occasionally until the rhubarb (or other fruit) reduces by about half — most of the water will evaporate and the mixture will thicken. This will take around 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the crust. Preheat your oven to 325F and grease an 8X8 inch pan with coconut oil. Add the measured coconut flour into a medium sized mixing bowl and melt the coconut oil. Pour the melted coconut oil onto the flour, add the remaining ingredients, and mix. Press into the baking pan and transfer to your pre-heated oven to bake for 17 – 20 minutes or until golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let the crust cool completely. If the weather is cool you can place the pan outside to speed up the setting process of the crust.
  4. Mix together the gelatin or agar powder and water in a small bowl. Add this to the reduced rhubarb mixture, along with the honey, and stir well. Taste and adjust — add more honey if you desire a sweeter treat. Turn the heat off and take the saucepan off of the stove element to let the mixture slightly cool.
  5. Pour the rhubarb mixture onto the cooled crust and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. You can speed the setting process by placing the pan into your freezer for 1/2 hour to an hour (agar takes less time to set).
  6. Slice into desired sized pieces and keep refrigerated. Garnish with a dollop of full fat coconut milk and top with a piece of sliced strawberry.


  • For low fodmap use clover honey.
  • For low histamine choose from the following fruits: rhubarb, apple, apricot, most berries (except red ones), cherry, pear, permission, and pomegranate.
  • Rhubarb Cherry Bars: Combine 3 cups of frozen rhubarb with 2 cups frozen, pitted cherries in a large saucepan. Bring the fruit to a light simmer without water and continue with the above directions. The cherries sweeten the mixture so you may feel that the honey is unnecessary. The garnish in the photo below is basil pesto (fresh basil blended with olive or avocado oil and sea salt) and frozen raspberry crumbles.  *Cherries are not low fodmap.
  • If you are using fresh rhubarb for the above variation you may want to blanch the rhubarb (step 1 and 2) for 5 – 10 minutes before simmering with the cherries.
  • Strawberry Raspberry Bars: Combine 3 cups of strawberries (fresh or frozen) with 2 cups of raspberries in a saucepan. Bring to a light simmer and stir every so often until the mixture reduces, approximately 20 – 30 minutes. Honey isn’t necessary for this variation.
  • Coconut free crust (not AIP-friendly): 2 cups gluten free rolled oats (only oats) slow-blended in a blender or food processor until it reaches the texture of quick oats + 1/2 – 3/4 cup hempseed + 1/4 cup maple syrup + 1/4 cup ghee (or nut/seed butter) + almond or tiger nut milk (add just enough so that the mixture sticks together) + pinch of sea salt. Mix and press into an oiled 8X8 inch pan. Bake at 350F for approximately 12 minutes. Resume with directions above.



Leggett, Daverick. Helping Ourselves: A Guide to Traditional Chinese Food Energetics. Totnes, England: Meridian Press, 2005.

  • Tina Turbin
    Posted at 07:11h, 14 May Reply

    Love this recipe and your variation – thanks!!! Question in step 3, how can you simmer for near 45 minutes with that little oil after draining all the water off? Thanks! I want to make this but just could not think with this one step Tina

    • Hayley
      Posted at 15:01h, 14 May Reply

      Thanks Tina! Although rhubarb does not look like it contains much natural moisture, it still holds water within it’s stalks. By simmering the fruit (after softening the rhubarb by blanching with the hot water) the water evaporates and you’re left with a thickened mixture similar to pie filling. Alternatively home-cooks may skip this step by adding more gelatin, or with the addition of arrowroot starch to thicken, however this is unnecessary since simmering will thicken the mixture just as well and lends to a bolder, sweet flavour. I made them again yesterday (the cherry variation) and edited the simmering time to 30 – 40 minutes. . heat and evaporation time varies with different stove tops but it seems to work well within this range of time.

  • Martine
    Posted at 16:17h, 14 May Reply

    Hayley! These are gorgeous. <3 As a general rule, do you use the 1/2 tsp of agar to the 2 tsp of gelatin (plus appropriate amounts of water, of course)? We have some vegetarians in the family, so I need to become adept at adjusting and working with the agar. Thanks for your expertise! 🙂

    • Hayley
      Posted at 03:30h, 15 May Reply

      Thank you so much Martine! We’re loving the rhubarb cherry bars (should have named them sour cherry bars — yum!). I usually substitute 1 – 1 1/4 tsp. of agar powder for 1 tbsp. gelatin. I would add just enough cold water (1 tbsp. – 1 1/2 tbsp.) to dissolve and then it needs to be gently simmered for a few minutes with whatever it’s being set with. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  • linda Stobbs
    Posted at 17:27h, 24 May Reply

    Luv the photos, there’s our beautiful garden! Dad & I are planting today, yay, gorgeous out again! These recipes are sensational Hayl, can HARDLY wait to try them . . . rhubarb ‘almost’ ready! thx Hayl 🙂

  • Eileen
    Posted at 23:22h, 27 May Reply

    Hi Hayley. I’m a rhubarb lover, and these look scrumptious! Thanks so much for sharing at the AIP Recipe Roundtable. I hope you’ll join us again.

    • Hayley
      Posted at 02:51h, 29 May Reply

      You’re so sweet, thank you Eileen!! I will definitely join in again — love the Recipe Roundtable!

  • 50 Gluten Free Coconut Flour Recipes - My Natural Family
    Posted at 04:09h, 12 June Reply

    […] 31. Rhubarb Bars Recipe […]

  • 26 Creative Paleo Ways to Use Gelatin | Paleo Grubs
    Posted at 17:44h, 15 November Reply

    […] 2. Rhubarb Bars […]

  • 15 Tart Gluten-Free Rhubarb Desserts and Treats | Paleo Grubs
    Posted at 16:08h, 05 April Reply

    […] 2. Rhubarb Bars […]

  • Rebecca Jonmundsson
    Posted at 14:43h, 05 September Reply

    I didn’t put enough gelatin so it hasn’t set…do you think I could scrap off the topping, add more gelatin and pour back onto the base to set?

Post A Comment