When I was a little girl my grandmother would make her delicious strawberry rhubarb crisp out of fresh strawberries and rhubarb from her garden. It wasn’t gluten & dairy-free strawberry rhubarb crisp, but back then they didn’t have gluten-free flours and oats like we do today. It was always a bit of a spectacle watching my grandmother garden because she was highly allergic to bees, which I happen to inherit. Even in 90 degree temperatures she would wear long pants with rubber boots, a long-sleeved shirt, bands around her ankles and wrists, and a hat with netting covering the hat tucked into the collar of her buttoned up shirt. If those bees were going to sting her, they were going to have to fight their way through all her protective coverings! Most days one would find her gardening at 5 am before the hot summer days made it unbearable in her bee protective garb. I wish I had a picture to show you, but during the 70’s and 80’s we didn’t have cell phones to snap a quick picture and we often didn’t carry around cameras unless we were on vacation or attending some important event. I’d like to think watching grandma in her garden was an important event, which now it seems it was, but back then it was just a daily occurrence of a woman who loved the good earth and the bounty it produced from the fruit of her labor.
I began a journey a few months back to see if I could start cutting down on the inflammation that is present in my body. In fact, new information is now out that links inflammation to heart disease, even over high cholesterol! I especially noticed my glands swelling whenever I drank my morning latte. I’ve been fighting giving up dairy for about a year because quite frankly, I loved my morning coffee with organic whole milk. I loved the creaminess, the froth I could make in my espresso machine, and the fact I could heat it to 165 degrees. Nut milks should only be heated to 130 degrees or they start to burn. If you have ever tasted an almond milk latte and it just didn’t taste right, more than likely the nut milk scalded. So if you are on a dairy-free diet specifically and enjoy a morning cup of brew, ask for your nut milk (almond, soy, coconut, etc.) to be heated to 130. Now back to my journey; I decided to stay off dairy and have for about a month now, and my glands feel like they’re moving toward a realm of normalcy! I have tried many of the alternative milks and have concluded that hazelnut is my favorite substitute. It is slightly sweet and even froths a bit. I still don’t like having to give up dairy but I sure do love how I feel and that’s worth it all!
Naturally going dairy-free means revamping a few of my favorite gluten-free recipes. This crisp originally called for butter and brown sugar. I have substituted coconut oil and coconut palm sugar for a result that was beyond delicious and received rave reviews from a group of ladies I had over a few days ago! I have another gluten & dairy-free recipe that calls for Rhubarb. Click here to check it out!
If you use Pinterest and enjoy pinning and would like to pin this recipe for a later use, here’s a good image to pin.