The Strawberry Rhubarb crisp. Credits: Robust Recipe

NASA’s HUNCH (High school students United with NASA to Create Hardware) program’s Culinary Challenge, held on April 20 saw several healthy as well as tasty recipes. The program helps NASA add several recipes to the cook-book for astronauts on-board.

The competition held at Space Center Houston, saw twenty-eight teams of high school students participate in the preliminary level. Out of these, the judging panel selected 10 teams for the next level.

The panel of judges included, Karen Nyberg, NASA Johnson Space Center food scientists and also representatives from the International Space Station Program Office and Engineering. The panel also had professional chefs. The judges tasted and evaluated the desserts. Along with the taste evaluation, the teams also submitted a technical paper and a video.

The winning team with the dessert, just before presenting it to the judges.
Source: NASA

“Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp” won the heart and taste bud of the judges. The winning team is the culinary arts team from Ulster County Boces Career and Technical Center. The dessert will soon fly to the International Space Station for the astronauts on-board.

The team’s recipe will find a place in an astronaut cookbook for preflight preparation. The Space Food Systems Laboratory will make it stable, pack and send it to the ISS.

The recipe of the tasty, crispy dessert that astronauts will soon find on their plates, is given below.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp 

Yield: About 10 Servings


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 2/3 Tbsp unsalted butter margarine blend, cold and also diced into small pieces
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ lbs fresh strawberries, stemmed as well as sliced in to 3 pieces.
  • 1 lb fresh rhubarb, each sliced in to ½ in. pieces
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch

The tasty as well as healthy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.
Source: a trEATs Affair


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, coconut sugar, sugar and salt, breaking any clumps of sugar.
  3. Add butter/margarine blend and vanilla and rub into mixture until it comes together in crumbles and also no clumps of butter remain. Transfer to refrigerator while preparing filling.
  4. In a mixing bowl, toss together strawberries and rhubarb.
  5. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together orange juice, orange zest and cornstarch until well blended. Pour in to mixing bowl with strawberries and rhubarb and toss together again.
  6. Spread mixture evenly in to a 3-quart baking dish.
  7. Remove crumble from refrigerator and sprinkle evenly over the top.  Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until the juices bubble and the crisp is golden brown.

(Source of recipe: NASA HUNCH)

NASA will also save the recipes of all the teams for potential use in Astronaut Crew Quarters for quarantine meals before commercial flights to the International Space Station.


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