When I’m trying to decide on a topic to blog about, sometimes I don’t think of anything creative and interesting for a few days… sometimes a few weeks. When I do think of something, it usually hits me at the most random time.
For example, last night I delivered some rhubarb baklava to my friend’s house and one of their visitors asked me, “What exactly is rhubarb?” BAM! Just like that I knew what I needed to write about this week… But in order to write about it, I first had to do a little research myself.
What is rhubarb? Is is a plant? A fruit? A vegetable? I have found conflicting answers on the trusty internet today – which has led me to conclude that it is all three. It’s a perennial plant. Some States classify it as a vegetable, while others classify it as a fruit (thanks Wikipedia). I guess it just depends on where you live…
After determining that rhubarb is a perennial veggie-fruit, I moved onto finding if rhubarb is a healthy food. I had assumed so, since it comes from the ground and has a big leafy top, but I was pleasantly surprised at just how healthy rhubarb is!
Health benefits of rhubarb include:
- Rhubarb is high in vitamins A, C, K, and several in the B variety. Vitamin K is found in vegetables like spinach and kale and is great for bone health, as well as neurological health (see Rhubarb Nutrition).
- Rhubarb is high in minerals such as iron, copper, and potassium. It is especially high in calcium – 1 cup of rhubarb equals 10% of the daily amount your body needs (see Livestrong).
- Rhubarb also contains lutein (great for your skin and eyes!) and antioxidants, which help your body fight off disease and keeps you healthy and strong.
Since I have recently become dairy-free (with the exception of my occasional splurge on ice cream and high quality cheeses), seeing that rhubarb is high is vitamin K and calcium makes it a great choice for me to eat to help keep my bones healthy and strong.
So far most of the recipes I have made with rhubarb are pretty sugary and rich, so that is what the recipes are below. Considering I have a LOT more rhubarb left, I’m going to try experimenting with some healthier recipes… stay tuned for that! But for now, because it’s a holiday weekend and all, go ahead and make a delicious rhubarb treat.
- Rhubarb Baklava: Many thanks to Matt for sharing this recipe with me, my husband is very grateful!! Adjustments I made to this recipe: Reduced the butter amount in half to 1/2 cup, reduced the sugar amount to 3/4 cup, and reduced the honey to 1/2 cup. It was still sugary, sweet, and DELICIOUS!
- Rhubeena: AKA – Rhubarb syrup. This amazing creation is going to be turned into rhubarb margaritas and rhubarb mojitos this weekend! It also goes nicely on ice cream and yogurt. Adjustments I made to this recipe: Reduced the sugar to 2 cups. Look at how beautiful it came out…
- I also made a 10 minute rhubarb jam by simply cutting up the rhubarb stalks and simmering on low heat in a skillet until mushy. I added some agave nectar to taste and stored it in the fridge for when I was craving a PB&J sandwich (which happens often…).
- As always, make sure to check out RECIpage for some awesome rhubarb recipes!
- I also love the Seacoast Eat Local Pinterest Page, because they have separate boards for in-season foods. Check out their Rhubarb Board.
Because I’m looking to make some more rhubarb recipes once the fresh strawberries are ready to be picked, I froze a lot of my pickings. Rhubarb is easy to preserve by freezing. Simply wash the rhubarb, dice it into 1/2″-1″ pieces, place into freezer bags, and freeze.
Check out your local farmer’s market this holiday weekend – If you live in the Northeast, I’m sure you will find some rhubarb!