In Season: Rhubarb

Some Rhubarb History and Some Recipes For You To Experiment With

Pink and sour, rhubarb has been making its way into grocery stores and farmer’s markets these days, ready for you to take home and experiment with. When I was a child, it was not unusual to see us wander out to the garden and hack off a stalk, then sit with a bowl of sugar and dip the rhubarb in the sugar bit by bit, crunching off bits for a snack. Rhubarb is similar to celery but very sour and fibrous.  I’m not sure why we ate it that way as kids, but we thought it was great!

Rhubarb arrived into the United States in the 1820s and was considered a vegetable at first, until 1947 when a New York court ruled that it was to be a fruit instead.   A hardy plant, you can grow rhubarb almost everywhere, even in containers as long as they are large enough to accommodate a season’s growth.  When harvesting look for firm, red stalks which can be eaten immediately. Discard the leaves, as they are poisonous-while touching them won’t harm you, eating them will make you sick.

Calorie wise, rhubarb is fairly low at about 26 calories per cup, but contains a good source of fiber, vitamins C, K, potassium, and manganese.  Plants usually produce an abundance of stalks and I remember my mom having so much that at times, she gave it away because we didn’t know what else to do with it! 

Have an overabundance of rhubarb?  I have some ideas, and Twitter came up with a bunch for you as well:

  Party Mommy’s 10 Rhubarb Refreshments

  Strawberry Rhubarb Crostata

  Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

  Eating Well’s Healthy Rhubarb Recipe Slideshow

@msjoyfg: I like rhubarb water - you steep it like tea with sugar then cool. A sprig of mint is yum in it.

@quintemom: it freezes well, best if you mix it with sugar first.

@erinehm: rhubarb & rosewater syrup from 101 cookbooks—good for drinks, ice cream, yoghurt

@mama_b: Rhubarb is great with duck. Cuts through the fattiness.

@alexishinde: Raspberry rhubarb crumble is really really good.

Have any rhubarb tips or recipes to share?  Spill it!

She may go by the name Scatteredmom online, but Karen really is anything but scattered when it comes to the kitchen.  Churning out tasty treats within view of the Georgia Strait on Canada's west coast, Karen will hand you an organized weekly meal plan or teach you how to make meals from scratch.  As Mom to a teenage boy, she knows exactly what it takes to keep kids full and happy-which has really come in handy with her job as the Food Editor at Yummy Mummy Club.

A strong supporter of Food Revolution who has been endorsed by Jamie Oliver himself, by day Karen can be found working as a special education teaching assistant, running a kitchen and showing teenagers how to cook nutritious meals for themselves.  By night, when she's not chatting on Twitter and answering cooking questions,  she writes her popular blog Notes From the Cookie Jar, or posting mouthwatering recipes over at Chasing Tomatoes.  Not afraid to give her opinion and passionate about community, Karen spoke at Blissdom Canada 2010 and her writing has been published in Canadian Living magazine, as well as in various online publications. 

Follow Karen on Twitter @scatteredmom