In addition, rhubarb provides phytochemicals to help our body prevent chronic diseases.
A welcoming sign that spring has come is the emergence of rhubarb stalks out of the cool wet soil to bathe in the warm spring temperatures occurring across the state. Seen at its peak of freshness during May and June, rhubarb can still be harvested in the later part of summer. Rhubarb is a prized vegetable often eaten as a fruit and sought out by those who cherish the tart taste. Harvesting rhubarb is best achieved by pulling the stalks downward and to one side, to snap the stalk from the ground and only removing less than 1/3 of the stalks from the mature plant. Plants selected for harvesting should be at least two years old, which allows for a more mature plant producing larger stalks and faster regrowth for future harvesting. Select stalks for bright pink or deep red color, crisp and free of insect damage. The brighter or darker stalks have more sweetness. Rhubarb leaves are poisonous and should never be eaten. Process the rhubarb by discarding the leaves and composting.
Rhubarb is versatile and can be used fresh and consumed either raw or cooked. In addition it can be frozen raw, or cooked. Rhubarb is excellent for canning and can be processed as a high acidified food requiring a boiling water bath.
Rhubarb is a rich source of nutrients providing 45% of Daily Value of Vitamin K in a serving size of 1 cup. In addition, rhubarb contains Vitamin C and A, along with Folate, Riboflavin, and Niacin. Rhubarb provides 32% of Daily Value of manganese in a serving. Other nutrient/minerals include Iron, Potassium and Phosphorus. Rhubarb is also comprised of phytochemicals and phenols that provide the body with additional health benefits. The antioxidants present in the deep red stalks contain anthocyanin and lycopene, which have been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease and have anti-carcinogenic effects towards the prevention of cancer. Over forty-two types of phytonutrients and chemicals are present in rhubarb.
Nothing says spring like rhubarb. Quick-to-prepare, single-serving fruit crisps like this one are an easy way to get dessert on the table anytime.
2 servings | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 50 minutes
- 1 cup thinly sliced rhubarb
- 1/2 cup chopped peeled apple
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant tapioca
- 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats, (not steel-cut or instant)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Toss rhubarb, apple, granulated sugar, tapioca and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl. Divide between two 10-ounce (1 1/4-cup) oven-safe ramekins or custard cups.
- Mix flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, salt and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl until crumbly. Sprinkle over the rhubarb mixture.
- Bake until bubbling and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
240 Calories; 9 g Fat; 4 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 15 mg Cholesterol; 47 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Protein; 3 g Fiber; 153 mg Sodium; 294 mg Potassium
3 Carbohydrate Servings
Make Ahead Tip
The topping (Step 3) will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. | Equipment: Two 10-ounce (1 1/4-cup) oven-safe ramekins or custard cups