One of the things you learn from seasonal eating is to really appreciate the first fresh foods of spring.
Of course, I do occasionally buy “fresh” produce at the grocery store, but the majority of the food we eat throughout the winter are the things that I canned, froze, dehydrated, fermented, or otherwise preserved throughout the summer and into the fall. And we can also usually get local apples, potatoes, carrots, and other root vegetables throughout the winter.
But things that are green or really and truly fresh? Kinda hard to come by.
And it makes you really appreciate those first, bitter greens, yearn for asparagus, and want to use rhubarb in everything.
My mom likes to joke about what was going through the head of the first person who looked at a bitter rhubarb stalk and said, “Hey, I could eat that!”
Well, I’ll tell you. They were hungry. And dying — quite possibly not in any hyperbolic sense — for some fresh food. And rhubarb, though not exactly calorie intensive (one cup of rhubarb contains only about 30 calories), it has vitamins C and K and a little bit of A, as well as some B-complex vitamins, anti-oxidants, minerals, and plenty of dietary fiber.
Remember, the leaves are poison. They contain unusually high amounts of oxalic acid and, therefore, should not be eaten!
Rhubarb is thought to have originated in the areas around Siberia, Tibet, Mongolia, and Western China. It made its way to Europe, and eventually to America where it thrives in cold climates. It is sometimes known as the “pie plant,” and most old homesteads — and most new ones, come to think of it — have at least one rhubarb plant kicking around.
My mother-in-law’s decorates the foot of her clothesline.
We often think of rhubarb as being used in pies, hence the whole “pie plant” idea, but it can be used for so much more!
Rhubarb Bars from Chocolate with Grace
Rhubarb Crumble: The Ultimate Comfort Food from Franger Farm
Rhubarb Crumble from Back to Our Roots
Rhubarbade from Common Sense Homesteading — A refreshing springtime drink!
Rhubarb Curd from The Kitchn
Rhubarb Ice Cream with Oatmeal Shortbread from Not Without Salt
Spicy Rhubarb Sauce from Homespun Seasonal Living
Roasted Rhubarb Salad from The Troupe’s Address — Two delicious-sounding recipes here! Who says rhubarb is only for dessert?
Rhubarb and Other Fruit Flavors
We all know about strawberry rhubarb everything… but, as it turns out, rhubarb pairs well with a number of other fruits — including apples, which is my absolute favorite!
Apple Rhubarb Sauce with Vanilla Ice Cream from Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers
Strawberry Rhubarb Dump Cake from Melissa K. Norris
Blueberry Raspberry Rhubarb Crunch from Idlewild Alaska
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart from The Adventure Bite
Rhubarb Apple Crisp from Raia’s Recipes
Rhubarb Apple Pie from Raia’s Recipes — If you’re looking for a gluten-free springtime pie, this is it!
Blueberry Apple Rhubarb Pie with Whole Wheat Crust from Idlewild Alaska
Raspberry Rhubarb Pie from Lin Acres Farm
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from Fresh Eggs Daily
Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars from Sift & Whisk
Lemon and Rhubarb Cookies from Pickle Bums
Rhubarb Mint Jam from Homespun Seasonal Living
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam from Melissa K. Norris
Rhubarb — An Easy Grow Perennial from Better Hens and Gardens
Growing & Using Rhubarb from Homespun Seasonal Living
Quote of the Week
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