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Monday, April 12, 2010

Our new school wellness coordinator is my kind of person: she's a green fiend. One of her newsletter recommendations has been a New Food of the Month. She suggests a fresh food that might be new to some, tells us why it's good for us, and gives a little more information about it. This month's fabulous food was something that's poking its little green leaves and little red stems above the ground next to my garage: You guessed it! Rhubarb!!

The Northern U.S. and Canada are well suited for rhubarb production. Lovely and tart, rhubarb is one of the first spring fruits to make an appearance. Rhubarb looks like stalks of pinkish green r even magenta celery. Its flavor, however, is much more tart, making it ideal company for sugar in sweet dishes like crisps and pie. It is also commonly used in jams or sauces, mixed with a sweeter fruit like strawberry or raspberry. The stalks can be boiled down to a consistency similar to applesauce. In addition to desserts and various sauces, rhubarb is used in soups, salad dressing, muffins, and other sauces like relish or salsa. Rhubarb is also enjoyed as an affordable sweet treat by simply dipping the raw stalks in sugar. With a longer growing season, April-September, rhubarb can be enjoyed all summer long in a variety of dishes. Rhubarb leaves are inedible and poisonous, though the toxicity levels are very low. The leaves do, however, decompose fully so they can be added to your compost pile without harming the soil.
Rhubarb is 95% water, is rich in Vitamin C and fiber, and is a good source of potassium.


Some of that I knew, and some I didn't. But I do know that I'm looking forward to baking and cooking with rhubarb as soon as it's ripe and ready for picking. Mmmm... rhubarb upside down cake....

3 comments:

Royal Ranch said...

Don't forget how well rhubarb freezes too! That way you can have your favorite goody all year round!!! My sister cuts hers up for me and then puts it into containers that are about a cup a piece and freezes them and shares the bounty.

Khrys said...

My mouth is officially watering:)

Daisy said...

I always freeze rhubarb! It's such a special treat to pull out a few cups of rhubarb in January for a rhubarb nut bread.