Spring Rhubarb

1 06 2010

Even though it snowed all weekend, I was able to harvest a bunch of rhubarb from the garden. Picking rhubarb this time of year is a move in the right direction, SUMMER. I have green rhubarb, which is the same as the red, but not as pretty. Oh well.

So, what to do with all that rhubarb? So much, where do I start. I have been experimenting with it the last few years, favourites are compote and crumbles. The ultimate favourite is grandmas’s strawberry rhubarb pie. This bowl of rhubarb is a lot, it yielded 9 cups of chopped rhubarb (about 1 cm or more size pieces). I used three cups in a cobbler, three cups in a compote and I froze three cups. That’s the nice thing about rhubarb, you can freeze it.

Prepping rhubarb: I don’t even rinse it off, unless it is really dirty, but the snow and rain took care of that. I use scissors to cut the stalks off the plant and the leaf off the top (don’t eat the leaves, toxic). I use a pairing knife and peel the very outer layer of skin off the stalk, it is really easy. Chop up into the required size, use right away or freeze.

It is tough to find recipes for rhubarb that don’t include a bucket of sugar. Rhubarb is tart, cooking it brings out the sugar, but most recipes add sugar to sweeten the pot. My goal (challenge) is to find ways not to use cane sugar and only natural sweeteners. So Sunday was rhubarb sans sugar experimentation day. I made a Rhubarb Ginger Jam, which I plan on using in my Thumbprint Cookies, and a Rhubarb Strawberry Cobbler with Walnuts, yum. Here are the recipes:

Rhubarb Ginger Jam

3 cups of chopped Rhubarb, 1 cm pieces

1 tbsp of grated Ginger

Juice of 1 Lemon

1/2 cup of filtered water

2-3 tbsp Agave Nectar (based on your taste)

1 tbsp Kuzu (a Japanese starchy plant used as a thickener) or Cornstarch (optional)

Add the rhubarb and ginger to a sauce pot, saute for a couple of minutes, add the water, lemon juice and agave. Bring to boil, turn the heat down to a low boil/simmer for 20 minutes or until it softens and thickens. Stirring often. You may need more liquid, just add a bit of water, depends on the water content of your rhubarb. Use kuzu or cornstarch to thicken (mix with a small amount of water, don’t dump the thickener into the pot, or globs will form). Making jam is personal, you need to adjust to your thickness/sweetness. I ended up using 3 tbsp of Agave.

Rhubarb Strawberry Cobbler with Walnuts

Filling:

3 cups of chopped Rhubarb, 1 cm pieces

3 cups of quartered Strawberries

Juice of 1 Orange + 2 tsp chopped Orange Zest

2 tbsp of Kuzu or Cornstarch, dissolved in the orange juice

Mix everything together, pour into a buttered pan, I used a smaller casserole dish, like 9″x5″.

Topping:

1 c Rolled Oats (not instant)

1/4 c Oat Bran

1 1/2 tbsp Flax Meal

1/2 c Almond Meal or Flour

1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

2/3 c chopped Walnuts

1/4 c liquid honey

Mix all the dry topping ingredients together first, then add the honey, blend. Spread on the top of the fruit. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the fruit is bubbling and the top is browned, I think I baked mine for 50 min. Let sit and cool a bit, serve with ice cream, frozen yogurt (what we had with it, Chapman’s makes a good, low sugar one) or plain yogurt or almond milk (which I did yesterday, even better). If you don’t have oat bran or almond meal/flour, use spelt flour instead, just use less, using almond meal/flour creates a grainier texture as it has no gluten. Using wheat or spelt will make it more glutenous.

Eat well, Be well, Nat

(oh, look, the sun!)

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One response

3 06 2010
Jack

Love the blog Nat. Hey, I bought some greens from these folks at the Sunnyside market yesterday:
http://thompsonsmallfarm.spaces.live.com/
http://farmersmarket.hillhurstsunnyside.org/

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