Our fourth and final Spring food is probably the least accessible: rhubarb.
This celery-like plant shares the distinct, short-lived growing season of asparagus, strawberries and nettles. It’s packed full of blood-building, anti-inflammatory nutrients, just like its compatriots.
Its tart flavor makes it difficult to eat on its own – you almost always have to sweeten it. Use honey or applesauce in place of refined white sugar. You may have to adjust your ratios if you’re baking, but it shouldn’t matter for things like pie filling, chutneys and crumbles. Dried fruits are also a great alternative.
Rhubarb: Why you love it:
Rhubarb and strawberries go together like whamma-lamma-lamma-ta-dingity-ding-da-dong. The astringent nature of rhubarb balances the sweetness of the berries. It gives cooked strawberries that extra “oomph” they seem to lose in cooking. (It also keeps them bright red, instead of that ugly brownish color.)
Other than that, strawberry-rhubarb pie. And that’s about it.
Why it loves you back:
- B-complex vitamins
- Lutein (healthy skin & eyes)
- Folate (blood builder)
- Vitamin A (antioxidant, good for skin)
- Vitamin K (strong bones)
Ways to Cook Rhubarb (besides the pie):
Rhubarb is super easy to store and prepare. Just look for crisp stalks with a good color. Similar to celery, if the stalks go limp, you can revive them by sticking in a glass of ice water for about 30 minutes.
Store fresh rhubarb in a plastic bag or saran wrap in the fridge for up to 5 days.
okay, one dessert…
Do you eat rhubarb? Share your favorite preparations with us in the comments below!