Why We Love Rhubarb (And You Should Too!)

It’s more versatile than you think!

Easy to grow, yet easy to overlook. Many people shy away from rhubarb due to its tartness and confusion over how to prepare it. Once picked, rhubarb is easily stored in the refrigerator or can be frozen for future use. Check out these simple recipes for some great ideas on how to use rhubarb:

 

It’s actually a vegetable

While most people classify rhubarb as a fruit, it is actually a vegetable. The stalk is perfectly edible, but the leaves should be avoided as they contain oxalic acid which can be toxic! Canada’s Food Guide recommends having at least one vegetable or fruit at every meal and snack to help you get the amount of vegetables and fruit you need each day.

 

rhubarb

 

It’s loaded with key nutrients

Rhubarb is made up of 95% water and is relatively low in calories in its natural state. One cup of rhubarb contains about 28 calories. Rhubarb is made up of several important nutrients including potassium, vitamin C, and calcium.

  • Potassium is a mineral that plays a role in blood pressure control, muscle growth, the nervous and digestive systems, kidney health, and brain function
  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant that keeps us healthy and protects our cells from damage
  • Calcium is a vital mineral that helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth

 

It’s tart, but can be sweet

As rhubarb is quite tart, it is not uncommon to add sugar to get that sweet taste. Adding sugar will increase the calorie content, which for some may be undesirable. Here are a few ways you can sweeten rhubarb without sugar:

  • Artificial sweeteners – Sucralose, aspartame, and stevia are a few examples. These sweeteners are calorie-free and will sweeten with a taste similar to sugar.
  • Mix with other fresh fruits – Fresh fruit is naturally sweet and can be mixed with rhubarb to brighten the taste. Try adding fresh berries, bananas, or apples to chopped or pureed rhubarb to get a natural sweetness without added sugar.
  • Add 100% fruit juice – Boil fresh rhubarb with 100% fruit juice in place of, or in addition to, water to infuse some sweetness. Try using orange, apple, or cranberry juice next time you are preparing rhubarb.

 

Do you have a favorite rhubarb recipe? Share your recipes and ideas with us!