UCHD, Protecting Your Health.

 

Rhubarb

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     Featured Vegetable: Rhubarb

 

Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that grows well in most of the United States. Rhubarb is used in pies, tarts and sauces. Rhubarb should be planted at the end of one side of the garden where it will not be disturbed since it may be productive for five years or more. A half-dozen plants will provide enough rhubarb for a family of four.

 

Nutritional Value & Health Benefits

There are several different varieties of rhubarb grown all over the world and used in a variety of cooking preparations. One characteristic consistent with all rhubarb is the toxicity of the leaves and roots. The rhubarb leaves contain high amounts of oxalic acid, a toxic and potentially deadly poison. Only the stems are edible, although the first crops were grown for the round pouch of unopened flowers, which was cooked as a delicacy (in northern Asia it is still raised for this purpose). Nutritionally, it is low in calories and very acidic (pH 3.1). The acid is offset by the addition of sugar, which also increases the calorie count. Rhubarb is 95 percent water and has potassium and a modest amount of vitamin C. Although rhubarb can be tough and stringy, it does not contain a great deal of fiber, only 2 grams per cup. Unfortunately the high calcium content it supplies is bound by oxalic acid and so it is not easily absorbed by the body. Don't count on rhubarb as a source of dietary calcium.

 Nutrition Facts (1 cup diced, uncooked) Calories 26 Dietary Fiber 2 grams Protein 1 gram Carbohydrates 6 grams Vitamin C 10 mg Vitamin A 122 IU Folic Acid 8.7 mcg Calcium 105 mg Potassium 351 mg

Preparation & Serving

Rhubarb requires the addition of sugar to combat its extreme tartness. The early pink-stems seem to produce the best flavor for cooking. Rhubarb, or "the pie plant," is often considered a fruit, but it is actually a vegetable (leaf stem). It is prized for it's mouth-puckering tartness which adds zest to pies, tarts, cold soups, jam, and a host of other desserts. Many other flavors are flattered by the sourness of rhubarb. In the US it is most often teamed up with strawberries and baked into pies and tarts. A typical English preparation would use ginger, while the French may puree it into a sauce and serve it with fish. 

 
 

Rhubarb information from University of Illinois Extension.    

2016 Recipe

2016 Rhubarb Recipe Card

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2015 Recipe

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2014 recipe

 rhubarb crisp rc
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Rhubarb Pecan_Muffins_2012

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