Growing Rhubarb Plus Healthy Rhubarb Recipes

When you hear “rhubarb”, what comes to mind? For most people, it’s likely rhubarb pie, right? The next most familiar term is probably rhubarb jam.

The problem with traditional rhubarb recipes is that they have so much sugar. Of course, they’re tasty, but since it’s widely known that sugar is one of the leading causes of so many of the diseases of today, we’re always on the lookout for healthier substitutes for these old favorites.

So we’ve included a few recipes on the next pages, but first, for those new to rhubarb, here is how you grow it!

Rhubarb: Fruit or Vegetable, and Which Parts are Edible?

Thought to originate in Siberia, Rhubarb is officially a vegetable, though it tends to be thought of as a fruit because of it’s use in pies and marmalade. Only the stalks, which can be green, red, spotted or in between, are edible.

DO NOT EAT RHUBARB LEAVES as they are considered to have a toxic and poisonous level of oxalic acid.1)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhubarb

Medicinally, rhubarb has been used for centuries as a laxative, but it also makes an effective poultice for relieving fevers and swelling.2)http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-214-rhubarb.aspx?activeingredientid=214&activeingredientname=rhubarb

Harvesting Rhubarb

Harvest rhubarb throughout the growing season, tapering off as the plant production diminishes, anywhere from mid-summer to fall. Rhubarb is a perennial that gains strength over the first two to three years as it establishes itself, so trim the longest stalks for use but leave enough to give the plant energy reserves for winter.

shutterstock_279630632

Rhubarb Nutrition

Alzheimer’s foe, infection fighter, antioxidant friend to skin, sinuses and membranes, and fierce cancer opponent. After all that, rhubarb also contains more calcium than a glass of milk, and rivals spinach and salmon in calcium content.

Every serving of rhubarb provides 45% of the daily value in vitamin K, which supports healthy bone growth and can limit neuronal damage in the brain, even to the point of Alzheimer’s prevention. It contains infection-fighter vitamin C, the second most prominent vitamin, along with vitamin A, another powerful natural antioxidant for good skin and mucous membranes, good vision, and possible protection against lung and mouth cancers (the red stalks provide more than the green ones), with healthy additions of folate, riboflavin, niacin, B-vitamins, and pantothenic acid. Good mineral sources include 32% of the daily value in manganese per serving, along with iron, potassium, and phosphorus.

While many believe milk is the best calcium source, one cup of cooked rhubarb contains just as much, and it’s actually much better for you. In fact, rhubarb is on the short list with salmon and spinach for the highest amounts of calcium it provides.3)http://foodfacts.mercola.com/rhubarb.html

Rhubarb is an easy to grow, long-lived, and fairly trouble-free perennial you can grow in your yard. Learn all about how to grow rhubarb in this how-to video.

Next up: Delicious and nutritious rhubarb recipes, beginning on page 2.

References   [ + ]