Zingy Tangy Rhubarb – Spring Has Arrived

May 14, 2010 in Antioxidants, Blog Recipes, Diabetic Menu Item, Mediterranean, Nutrition, Weight Management, Whole Grains by Joyce Bunderson

This post continues my promise of introducing you to vegetables that you may not have had the good fortune to meet. Hello to you, meet Rhubarb. Although rhubarb is almost always served as if it were a fruit, it is a vegetable (the edible part is a stalk with no flowers or seeds, which fruits all have). Rhubarb is very easy to grow and is a perennial – it comes back each year. You can harvest it in early spring and then repeatedly until the end of autumn, so long as the days do not get too hot and the rhubarb doesn’t dry out. An important bit of information is that the leaves contain toxic levels of oxalic acid, so be sure to remove and discard them before using.

Significant nutrition facts: one cup diced rhubarb is only 26 calories, no fat, 5 mg sodium, 6 grams of carbohydrate (and 2 of those are fiber) only 1 gram of natural sugar, plus has a gram of protein. Rhubarb has lots of vitamin C, K, and calcium; and some potassium, manganese, beta-carotene and iron.

I guess I just can’t help myself in reiterating the nutrients in vegetables; I don’t really expect you to remember, analyze or compare it, or even to care much. Who needs to remember it, when this is just one of many information sources you can come back to later. I like to mention the nutrition facts for special vegetables as a kind of left-brained way to say “Here’s another vegetable that is a great healthy choice, and yummy too”. I’m hoping that mentioning the numbers will help those who analyze and compare, and encourage others who just love to eat good foods and try new things to try this one.  I want the numbers to be a reminder that this food really stacks up nutritionally!

Rhubarb is fairly unusual in that it is too tart for most people to eat without some sweetener. But since we have all-natural zero-calorie Delight, I don’t feel so bad about serving sweetened Rhubarb.

If you buy too much rhubarb or harvest more than you can use in a couple of days, just chop it up and put it into a freezer bag; then you can pour out just the amount that your next Rhubarb recipe calls for.

Zingy Chunky Rhubarb Muffins and Zippy Rhubarb Vinaigrette are really easy recipes using rhubarb. Without much effort you can try a new vegetable and enjoy spring at the same time. Remember Good Health Can Be Yummy.