Fresh & Local: Rhubarb
When you think of Spring, what comes to mind?
Tulips and cherry blossoms
Soaking up the sun on the patio with a pitcher of sangria
Fresh fruits and vegetables
As your body adapts to the change in season and adjusts to the longer days, your cravings begin to shift. You no longer long for a warm bowl of stew. Instead, with Spring season in full force, you reach for a warm sweet and tart rhubarb pie, juicy tomatoes and asparagus, for it's mild flavour with earthy undertones.
Do you know what's currently in season?
I often have a weekly meal plan planned out and include one vegetable or fruit that I wouldn't normally pick out. For example, during my last grocery shop, I picked up a stalk of rhubarb. I've always seen it at farmer's markets or grocery stores, but I've never purchased it myself. To be honest, I had no idea how to cook it or begin to pick a fresh stalk.
It's important to broaden our choices of produce and take advantage of the health benefits of all seasonal fruits and vegetables available to us. Each ingredient provides unique nutritional value and flavours.
To celebrate each month going forward, I've decided to feature 2 fruits and/or vegetables. For each food item, I will include the following:
- Choosing the best - what to look for when selecting the specific food item
- Prepare it - Should you peal it, wash it, or remove stems?
- Store it - how to store the food item to keep it fresher for longer
- Cook it - throughout the month, I will feature several dishes on Instagram using the specific food item
- Nutritional value - what are the health benefits
Choose the best
Go for firm, crisp, plump stalks and perky leaves with good colour.
Rhubarb leaves contain a poison, oxalic acid, so should never be eaten - cut them off and discard.
Simply wash the rhubarb, then trim the top and bottom of the stalks and slice.
Rhubarb wilts quite quickly - store it in the fridge and eat within a couple of days. Keep the leaves on until you're ready to eat it, as they'll help keep it fresh.
Use to make crumbles, pies or jam. Depending on the recipe, rhubarb is often roasted and puréed. Head over to our Instagram page to drool over rhubarb dishes and make them yourself.
Rhubarb is packed with minerals and vitamins to keep us thriving. It also contains dietary fiber, protein, vitamin C, vitamin K, B complex vitamins, calcium, potassium, manganese, and magnesium.