We’ve never really had a vegetable garden per se. My parents take great care of their floral gardens, and while I do love the tulips, hydrangeas and peonies, it would be sort of neat to pick fresh tomatoes from your backyard. When I was little and still lived in Peterborough, we had great big snowball bushes surrounding our house. Nestled between two big bushes, you also could find a rhubarb perennial. Of course rhubarb is meant for baking, and its flavour was much too tart for my “young” taste buds to eat. Lucky for me, I had a sweet tooth, so I’d dip the end in sugar to counteract the sourness. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that dipping rhubarb in sugar isn’t exactly healthy or something that I truly enjoy as a snack. Even though I might not eat it fresh these days, I do like to have it in the form of a sauce, jam or pie. Want to know more about Rhubarb? Continue reading and you’ll be surprised to find some interesting facts, and a yummy dessert. Rhubarb has many nutritional benefits! ♥ Molly
‘Promises and Pie-Crusts are meant to be broken.” – Jonathan Swift
- Rhubarb belongs to the buckwheat family so it is in fact a vegetable, not a fruit. It starts out as green and matures into a deep ruby-red.
- This perennial plant grows thrives in moist soil.
- Rhubarb is originally from China and Tibet and has been used in medicine for thousands of years.
- The stalks of Rhubarb were first grown as edible vegetables in Italy during the seventeenth century.
- It’s nickname is “pie plant” since it is commonly baked into pies since it’s tart flavour is too strong for most to eat fresh.
- Wrapped in saran wrap, Rhubarb can keep for a week in the fridge after being cut.
- When cooked for twenty minutes, the cancer-protecting chemicals that rhubarb contains increase.
- The leaves of rhubarb are poisonous. Use this to your advantage to ward off flies and insects that attack your gardens. (Try making a spray by soaking the leaves in water for three weeks).
Fun Nutrition Facts about Rhubarb
- Rhubarb is rich in antioxidant polyphenols, which help prevent the development of cancerous cells.
- If you have a history of kidney stones or gout, watch out. Rhubarb contains oxalic acid in its stems, which prevents the body from absorbing the calcium and iron rhubarb naturally contains.
- The leaves of rhubarb are poisonous.
- Rhubarb is said to alleviate symptoms of acid-reflex.
- It is an excellent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Manganese, Calcium and Potassium.
- 2 cups of rhubarb, diced
- 2 cups raspberries, halved
- Juice of 1 orange (approximately 3 tbsp)
- ½ cup pitted dates (approximately 6 whole)
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup whole oats
- 2 tbsp. Plain Yogurt
- 1 tbsp. Maple Syrup (optional)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- ½ tsp. ginger
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a 9inch by 9inch baking dish, layer the rhubarb and raspberries on the bottom of the dish, and drizzle with orange juice . Set aside. (Note: A smaller dish such as the one I used, makes for a deeper crisp which is equally good!)
- In a food processor, pulse the dates into small pieces. Add in the remaining “topping” ingredients and process to combine. The mixture should stick together without being too moist or too dry.
- Pour the topping onto the filling and bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until crisp.
- Serve warm, alongside a glass of milk or ice cream.