Here are Rhubarb Basic Essentials: How to pick, store, and cook healthy, oil-free vegan recipes. When to choose organic. Plus, nutrition information on this delicious, healthy farmer's market spring vegetable.
- April through June: Although you might see a few stalks before and after, prime season is during these months
- Freezing: You can wash, slice, and freeze in an air-tight sealed plastic bag for longer.
- Firm, Crisp: Think of rhubarb like celery. Look for firm, crisp stalks for the freshest flavor. Avoid wilted, brown, or bruised rhubarb.
- Toxic Leaves: The leaves of rhubarb are highly toxic so you rarely see them attached. If you grow rhubarb, be mindful of this fact as pets or other animals might want to nibble on the leaves. Be sure to barricade rhubarb from dogs, cats, rabbits, and chickens.
- Organic or Not? Since rhubarb is pretty bland, choosing organic rhubarb doesn't seem to impact flavor too much. Most of the rhubarb at farmer's markets will be grown without pesticides or herbicides, but ask the vendor if you're unsure.
- Does Color Matter? The red-ness or green-ness of rhubarb doesn't seem to indicate how sweet it is. Rhubarb is already a pretty tart vegetable, so you're best pairing it with sweet fruits to balance the flavors.
- Dry and Cold: Store rhubarb unwashed, in your refrigerator for up to 10 days. Slice and freeze for longer storage.
How to Clean and Cook:
- How to Clean: Rinse rhubarb under running water to remove any dirt or grit. Trim off the ends and any bits of leaves. Dice or slice into bite-sized pieces, according to your recipe.
- How to Cook: Raw rhubarb is incredibly tart, so it usually does best simmered or baked. Pair it with sweet strawberries, mango, pineapple, or dried fruits to balance the tart flavor. To retain the crunchy texture, only simmer rhubarb for 10-15 minutes, or bake in a Crisp for 25-30 minutes.
Nutrition (help from Nutrition Data)
- Low Calorie, Fat Free, Cholesterol Free, Low Sodium, High in Fiber
- Excellent Source of: Vitamin K
- Good Source of: Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium, Manganese
- Natural Medicine for:
- Helps with Stomach Ailments
- Relieve Constipation
- Relieves Fever and Swelling