May 19, 2013
Written by Robin Glowa
Monday, 19 April 2010 15:27
“Sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, all must be tasted.”
— Chinese proverb
Spring is the roller coaster of the seasons. Just when we are awakening after the long winter, revitalizing the system and feeling the joy of warming sunshine, our exultation can be dashed to bits by that last errant frost warning or never-ending rain shower.
All the variations of spring must be experienced so that we truly can savor those spectacular days of perfection when they arrive. Just as the extremes of spring weather stimulate us, so do the different flavors of spring foods.
One of the most interesting and unusual flavors is that of rhubarb, which now is just coming into season in the garden. Rhubarb, also known as pieplant, is a perennial that has massive, rather tropical looking leaves and long, reddish, green stalks. Only the stalks of rhubarb should be consumed and enjoyed for their uniquely astringent, sour taste.
Rhubarb is wonderfully versatile. It can be stewed with a bit of water and sugar to make a sweetly sour sauce to spoon into yogurt or on ice cream; or added to cakes, puddings, muffins and breads.
Strawberries and rhubarb are a classic combination and make a mouth-watering pie. Rhubarb can even be simmered and strained to make a wonderful syrup that can be added to cocktails, lemonade or seltzer for a refreshing drink.
The health benefits of rhubarb are many. An excellent source of dietary fiber, rhubarb also offers protein, vitamin K, calcium, potassium, vitamin C; and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Rhubarb may be helpful for menopausal women, as eating the stalks may help relieve hot flashes and prevent bone loss. Rhubarb may be helpful for acid reflux, as its dietary fiber content may help counterbalance acidity.
Enjoy the ride this spring, and make rhubarb part of your delicious life.
3 cups rhubarb (washed and chopped)
2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries (washed, hulled and sliced)
1/3 cup agave nectar or 1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
In a saucepan combine rhubarb, 1/2 cup of strawberries, agave nectar or sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until rhubarb is very tender and broken down. Stir in vanilla.
Remove saucepan from heat, and let cool to room temperature. Add remaining strawberries, cinnamon and ginger. Stir well.
Can be served at room temperature or chilled. Serve with yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese, fresh ricotta, pound cake or angel food cake.
Robin Glowa, HHC, AADP, is a passionate food and wellness enthusiast who earned her certification in holistic health counseling from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Columbia University Teachers College.
She specializes in teaching healthy cooking classes for children and adults, as well as cooking presentations and wellness workshops for many local organizations.
For more information go to theconsciouscook.net or call 203-393-1037.
|< Prev||Next >|