Until a visit to the Bainbridge Island Farmer’s Market a few years ago, I had never experienced rhubarb. A booth there was selling the beautiful red stalks of rhubarb and sampling a delicious strawberry rhubarb crisp. I was immediately hooked and set about trying to create my own version of the crisp that night. (The recipe follows below.) I also decided to do a little exploring about the health benefits of rhubarb.
Rhubarb is a low calorie, low fat perennial herb native to Siberia. Rhubarb is considered a relatively easy plant to grow that will continue to grow larger over the years. Rhubarb is grown for its vibrant red, tart stalks. (Do not eat the leaves because they are high in oxalic acid, which can cause toxic reactions.) Here are some of the potential benefits from enjoying the stalks of rhubarb.
Rhubarb is high in the antioxidant lutein, important for eye and skin health.
Rhubarb is loaded with Vitamin K. Vitamin K helps your blood clot and is important for bone health. It increases bone mineral density and decrease risk of bone fracture.
Rhubarb is considered a high fiber food which keeps the digestive system humming. The roots and stalks of rhubarb are sometimes made into tinctures or powders that are used to ease bowel movements, prevent hemorrhoids, to treat gastrointestinal discomfort from constipation or diarrhea and to promote regularity.
One cup of diced rhubarb stalks contains about 16% of your daily need for Vitamin C, an important vitamin for your immune system and in the fight against cancer.
The antioxidants found in rhubarb are also important in the fight against cancers. These antioxidants attack the free radicals of our body, stabilize them, and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells. This fight reduces the risk of several types of cancers.
All these health benefits make adding rhubarb to our diet a smart choice. It you are not sure how to add this vegetable to your life, check out the recipe below.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble, GF, Vegan
2 lbs of strawberries, chopped
1 cup of rhubarb
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp of cinnamon
2 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbs of brown sugar
1 cup of almond flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup rolled oats
3 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp of salt
2 tbs chia seeds
4 tbs of coconut oil, softened
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In medium bowl, combine base ingredients. Mix well and then set aside while you prepare the crust.
In medium bowl, mix almond crumble topping ingredients except coconut oil and crushed almonds.
Warm up the coconut oil by putting jar in warm water.
Add coconut oil and chopped almonds in the bowl with the crumble topping. Mix until a course crumb is formed.
Pour the base into a 8 X 11 baking dish. Top with crumble topping and bake until bubbling and almonds are roasted.
Bake about 30-40 minutes depending on your oven.
Wait 15 minutes before serving.
Serve warm or room temperature and include ice cream topping if desired.
Photo from flickr.