Some people think of rhubarb as perennial plants, while others find it to be an utter mystery. Rhubarb stalks are pinkish-green in color and resemble celery stalks, but they are determined to avoid being played with or classified according to the conventional kitchen standards.
In spite of this, it is a fascinating example of a leafy marvel that has a well-known position in the world of botany. Rhubarb is really a member of the Polygonaceae family of vegetables, despite the fact that it is often thought of as fruit and prepared in the same way.
Consumers are often able to purchase rhubarb when spring arrives, just before the rhubarb that is produced in the wild becomes accessible, since it is normally cultivated in greenhouses for the most of the year. In spite of the fact that the dark red variant is often believed to possess the most robust flavor and unrivaled quality, this perception couldn’t be farther from the reality.
Rhubarb is one of those plants that has a long history that is surrounded by a great deal of mystery. Because of this, in order to determine whether or not this vegetable has a place in your kitchen, we will address a few of the questions that are most often asked. For example, what is the flavor of rhubarb consist of? What positive effects does it have on one’s health? Which components may be consumed? Keep reading!
- Where Does Rhubarb Come From?
- What Does It Take for Rhubarb to Thrive?
- What Does Rhubarb Taste Like?
- Are There Different Types of Rhubarb?
- Does Rhubarb Provide Health Benefits?
- What Is Rhubarb Used for?
- To Wrap Up
Where Does Rhubarb Come From?
Whether you want to believe it or not, rhubarb has a rich history that is both exciting and interesting. The vegetable was originally referenced in ancient China around the year 2700 BC, when it was grown for its laxative medicinal benefits and where it had its first recorded mention.
For a considerable amount of time, the rhubarb plant served as a reliable and effective remedy for the treatment of several ailments, including inflammation and constipation.
Since the plant found its way to Europe in the 1400s, it has been the focus of countless intrigues and conspiracies that have dictated the relationship between China and Europe in much the same way as tea has. Rhubarb’s popularity, on the other hand, skyrocketed over the course of the years, and it wasn’t until the early 1700s that it found its way to the United States.
Even though it can be found all over the world, the Rhubarb Triangle in West Yorkshire, England is considered to be one of the best places in the world to cultivate the plant. This is despite the fact that the plant is now widely distributed.
What Does It Take for Rhubarb to Thrive?
Rhubarb is a plant that does best when grown in chilly areas, although it is also able to flourish when grown in subtropical climates. Bear in mind that temperatures that are higher than 25 degrees Celsius will cause a considerable retardation in its development. As long as the soil is well-drained, rhubarb may be cultivated in a variety of diverse environments. In addition to this, it is suggested that you cultivate the plant in soil that has a medium to somewhat high acidity and a pH that ranges anywhere from 5.6 to 6.5.
Rhubarbaceae may be propagated by planting the “crown” divisions that were developed during prior growing seasons. The planting process usually takes place around the beginning of spring, but it may also be completed in the autumn after the plant has entered its dormant phase. In addition to careful watering, the growth requires around 30 tons of animal dung to be applied to each acre. The time between planting and harvesting might range anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks.
What Does Rhubarb Taste Like?
In light of the fact that rhubarb is composed of 95 percent water, there is a widespread misconception that it does not have a distinguishable flavor. However, this is not the case. The plant has a flavor that is overpoweringly sour, clean, and acidic, with just the right amount of tanginess. Despite the fact that this description does not fully hone in on it, it is an essential component of its overarching appeal. This plant is in a category all by itself due to the unique taste that it has.
You may compare the flavor to that of fresh celery and green apple, but with a very sour twist on it. This is the most accurate description you’ll discover. After you have finished eating, this peculiar combination will leave a pleasing sour flavor that will linger in your tongue for a long time after the food has been swallowed.
What comes as a surprise is the fact that such a singular flavor works so well with such a diverse range of other flavors. Rhubarb is often served on a dish, after being sweetened, and accompanied by some fruit that is designed to counteract the sourness of the rhubarb. The combination of rhubarb and strawberries creates a powerful force. In spite of this, the plant works well with chervil’s subtle sweetness and the minty flavors that go with it because of the strong sour note it carries.
Are There Different Types of Rhubarb?
It is a well-known fact that not all rhubarb is created equal. Despite the fact that they all belong to the same category of sourness, each kind has a certain degree of individuality that sets it apart from the others. We’ll take you through some of the most well-known choices that have mushroomed throughout the market in recent years.
It is distinguished by having stalks that are tall and pinkish in color and leaves that are either lime green or honeydew yellow. The flavor of forced rhubarb is also the most subtle.
Maincrop rhubarb, in contrast to its forced cousin, often has a greater tendency to be thicker, have a darker red hue, and have vibrantly colored green leaves that may make anyone’s day better. It also has a texture and taste that are more strong than others.
Cherry red rhubarb is a thick and tall rival that has a soft and sweet taste. This taste is loved more by anybody who wants to cut down the sour flavor by a few notches, thus cherry red rhubarb is perfect for such people.
McDonald’s Canadian Red
It is a dark red kind that is the most popular choice when it comes to freezing and making rhubarb pies.
This particular kind of rhubarb, which resembles celery in appearance, is red on the interior in addition to being red on the exterior of the stalk. As a result, it should not come as a complete surprise to learn that Colorado Red may be put to good use in the preparation of a wide variety of jams and jellies.
Holstein Blood Red
The Holstein Blood Crimson variety of rhubarb is characterized by a very robust plant and a bright red stalk that is packed with succulent juice.
Both the inside and exterior of this plant are mostly composed of a green coloration. As a result of this, Turkish rhubarb is an excellent choice when looking for a complement to its Colorado Red cousin.
When you first lay your eyes on this plant, you’ll be able to identify it in a flash thanks to its green stems that are spotted with pink all along their length. Because it is one of the sweetest varieties of rhubarb that you’ll find, German Wine will come as a nice surprise to you if you tend to like foods that are on the sweeter side of the spectrum.
Does Rhubarb Provide Health Benefits?
Because it is abundant in a wide variety of minerals and vitamins, rhubarb may be an excellent complement to a diet that is focused on good health. They include the likes of lutein, calcium, potassium, vitamin C, and the B-complex vitamin complex.
Because of its many beneficial effects on health, this plant has a long history of being used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to improve the health of several sections of the body, including the liver, stomach, spleen, and intestinal tract, amongst other organs and tissues. Now that we’ve established that, let’s have a look at some of the many wonderful benefits that coming into regular intake of rhubarb might provide you.
It is well knowledge that vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants available, and that it plays a significant part in improving both the function of white blood cells and the immune system overall. Vitamin C may be found in high concentration in rhubarb.
Boost Digestive Health
Rhubarb is beneficial to your digestive health in many ways, and this is only one of them. There are many more advantages to include rhubarb in your diet as well. The stalks of this plant have a significant amount of fiber, which helps to improve bowel regularity and prevents constipation from occurring.
Rhubarb is high in vitamin K. Each serving meets around 45% of your requirements for the day. Vitamin K, along with magnesium and calcium, is an essential component in the process of fortifying bones and fostering the formation of strong, healthy bones. As a direct consequence of this, conditions that affect frail bones, such as osteoporosis, are mitigated.
Promotes Weight Loss
Rhubarb is an excellent choice to think about if your goal is to reduce the amount of excess weight you are carrying. Because there are just 21 calories in a serving size of 100 grams, you may feel good about include this nutritious fruit in your diet because it has a low calorie content.
Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels
Are you experiencing swings in your blood sugar that you are unable to bring under control? If this is the case, you will be relieved to learn that rhubarb, because to the high fiber content it contains, has been shown to control the amount of sugar that is absorbed into your circulation in a manner that is passive.
What Is Rhubarb Used for?
Despite the fact that it has a sour and tangy taste, rhubarb is one of the most frequent components found in sweet compotes and pies. In addition to these applications, rhubarb is also often used for the following.
- Compotes:Rhubarb is often used in the making of compotes, which are generally made with other fruits like apples and strawberries. These compotes are known for having a burst of flavor. Honey, sugar, or maple syrup may sometimes be added to give it an even more pronounced sweetness.
- Salads: If salads are your thing, you can give them a bit of a kick by combining rhubarb with other seasonal fruits and vegetables that are fresh and crisp. You only need to shave or cut the rhubarb into pieces that are easy to chew, and then you’ll be set to go.
- Relish and sauces
- Eating with dips
- Purées and jams: Following the preparation of some pancakes on your pancake griddle, you will be transported to cloud nine with each mouthful of a delicious strawberry purée that was created from rhubarb. If you add a cup of coffee that has just been prepared from your own coffee machine, you will undoubtedly have a satisfying breakfast that will get you off to a good start for the day.
- Roasted snacks
- Juice: As was indicated previously, rhubarb may be used to make juice of extraordinary quality if you use a masticating juicer. This juice has a wide variety of positive effects on one’s health.
When working with rhubarb, it is necessary to bear in mind that the only edible parts of the plant are the leaf ribs and the stalks. It is important to remember to remove the leaves since they contain substantially larger quantities of oxalic acid crystals, which may be harmful to both people and animals.
Does rhubarb taste like strawberry?
I once described the flavor of rhubarb as “strawberries and celery mixed together,” and it sounds weird, but it’s really very good!
Can you eat rhubarb raw?
It is recommended that you consume rhubarb in its raw form at least once before you attempt to cook with it. (Note: Make sure to remove all of the leaves, as they are dangerous.) Many people recommend dipping the stalk in sugar or another sweetener, such as honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar, to lessen its acidity a little. (Note: Be sure to remove all of the leaves, as they are harmful.)
Is rhubarb an acquired taste?
It is possible that its sour taste is something that must be “learned” over time (and maybe some people will never be converted!); but, if it is merely unfamiliarity that is keeping you away, the following facts may urge you to give it a try. Botanically speaking, rhubarb is classified as a vegetable.
Why do people eat rhubarb?
According to the nutrition website for Self magazine, which can be found at NutritionData.self.com, rhubarb is a very excellent source of manganese as well as a good source of calcium, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. It is also a good source of magnesium. It is also low in salt and saturated fat, and it has a very low cholesterol content.
When should you not eat rhubarb?
The oxalic acid that is found in the leaves of the rhubarb plant will migrate to the stalks of the plant as the temperature drops into the lower to middle 20s, as stated by Johnson. When ingested, oxalic acid has the potential to form crystals in the kidneys, which may then lead to irreversible damage to the organs.
Is eating rhubarb good for you?
In addition, rhubarb is an excellent source of vitamin K1, which is necessary for maintaining healthy bones and the coagulation of blood. Along with two grams of fiber (which helps prevent colorectal cancer), some calcium, and vitamin C, a half cup of cooked rhubarb delivers more than one-third of the required daily intake of vitamin K1. Additionally, rhubarb contains some calcium and vitamin C.
Is rhubarb a Superfood?
As a result of its outstanding nutritional profile, rhubarb is being hailed as “the next fruit superfood” by a number of individuals working in the food sector. Calcium has a role in the formation and maintenance of healthy bones.
Is rhubarb good for diabetics?
The antioxidant qualities of rhubarb as well as its content of flavonoids, especially quercetin, have been shown to be useful in treating metabolic problems and blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. Rhubarb is revered for its ability to stimulate insulin production in the pancreas, which in turn lowers the amount of glucose in the blood. This is one of the plant’s most valuable qualities.
To Wrap Up
There is no question that rhubarb is a Superfood. It is a plant that is often misunderstood and shrouded in mystery, but it has a multitude of positive health effects, is not too difficult to cultivate, is bursting with the potential to be used in cooking, and is an outstanding complement to your dish.
Are you interested in giving rhubarb a go now that you know all there is to know about it, including the taste, the many sorts, the ways it may be used, and the recipes that call for it? Have you given it a shot? Please leave a comment below sharing your opinion on the topic.