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Old 04-28-2013, 03:35 PM
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Wink Honey Rhubarb Compote

We have rhubarb that was there when we bought our house, and it's been coming up for over thirty years now, with no special watering or care. Except for eating a raw stalk now and then, and making a couple of pies years ago, it usually goes to waste. Here's some tips about rhubarb, and a compote recipe...



Quote:
Spring Refresher

Rhubarbís tart flavor rouses sleepy taste buds from winterís hibernation.
By Lisa James (EnergyTimes)
April 2013


For some gardeners it isnít really spring until the first rhubarb pokes its way through the still-chilly soil, the red- and pink-streaked stalks contrasting nicely with dark green leaves to provide some color in the early garden. And the stalks have traditionally provided a welcome burst of flavor after winterís heavier, blander fare.


Rhubarb also has a long history of medicinal use; Chinese healers have used the plantís root as a laxative and to support the gastrointestinal system for thousands of years. In fact, rhubarb wasnít grown for kitchen use until the 17th century, when the increasing availablity of inexpensive sweeteners made it easier for cooks to overcome its decidedly tart taste.


That sharp tang is one reason why many rhubarb recipes call for considerable amounts of refined sugar. But natural sweeteners, such as the honey and freshly squeezed orange juice in the recipe at the right, can readily be used to tame rhubarb for table use. Stevia, agave nectar and date sugar are other options; you may have to experiment with small batches to find the level of sweetness that suits you best. Nutritionally, rhubarb is worth the effort, supplying calcium, fiber, potassium and vitamins C and K.


Although a vegetable, rhubarb is generally treated as a fruit because of its traditional use in pies, crumbles and other desserts; it pairs well with fruits such as oranges and strawberries, and with such sweet spices as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

Rhubarb can also be stewed, made into sauces for roast meat, used in punches and other beverages, and preserved through canning, freezing or drying. Be careful when adding additional liquid, as the stalks themselves contain a good deal of water. Always use nonreactive cookware because of rhubarbís high acid content.

When purchasing fresh rhubarb, look for thick, crisp stalks with no wrinkles, strings or decayed ends. (The leaves, which are mildly toxic, should always be discarded.) When kept in a plastic bag, the stalks can be refrigerated for up to three days. Any tough outer strands should be peeled before slicing.

Need to bring a touch of colorful spring to your table? Rhubarb may be just what youíre looking for.


ET Recipe

Honey Rhubarb Compote with Vanilla Bean

1 lb fresh rhubarb stalks (leaves removed), washed and chopped small

1/4 cup fresh sqeezed orange
juice (juice from 1 medium-sized orange)

1/4 cup wildflower honey (orother local honey of your choice)

1 whole vanilla bean,sliced lengthwise and seeds scraped out


1. Place rhubarb, orange juice, honey and vanilla seeds and pod in a
small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; reduce heat
to medium-low and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the rhubarb
is cooked down and the compote is slightly thickened.


2. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove the vanilla pod. Use right
away or store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

Yield: 2 cups. Analysis per tablespoon: 12 calories, <1g protein, no fat, <1g fiber,
3g carbohydrate, <1 mg sodium


Recipe and photo courtesy of The Bounty Hunter (www.thebountyhunter.ca)
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kind2creatures View Post
We have rhubarb that was there when we bought our house, and it's been coming up for over thirty years now, with no special watering or care.

Awesome. When I was reading up on rhubarb, I came across a blurb that said after seven years or so the plant loses it's viability and needs to be replaced.

I have a crown that I split growing in my backyard that is easily forty years old. It came from my parents backyard. I ate rhubarb from it as a boy. The two crowns need to be split again.
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:58 PM
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My kids grew up on rhubarb; as babies I made a sauce and was perfect for settling their tummies.
I split the crowns every few years and keep them young and healthy.
You can also, get several harvests from your plants, cutting the stalks off, and allowing the plant to replenish. I use a natural fertilizer around the plants to keep them full of energy all summer.
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