Those beautiful rosy pink stalks of rhubarb have shot up out of their usual spot in my garden and I am enjoying this wonderful spring fruit immensely!
Rhubarb is one of the first perennial plants to poke through the earth in the spring and I absolutely adore it. Rhubarb grows in stalks and it looks just like red celery. It has big leaves growing from the tops of its stalks which are to be discarded before eating the rhubarb because they are actually toxic. That’s why you don’t see rhubarb sold with its leaves on.
Today we’re talking about the health benefits of rhubarb and I’m afraid these benefits will not be so great if the only way you eat rhubarb is in your grandma’s rhubarb pie! When you add tons of sugar to any fruit, it really sort of takes away from the healthy attributes of the plant!
The rest of the plant, though, is very good for you.
Lutein. A cup of rhubarb provides you with 207 mcg of lutein, a compound with tremendous health benefits. Lutein is especially good for your skin and eyes, and because your skin and eyes are exposed to environmental toxins almost all of the time, you want to provide them with as many nutrients as possible!
Calcium. A cup of rhubarb will give you almost 10% of the calcium you need in an average day.
Vitamin K. Rhubarb is rich in vitamin K which helps in the formation of blood clots when you cut yourself.
Rhubarb is also a wonderful source of fiber and it contains many antioxidants.
I like to add rhubarb to my juices and smoothies and I also like to make savory sauces with my rhubarb—it goes especially good with pork.
Rhubarb is very tart so it usually needs something sweet to go with it. Fresh berries do the trick. Strawberries and rhubarb are a match made in heaven!
If you don’t already grow your own rhubarb, give it a try! You just pop the plant in the ground and it keeps coming up year after year! This is one hardy plant! Then you can simply take in rhubarb as you need it.
Rhubarb can be frozen, so if you have a bumper crop, simply chop the stalks and pop them in freezer bags. Take them out to use in smoothies and juices all winter long!
Want a quick recipe? Click here.