Trending Tries: Rhubarb

“I don’t like change….”

When you are raising children on the autism spectrum, you spend a lot of time helping them to learn how to adapt to change, which is not an easy feat. As we are all aware, life is nothing but change. If we are lucky, the changes are gradual, giving us time to adjust, but many times the changes are unexpected and take us by surprise.

The last year and a half has brought many changes for the entire world, some of which we have all experienced together, while others have been unique to individual lives, families, countries.

I have noticed a trending change in how people are thinking about food. The pandemic has provided not just the time to consider eating habits but the thought that maybe our eating habits are not as they ought to be. As such, people I have known to always be staunch meat supporters are suddenly vegan. People who never cooked at all are now experts in homemade, whole grain bread baking. Others have realized that the cause of many of their health issues are due to the foods they have been eating and are adjusting their diets. Still more folks are trying foods they have never eaten before.

Recently, the conversations I have had with folks have centered around rhubarb. Rhubarb has been around for a long time but mostly ignored by people I know whose response to rhubarb is usually, “Oh, you mean the purply-green thing which looks like celery but isn’t?” If folks are familiar with rhubarb, it is only as part of a strawberry, rhubarb pie.

Rhubarb, however, is a good source for vitamin K, antioxidants and fiber. It is also extremely versatile, useful for more than just a strawberry, rhubarb pie. During the summer, it is plentiful in both markets and many people’s yards because it is so easy to grow.

This summer, our family has been making rhubarb, lentil soups and rhubarb cake, both of which I will share in this post.

Rhubarb, Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

1 lb dried lentils, rinsed and picked over

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped onions

2 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp minced ginger

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 cup thinly sliced petite carrots

1 cup quartered and diced zucchini

2 cups finely sliced rhubarb

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp salt (if your broth is unsalted)

6 cups choice of broth (vegetable, chicken, etc.)

Cooking Instructions: 

  1. Rinse, check, and drain the lentils. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot (I use my Dutch oven), heat the olive oil, and saute the onions, garlic, ginger, and curry powder for a minute to release the flavors.
  3. Add the sliced carrots and zucchini and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the rhubarb and saute for 5 minutes until they are soft.
  5. Add the lentils, black pepper, and salt. Stir well.
  6. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
  7. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 45 minutes until the lentils have swelled and the soup has thickened.
  8. Serve with a garnish of chopped green onions.

Rhubarb Cake

Ingredients:

3 cups gluten free oat flour

¾ cup sweetener (I use coconut sugar or monkfruit sweetener blend)

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

1 cup vegan butter

4 eggs, beaten

¼ cup gluten free oat flour

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp salt

1 cup dairy free milk (I use unsweetened soy or oat or flax)

¾ cup sweetener (I use coconut sugar or monkfruit sweetener blend)

4 cups thinly sliced rhubarb

¼ cup sweetener (I use coconut sugar or monkfruit sweetener blend)

1 tsp cinnamon

Optional: 1 cup finely diced strawberries

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a pastry blender or a food processor, blend the oat flour, sweetener, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter until you have coarse crumbs.
  3. Remove 1 ½ cup of the crumbly mixture, and set aside.
  4. Pat the remaining flour mixture into an ungreased 9 x 13 pan, and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. While the crust is baking, mix together the beaten eggs and oat flour until very smooth.
  6. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, milk, and sweetener. Set aside.
  7. Blend the rhubarb with the sweetener and cinnamon (and strawberries if using).
  8. When the crust is done, evenly spread the rhubarb over the crust, and pour the egg mixture over the rhubarb.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly on top.
  10. Bake for 45 minutes until the topping is golden and the eggs have solidified.
  11. Eat warm or cooled as is or with dairy free frozen vanilla dessert.

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