Rhubarb It Up!
by Coach Jackie
This time of year provides us a lavish load of colorful, seasonal produce from the farmer’s market. Walking around, you will see a rainbow of food that offers your body nutrition and nourishment. Acting fast, is key however, because many of the best offerings have a short lived harvest. You must get it while you can!
As a child, walking in my Nana’s backyard and the giant field behind her house, I will always remember the wild rhubarb. To my amazement, she would magically turn those unusual celery like stalks into beautiful pies and jams that danced in my mouth with the best kind of homemade sweetness. That same rhubarb can be found right now at the farmer’s market.
The green leaves are actually toxic and only the stalks should be consumed.
We’ve all been brainwashed to believe that milk is the best source of calcium... but rhubarb contains just as much.
Fiber is a great asset for the human body and these crimson stalks are a generous provider.
Ancient Chinese folk medicine tells us that rhubarb can ease digestion, help with bone growth and neuron function in the brain, and can provide us with healthy skin, mucous membranes, vision, and potential cancer protection.
This all sounds great right? But what the heck do you do with it?
Rhubarb is quite sour, so with a little sweetness and a little love, it can be turned into something glorious. I enjoy cooking it down into a compote, which can then be used in a variety of ways.
What you need
4 cups diced rhubarb
1⁄2 cup coconut sugar
1⁄4 tsp cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp fresh vanilla beans
Why coconut sugar?
It contains less sucrose than regular table sugar and is lower on the glycemic index giving you less of a sugar spike. However, the calorie count is pretty much the same as regular sugar... so don’t go crazy!
If you care about animals, know that in some instances, white sugar is processed with bone char from animals to give it that super white color and fine consistency. Coconut sugar is more brown in color and is unprocessed.
What you do
In a medium saucepan, combine the rhubarb, sugar and cinnamon. Stir and bring to a gentle simmer until the rhubarb breaks down. This could take ten minutes, so keep stirring. Remove from heat and mix in the vanilla. The compote should keep in the refrigerator for one week.
Enjoy on yogurt (from grassfed cows, of course), oatmeal, toast, pancakes, french toast, cottage cheese, chia pudding... the possibilities are endless!