Rhubarb is now in season! I so love this time of year when fresh fruit and vegetables are ripe to pick or coming into season. As I empty my freezer of last year’s stock of fruits and vegetables, it’s time to start filling it up again with fruits and vegetables. The first fruit or vegetable of the year is always rhubarb.
Yes, I know, I was surprised when I was told that rhubarb is actually a vegetable but eaten as a fruit.
This in-destructible (I don’t know how many times my husband has run over my rhubarb plants, by mistake of course, and it re-appears every year) plant can grow through almost anything. It’s the first plant in my garden that I cultivate and freeze every year.
One of the main reasons why I enjoy rhubarb so much is because of its astounding nutritional value. it holds some vital phytonutrients such as dietary fiber, polyphenolic antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol and even though I don’t care about the calories, it’s one of the least caloric vegetables out there. The stalks contain several B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
Red color stems carry more vitamin-A than the green varieties. Vitamin-A is a powerful natural antioxidant which is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin. It is also an essential vitamin for healthy eyesight. Rhubarb stalks also provide proper amounts of vitamin-K. Vitamin-K has a potential role in bone health. The stalks also contain healthy levels of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
What fruit goes well with this vegetable? Strawberries!
My favourite berry, with blueberries coming in a close second, are low in fat and calories, a good source of fiber and contain antioxidants. Consuming strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin-C and rich in the B-complex group of vitamins. It contains good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and folic acid. Strawberries also contain vitamin-A, vitamin-E and a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, fluorine, copper, iron and iodine.
So, what better to mix this fruit and vegetable together to create a spread that is so natural, tasty, and is filled with vitamins and minerals to keep your body strong. Here’s my recipe for a simple homemade jam.
- 12 oz. rhubarb cubed (cut each stalk down the middle and then chop)
- 12 oz. strawberries quartered
- 1⁄3 cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- If you don’t have fresh strawberries, use frozen strawberries. Make sure that you let the strawberries drain so there is less liquid going into the saucepan.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, and maple syrup. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. After 5 minutes, when the mixture is starting to release juices, use a fork to lightly mash the strawberries and rhubarb.
- Add the chia seeds and lemon juice and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking uncovered, stirring occasionally 25-30 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. I like to have a few small chunks of rhubarb and strawberries in my jam. The jam will continue to thicken as it cools so don’t let it reduce too much.
- Let cool completely before transferring to a jar. Keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Eat Well – Move Well – Live Well
Your Compassionate Coach,