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Rhubarb

Rhubarb and strawberries

There are some food combinations that make 1 + 1 = 3 or even 4 or 5. Strawberry and rhubarb is one of those combinations. Rhubarb is one of those ingredients that really needs a partner, but there are many great partners for rhubarb beyond strawberries.

Beyond strawberries

Rhubarbs tartness performs much like lemons, and complements many ingredients, both sweet and savory. Rhubarb is a natural complement to oranges, grapefruit, blood oranges and blackberries. Rhubarb is enhanced by a variety of spices including: cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger, bay, lavender and rosemary. Maple syrup and balsamic vinegar enhance the flavor of rhubarb. Rhubarb pairs well with chicken, pork, bacon, lamb, venison and salmon.

Nutrition and health benefits of rhubarb

Rhubarb has been used in Chinese medicine going back to 2700 B.C. , and was used as a diuretic and to treat fevers in many folk medicines. Rhubarb is particularly rich in fiber, vitamins C & K, calcium, potassium and manganese. Rhubarb promotes healthy skin and eyes and strong bones. It boosts the immune system, protects the heart and has properties that may protect against cancer. When you eat rhubarb with other foods, it helps to lower the glycemic index of your meal.

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Rhubarb is technically a vegetable

Many think of rhubarb as a fruit, but it is technically a vegetable that is related to celery. In addition to enhancing sweets, rhubarb is used in savory dishes, particularly in Moroccan and Middle Eastern stews.

How to prepare and store rhubarb

There is no need to peel rhubarb, but you must remove the leaves as they contain a toxin. It is a good idea to wash the rhubarb once the leaves are removed. Rhubarb breaks down when cooked and results in a flavorful mush, making it perfect for jams, compotes and sauces. Rhubarb can be stored in the refrigerator for about 1 week and up to a year in the freezer.

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