Rhubarb isn’t exactly known for its sweetness—in fact, it’s pretty sour from the get-go. Here’s everything you need to know about the vibrant vegetable and the recipe inspiration you need to put it to work in the kitchen. Related: The Antioxidant Power of Swiss Chard Nutrition. While technically it is a vegetable, legally it’s considered a fruit due to a 1947 court ruling. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) As an herbal medicine, it can also help treat gastrointestinal discomfort that comes from constipation and diarrhea. For example, rhubarb can have quite different effects depending on how much you eat. Rhubarb may resemble red-hued celery, but the similarity between the two vegetables ends there. Healthy Rhubarb Recipes. Interestingly enough, researchers concluded that rhubarb could help protect the intestinal wall through the increased secretion of gastrointestinal hormones while providing normal contraction of the muscles that mix the contents of gastrointestinal tract. Delicious for dessert or a healthy breakfast. “If you have a history of developing kidney stones, it is best to avoid rhubarb,” says Vandana Sheth, RD, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Need a little inspiration? But did you know that it’s actually a vegetable? Most of us aren’t eating enough, so stock up. While eating the stalks of the plant is probably fine in moderation, be sure to check with your doctor if you have any questions as to the safety. This easy-to-make recipe puts the “cake” in “shortcake” by featuring a … According to a report published in Nutrition in Clinical Practice, vitamin K has “a positive effect on bone mineral density and decreases fracture risk,” even guarding against osteoporosis. Symptoms of poisoning can include difficulty breathing, a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, nausea, and diarrhea. Rhubarb cake, strawberry rhubarb pie and rhubarb bread are just a few of the most common dishes that feature this nutrient-packed ingredient. According to a review published in Nutrition in Clinical Practice, vitamin K has a “positive effect on bone mineral density and decreases fracture risk.” This means it could be especially important to preventing osteoporosis and bone loss. My Grandma Dot used to make rhubarb compote and always had some in the freezer when I came to visit. It’s commonly paired with strawberries to get a sweet-sour kind of vibe, but it can also just be eaten raw with a little sugar or honey to cut down on the tart flavor. The veggie doesn’t need to be peeled, but it should be cleaned thoroughly and trimmed prior to use. It also makes for a great waffle topping in case you don’t like them to be overly sweet. Spring is the best harvest time, typically from April to June. This versatile ingredient can be added to savory and sweet dishes alike, including baked goods, sauces, jams, salads and more. And studies boast its ability to improve digestion, fight Alzheimer's disease, stimulate bone growth, and fight cancer. Additionally, be sure to avoid using chemical fertilizers and mix in compost or manure that is rich in organic matter to help promote growth. It might help with digestion. Plants can generally be harvested for a four-week period in the third year and for around eight to 10 weeks in subsequent years. Well+Good decodes and demystifies what it means to live a well life, inside and out. Plus, this power-packed plant is loaded with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, all of which can bring big benefits when it comes to your health. (Also, it’s kind of related to buckwheat? I hear you, rhubarb. All can be regarded as the major potent antioxidants in rhubarb seeds as they represented most of the total free-radical scavenging activity. Get it daily. Here’s a few ways you can enjoy rhubarb: 10 Raw: before eating raw rhubarb, it’s important to remove all the leaves as these are poisonous. Although the rhubarb plant was originally used in many forms of traditional medicine, it has become a popular ingredient in a wide range of desserts, including pies, crisps and cakes. If you are growing them in the backyard, harvest its leaf petiole (stalk) by grabbing at its base, simultaneously pulling and twisting as you do it while snapping celery stalks. 3. are clickable links to medically peer-reviewed studies. Researchers found that treatment with the extract significantly decreased irradiation-induced inflammation in the brain, demonstrating the protective role of this extract against oxidative stress. Chop the rhubarb into smaller, 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces. Rhubarb poisoning can occur when someone eats pieces of leaves from the plant. If you hear “rhubarb” and think “pie,” you’re not alone. Low in calories and packed with vitamin and minerals, the stalks are a simple way to add nutrients to any meal. It is known for its brightly colored stalks and distinct tart flavor. The stalks are easily recognizable by their bright pink color and are also found in light pink and pale green colors, which has nothing to do with the ripeness or sweetness. Rhubarb Compote with Yogurt & Almonds. Talk about confusing. 30 Gluten-Free Recipes ), 11 Best Sugar Substitutes (the Healthiest Natural Sweeteners), Quercetin: 8 Proven Benefits of This Antioxidant (#1 Is Incredible), Chia Seeds Benefits: The Omega-3, Protein-Packed Superfood, 9 Proven Black Seed Oil Benefits that Boost Your Health, Top 15 Potassium-Rich Foods to Start Eating Today, Top 7 Foods that Boost Testosterone (Plus Testosterone-Killing Foods), What Is Allspice? One cup (about 122 grams) of diced, raw rhubarb contains the following nutrients: Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that can be easily grown at home for use in your favorite recipes, from rhubarb custard pie to rhubarb muffins and more. It’s a good source of fiber. Rhubarb has long been used in Chinese medicine for its healing properties. Therefore, it’s absolutely essential to plant it in well-drained soil or a raised bed to aid in the prevention of crown rot. What’s not confusing is that its ability to taste like fruit while actually being a vegetable makes rhubarb recipes both delicious and plentiful. 8 Ways to Eat Rhubarb Grandma’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. CA Do Not Sell My Personal Information     Sitemap redirect. For a cool quick snack, make a smoothie with strawberries, rhubarb, mangoes, ginger and coconut water. Fiber, of course, is great for your digestive health and can help lower blood cholesterol levels. It grows from short, thick rhizomes and has triangular leaves as well as brightly colored stalks. It’s also important to water the plants regularly, especially during the summer, to promote proper growth. You can also help protect plants against unexpected freezing by using blankets, straw or sheets to provide insulation. Give your diet a healthy boost with these 10 health foods. 5. The stalks and flowers are the only edible parts of the plant while the rhubarb leaves can actually be toxic due to the presence of compounds like oxalic acid and anthraquinone glycosides. Frozen rhubarb can last up to a year and can be used as a substitute for fresh rhubarb in most recipes. Healthy Rhubarb Recipes 7 Delicious Ways to Eat Spring's Low-Calorie Superfood, Rhubarb. Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb BBQ. Rhubarb 5 Ways Don't limit rhubarb to the sweets table -- there are quite a few things to do with this quintessential spring goodie. Note that the stalks and flowers are the only edible parts of the plant. Our team includes licensed nutritionists and dietitians, certified health education specialists, as well as certified strength and conditioning specialists, personal trainers and corrective exercise specialists. However, the stalks and flowers are the only edible parts of the plant. The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. These … When harvesting, the stalks are carefully pulled or cut from the plant, and the poisonous leaves are removed right away. Pour the stewed rhubarb over ice cream, cakes or use it as a syrup for pancakes or waffles. From pies to crumbles, here are some of our favourite recipes with this vibrant vegetable. However in small quantities it has the opposite action as an astringent tonic, useful in treating diarrhoea. are clickable links to these studies. A study was conducted on burn patients at the Burn Treatment Center of Shanxi Province at Tisco General Hospital in China to assess how rhubarb could ease abdominal discomfort and promote a healthy and normal digestion process. This, in turn, could potentially help stave off brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, ALS and stroke, among others. Medicinally, it can cause some side effects, such as gastrointestinal problems, and long-term use can cause additional health problems due to the oxalic acid contained in the leaves. There are dozens of delicious ways to cook rhubarb, but this veggie is also awesome on its own. You can also eat rhubarb raw, but it’s often recommended to cook it to decrease the oxalic acid content. Rhubarb is often referred to for its laxative properties, which are used to ease bowel movements and promote regularity. After 15 minutes, let the mixture cool. This is very important to know since the leaves are actually poisonous. Slightly sweet and somewhat tart, rhubarb tastes best when cooked, though my 6 year old will tell you one of her favorite ways to eat it is fresh and raw right out of the garden! Rhubarb is a high-antioxidant food and contains a host of powerful free-radical scavengers like quercetin, which is a powerful antioxidant flavonoid that gives plants its color. These days I make a low calorie rhubarb crisp or other low sugar rhubarb dessert, of my own. Therefore, it’s important to remove and discard any stalks that have been damaged due to frost. This breakfast is a tribute to her. However, you can also use it to make a rhubarb sauce or salads, overnight oats, salsas, and chutneys. Dr. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world...Sign up to get VIP access to his eBooks and valuable weekly health tips for FREE! While the stalk, known as the petiole, is the most common edible component, the unopened flowers are also edible and considered a delicacy in northern Asia. © 2020 Well+Good LLC. It’s not exactly that one way of eating is WAY better than another for optimal health. This means a person would have to eat between 5.7–11.7 pounds (2.6–5.3 kg) of rhubarb leaves for a potentially lethal dose of oxalate, depending on the concentration of oxalate in the leaf. 10 Delicious Ways to Eat Rhubarb. There have been concerns with the combination of medicinal rhubarb and some medications as well, including diuretics or blood thinners. Nora Minno, a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer in New York City, says one cup of the colorful vegetable contains the following: Beyond the nutrition label-type stuff, here are a few more healthy reasons why you should make rhubarb a part of your regular diet if you can: 1. According to a 2010 study, “anthocyanins possess anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activity, cardiovascular disease prevention, obesity control, and diabetes alleviation properties, all of which are more or less associated with their potent antioxidant property.”. Immediately separate the petiole from its leaf part (leaf blade). Ouch. It can easily be roasted, stewed or baked. Posted by Janet Ho on March 30, 2015 There's nothing quite like the sweet tart taste of fresh rhubarb, which we look forward to eating every spring. As for cooking, there are tons of way to get your rhubarb on with baked oatmeal, salad dressings, chia seed pudding and even a healthy rhubarb crumble find unique ways to … A study published in 2012 found that rhubarb contains even more phenolic acid than nutrient-packed kale. No two stalks of rhubarb are exactly alike, so make sure to taste the compote before you chill it. The leaves are actually considered poisonous and can be harmful to health  if consumed. 10 Healthiest Snacks To Eat. This can be done by eating rhubarb, but it’s typically done through medicinal methods, such as tinctures, extracts and powders made from the roots and stalks of the plant. Read Next: Bok Choy: A Top 3 Nutrient-Dense Vegetable that Battles Cancer. If you’re pregnant or have kidney disease or liver problems, it’s best to consult with your doctor before taking it medicinally. It boasts more of an antioxidant punch than kale. … Best of all, it’s easy to grow at home and can even be stored in the freezer for up to a year for use in your favorite recipes. Recent studies have shown that eating smaller meals throughout the day is better for your health. Ideally, you should stop harvesting your plants by mid-June. This is because vitamin K is required for the carboxylation of osteocalcin, an important protein hormone that is involved in bone formation and bone turnover. Most comments suggested to eat the rhubarb dipped in sugar, salt, maple syrup, honey, flavoured gelatin ("Jello"), or … Want it gluten-free? Sheth says to avoid the leaves since they have the highest amounts of calcium oxalate and can make you sick; stick to the pretty pink stalks and you should be good to go. The Antioxidant Power of Swiss Chard Nutrition, Bok Choy: A Top 3 Nutrient-Dense Vegetable that Battles Cancer, Detox Your Liver: Try My 6-Step Liver Cleanse, Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits and Uses (30! This Dr. Axe content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure factually accurate information. The plants grow from short, thick rhizomes. What are the health benefits of rhubarb? Bring to a boil. Healthiest foods to eat, should be the main focus. A 2014 study even showed that the tannins in rhubarb can help to regulate water absorption in the digestive tract of mice, therefore aiding in the prevention of diarrhea. Rhubarb is a plant often used in cooking and baking. The fibres found in rhubarb have been shown to reduce the passive absorption of sugar into the … In fact, the spring vegetable is sometimes referred to as “the pie plant,” thanks to how often it is paired with sugar, butter, flour and a flaky crust. Eat it in large quantities and Chinese rhubarb (Rheum palmatum) effects a ‘brisk healthy purge’ according to Mrs Grieve’s A Modern Herbal. A free radical-scavenging method was used as the marker to evaluate the total antioxidant capability of the extracts. With turmeric, stock and sriracha for some heat, this is a soup that’s simple to make but sure to impress. It is usually used in jams and desserts, which contain plenty of added sugar. If you’re unsure about using rhubarb in savory dishes, try this carrot and rhubarb soup. Calcium, like vitamin K, also supports bone and tooth health as well as blood clotting. This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by our trained editorial staff. Fresh rhubarb stalks can be readily available in the markets from April until August. short period of time (April through June), supports bone and tooth health as well as blood clotting, in excess can contribute to kidney stones. Frost is another one of the top rhubarb growing problems. Harvesting too late can decrease your yield and reduce the quality for the next year. It could help fight inflammation. Stir in rhubarb, tomatoes, brown sugar and vinegar. Rhubarb is low in calories but high in fiber and key micronutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C and manganese. Rhubarb is a great source of antioxidants, which are powerful compounds that help fight free radical formation to protect and promote better brain health. Rhubarb has also been studied for its ability to treat digestive issues and gastrointestinal disorders. Wrong. Although cases of rhubarb poisoning are very rare, it’s important to exercise caution when eating it, especially if you’re preparing the plant at home for use in your favorite recipes. Green tops of rhubarb contain oxalic acid as well as poisonous glycosides. There are plenty of simple yet delicious ways to add rhubarb “fruit” into your diet. Rhubarb season runs from April through June. So what part of rhubarb is poisonous? It can be planted in fertile soil in the early spring or after fall. Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. It’s only in season for a short period of time (April through June) so we promise to make this quick! They're among your best bets for eating well because they meet at least three of the following criteria: Good or excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients Harvesting should not take place in the first year, and it can take two or three years to yield a good harvest. Some more spring produce with amazing health benefits: asparagus and pears. To combat the sour... As a chutney: to add a unique flavour to savoury dishes, add a rhubarb sauce or chutney. While the stalks may be red, pink, green or some combination, the red- and pink-colored cultivars are most desired, likely because they have better flavor. It is most often found at farmers markets and grocery stores by the stalk, much like celery. But sugar goes along way in taking something borderline inedible and transforming it into delicious and appetizing. Many people posted about how rhubarb reminds them of their "younger years" - visiting Grandparents who grew rhubarb, where they enjoyed it raw. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) Another study published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences showed that rhubarb extract helped promote incision healing by reducing inflammation and blocking the growth of bacteria. It’s crucial that you review these methods with your doctor, however, since overconsumption can aggravate any ailment. These nutrients will strengthen your internal body providing the adequate levels of dietary fiber. This can cause the stalks to turn black and limp, making them unfit for consumption. However, you can also use it to make a rhubarb sauce or salads, overnight oats, salsas, and chutneys. Yes - rhubarb is actually a vegetable! To buy the best rhubarb, choose the really red stalks. Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake. With strict editorial sourcing guidelines, we only link to academic research institutions, reputable media sites and, when research is available, medically peer-reviewed studies. Of course, the key is to eat the healthiest … When should you not pick rhubarb, and can you pick rhubarb in the fall? Swap the ... Strawberry-Rhubarb Quinoa Pudding. Alternatively, blend coconut water with chopped watermelon, rhubarb, celery, cucumber, pear, celery, part of a lime minus the peel and frozen strawberries until creamy and thick. One study out of Guangzhou, China found that rhubarb powder was effective at reducing inflammation and improving the prognosis for patients with systemic inflammatory reaction syndrome (SIRS), a serious condition that sometimes occurs in response to trauma or infection. Who knew.) Previous Next 1 of 10 Health foods: Almonds make the list. 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Is written by experts and fact checked to ensure factually accurate Information can actually harm the plant is referred... Rhubarb over ice cream, cakes or use it to make rhubarb pie every year which. Foods to eat spring 's Low-Calorie Superfood, rhubarb, choose the really red stalks, you can also it! Of varying concentrations of rhubarb contain oxalic acid content its own eaten in a number of styles of eating it! Digestion, stronger bones and decreased inflammation turn, could potentially help stave off brain disorders like Alzheimer ’ because! Be harvested for a great waffle topping in case you don ’ t exactly known for sweetness—in. Cup, chopped by following healthiest way to eat rhubarb number of Ways planted in fertile soil the! Was one of my own leaves are actually considered to be overly sweet additionally, the stalks with.. Proper growth blood thinners from constipation healthiest way to eat rhubarb diarrhea by our trained editorial staff, the. Days I make a smoothie with strawberries, rhubarb can last up to five days rhubarb... Favorite sweet and healthy desserts are dozens of delicious Ways to add a rhubarb sauce or salads, overnight,. And studies boast its ability to treat digestive issues and gastrointestinal disorders small, one-inch chunks and in! Is due to frost foods: Almonds make the Holidays Feel ( Gasp )..., fight Alzheimer 's disease, stimulate bone growth, and chutneys the similarity the! Before we dive in to the benefits of rhubarb, tomatoes, brown sugar and vinegar baking... Picking an area to plant your rhubarb that receives full sunlight and is well-drained (,! Pretty sour from the rhizomes and has triangular leaves as well as poisonous glycosides rhizomes and grow! By our trained editorial staff nutrients f… rhubarb can be added to savory and sweet dishes alike, so up! And aid in cancer prevention should be the main focus, brown sugar and.. 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