Now that it’s spring lots of fruits and vegetables are coming into season. So let’s talk rhubarb! You may have a favourite rhubarb crisp recipe or even grow rhubarb in your own garden. But many people don’t know just how nutritious this plant actually is.
To start, what is rhubarb? The rhubarb plant looks kind of like celery, and is deep red or pink in colour. Rhubarb plants can have leaves or be leafless – just remember to avoid eating the toxic leaves!
Rhubarb starts to become ripe and ready to eat around mid-spring and then throughout the summer. The best months to pick and eat your rhubarb is April, May and June.
Buying and Storing Rhubarb
If you are not fortunate enough to grow your own rhubarb, you can buy it at most grocery stores and farmers markets. When you are buying rhubarb, be sure to pick the plants that have two things: firm stalks and fresh, unwilted leaves.
Once you have bought your rhubarb it is time to store it. Rhubarb keeps best unwashed and in the fridge. You can even freeze it if you plan on baking your pie more than a week later than buying it.
Health Benefits of Rhubarb
- Because of it’s high fiber content, rhubarb is most historically known as a constipation aid.
- Rhubarb contains a pigment called parietin, which has been shown to fight cancer.
- Rhubarb is extremely high in Vitamin K, a key vitamin in the development of strong bones.
- Rhubarb is a great source of calcium. (A vegan calcium source at that!)
- Rhubarb is also high in Vitamin C, iron, and manganese.
Most people eat rhubarb in baked goods or pies and crisps. You may be surprised to know that you can actually also eat rhubarb by blending it into a nutritious smoothie! Besides in smoothies, eating rhubarb raw is pretty tasteless.
What is your favourite way to enjoy rhubarb? Let us know in the comments below!