Total Pageviews

Thursday 4 June 2015

Rhubarb Some Facts Plus A Rhubarb Crisp Low Carb and Gluten Free

Image result for rhubarb

A prolific and precocious springtime "fruit", rhubarb looks like stalks of pinkish green or even magenta celery. Its flavour, however, is much more tart, making it ideal company for sugar in sweet dishes like crisps, compotes, and pie - from which it gets its second name, "pie plant." But rhubarb also lends a puckery-tart fruitiness to savory dishes, and pairs very nicely with pork and poultry.

Types of Rhubarb

There are two basic types of rhubarb found in markets and larger grocery stores: the older, traditional variety, with thicker, greener stalks, and the more intensely-colored, slender-stalked variety, sometimes called hothouse rhubarb. The deep red stalks certainly make for brighter, more attractive dishes, but the concentrated color indicates concentrated tartness, and the greener stalks have a nicely balanced, mellow flavor.

Rhubarb Season

Hothouse rhubarb is available most of the year, while field-grown stalks are available in early spring. (The Pacific Northwest has a second harvest of rhubarb between June and July.)

How to Buy & Store Rhubarb

Whatever their colour, the stalks should be heavy and crisp with taut, shiny skin. Watch out for rubbery, fibrous, dry stalks. 
Before storing, remove any leaves from the rhubarb stalks and discard. Rhubarb stalks can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days, unwashed and sealed in an air tight plastic bag or tightly wrapped in plastic. It is best to store fresh rhubarb in whole stalks because cut or diced pieces will dry out more quickly. Trim just before using. Rhubarb can be frozen for future use by cutting the stalks into 1-inch lengths and packaging in airtight bags or by stewing first and then freezing. Rhubarb does not need to be sweetened before it is frozen.

How to Prepare Rhubarb

Rhubarb leaves contain both oxalic acid and a more potent, unidentified toxin, so trimming and discarding them is essential. While it's tempting to peel the fibrous skin as you chop the stalks, try to resist it--the skin holds lots of colour and flavour.

Cooking Rhubarb

Rhubarb can be eaten raw but because of its tartness, it is generally cooked and sweetened first. It can be sweetened with sugar, honey, syrup, or berry preserves. When cooking rhubarb do not use aluminum, iron or copper pans. Rhubarb has high acidity and will react with these types of metals. The reaction will cause the rhubarb to turn a brownish color and can cause the pan to discolor. It is best to use anodized aluminum, non-stick coated aluminum, or enameled cast iron pans. If the rhubarb is being baked, glass bakeware can be used also.Two things happen to rhubarb when it's cooked: its juices thicken, and it falls apart into fraying shreds of translucent fibers. Heavily cooked rhubarb has the perfect jellied consistency for jams, chutneys, and compotes, but isn't so attractive when stir-fried or arranged on a tart. Quick heat yields tender but cohesive rhubarb pieces with rich flavor and a natural, glossy sheen.

Rhubarb Nutrition

Rhubarb stalks are highly nutritious, containing loads of calcium, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, and a whole host of antioxidants.

Details above taken from here and here

Low Carb Sugar-Free Rhubarb Crisp

Rhubarb Crisp – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

If you are looking for a low carb rhubarb dessert then look no further than this sugar-free rhubarb crisp ... with a truly crispy almond flour topping.

Crisp Topping:
1¼ cup almond flour
½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
⅓ cup golden flax seed meal
⅓ cup pecan or walnut pieces
¼ cup Swerve Sweetener or other erythritol sweetener
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon liquid stevia extract

Rhubarb Filling:
2 pounds rhubarb, sliced into ½-inch pieces
⅓ cup Swerve Sweetener or other erythritol sweetener
¼ cup ground chia seeds (you can grind whole chia seeds in a coffee grinder)
¼ tsp liquid stevia extract

1. For the topping, preheat oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, shredded coconut, flax seed meal, pecan or walnut pieces, erythritol sweetener, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the butter, vanilla and stevia extract.
3.Add butter to the almond flour mixture and use a pastry cutter or two knives to blend in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spread out evenly on prepared baking sheet and pat down with hands to flatten slightly.
4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Remove and let cool completely.
5. For the filling, preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, combine rhubarb, erythritol sweetener, ground chia seeds and stevia extract, tossing to coat rhubarb well.
6. Spread rhubarb mixture into a 9x13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until mixture is bubbling and rhubarb is tender.
7. Remove filling from oven and remove foil. Break cooled topping into pieces with your hand and place over filling to cover completely. Serve warm. Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Serves 12. Each serving has 11 g of carbs and 6 g of fiber. 
Total NET CARBS = 5 g.

199 Calories; 17g Fat (59.6% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 16mg Cholesterol; 165mg Sodium

Grateful thanks to Carolyn for this super recipe, original idea here

All the best Jan


Cheryl said...

I love rhubarb. A firm favourite. I did not know the info re green stalks. Always thought they were unripe :) Oh dear!!

I really love the sound of the topping.....another one to try and enter into my recipe book. Tks :)

TexWisGirl said...

my mother grew rhubarb and we ate a lot of rhubarb crisp and canned rhubarb sauce. yum!

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Cheryl, many thanks for your comment. It was Jo who gave me the idea for this post, as she has been talking about rhubarb recently! Rhubarb has always been a firm favourit both when growing up and now. This recipe idea for 'Rhubarb Crisp' is a good one.My mouth waters every time I look at the picture.

Hope your week is going well.

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi TexWisGirl ... many thanks for your comment. My dear mum used to grow and love rhubarb - it is good to keep family traditions going I think. Many thanks for stopping by.

All the best Jan

Jo said...

That looks delicious. I remember my mum telling me that she was given sticks of raw rhubarb and a bag of sugar in lieu of sweets when she was a child, it's a wonder she's still got all her own teeth at 80, you'd think they'd have rotted by the time she was 20. I always make the most of the rhubarb season, usually pies and crumbles but there's so many recipes now, cakes, fools, muffins, cordial...the list goes on. I really must try something more adventurous.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Jo ... thanks for your comment - and your mum is doing well. Rhubarb is a great 'fruit' and can be used in many different recipes. Of course if we are fortunate to grow our own then that's even better.

All the best Jan

Kim said...

When I was little rhubarb used to grow in our yard. We thought it was a weed, but my grandma used to come out and bake it. I wouldn't eat it, I still thought it was a weed! ;)

Gail said...

Dad's favorite pie was rhubarb. I never really developed a taste for it.

Thanks for visiting.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello Kim, and thanks for your comment. Interesting to read you thought it was a 'weed'. Both my Gran and my mum used to love picking rhubarb from the rhubarb patch (I did my best to help too) ... and the puddings / desserts they home-made were just wonderful.

Happy Memories - thanks for visiting.

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Gail - rhubarb pie was a firm family favourite when I was growing up. It's a taste I still enjoy but tend to look for the lower carb recipes.

Thanks for your comment, always pleased to read them.

All the best Jan

Gloria Baker said...

I love rhubarb Jean but here is not easy to find! My mom say in the south they had rhubarb and made jam and desserts!

Judith said...

I love rhubarb, we were brought up on stewed rhubarb and custard! It grows like a weed in New Zealand, every backyard used to have a plant or two. My only quibble with it is that it needs so much sweetening and I don't like using artificial sweeteners because I don't like the taste of them much. So I use a little honey and lots of vanilla extract which takes the edge off.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Gloria, it's Chile you live I think. I wonder do you have a similar 'fruit' to the rhubarb? You do have some wonderful recipes. Interesting to read that your mom said in the South they did have rhubarb and were able to make desserts.

Many thanks for your comment, always good to read them.

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Judith - yes many people can find rhubarb a little tart and need to use sweeteners. But if you buy or grow the type with greener stalks they tend to have a nicely balanced, mellow flavor.

Rhubarb certainly seems to have been around and growing in our gardens / yards for generations.

Many thanks for your comment.

All the best Jan

Red Rose Alley said...

Jan, this rhubarb crisp looks scrumptious. I've never tasted raw rhubarb before, but I love rhubarb pie. It's not too sweet, and I think that's why I love the pie. I didn't realize all the health benefits of it. Thanks for sharing.


PlumPetals said...

Looks really good!

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Sheri,and many thanks for your comment. The rhubarb crisp recipe is AWESOME as a younger family member might say ... so pleased to hear you enjoyed the article.

Hope you have a lovely weekend.

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello PlumPetals and many thanks for leaving your comment. It does look great in the pictures, and tastes good too.

All the best Jan