We haven’t spoken about a right back to ingredients fundamentals in a while. This one is really interesting. So. Rhubarb. Rhubarb is high enough in calcium to go onto the alternatives to dairy that are high in calcium list. Who knew? Not me.
Now, I know a lot of people think they don’t like rhubarb and that is understandable, it can be a little tricky to prepare and really, really bad if it is done wrong, so I am going to teach you how to do it right.
First and most importantly, we never, ever eat rhubarb leaves, they are poisonous, they are very high in oxalic acid which can cause kidney stones, did you ever see the episode of Friends where Phoebe gives birth to triplets and Joey gives birth to kidney stones? Yeah, not something I would want to go through, so we cut away the rhubarb leaves and dispose of them in the compost or the bin.
Now, rhubarb has strings that make it tough. This is cellulose and we do not have the enzyme we need to digest cellulose, so we dont want that either, so just feel with your knife at the cut top and bottom and you will find the stringy outer bit right at the edge, the ridges on the front are a good place to start. Like this -
If you are cutting and you get a bit that resists your knife, you have found another bit, pull that away along the length of your rhubarb too. From one stick of rhubarb I got this much cellulosey string.
So now we have our nudie stick of rhubarb, how do we prepare it? Well, there are a lot of ways, we could put this into a Betty, or we could stew it, go in and look at the post for fruit compote, that shows how to stew rhubarb, we could bake it with a drizzle of honey, we could put it in a pie. I have never seen rhubarb used as a savoury, which is probably due to its bitterness, but I wonder if that could be harnessed to provide flavour dimension??? Hmmm. I will ponder on that one, it might make a nice foil for fish.
Rhubarb, another calcium booster for our dairy free arsenal.