Rhubarb

IMG00008-20110609-1148Find local rhubarb with the Minnesota Grown Directory published by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Choose from farms throughout Minnesota selling rhubarb. Our online Directory provides quick access to farm details, links to their website and access to Google Maps driving directions.

Rhubarb’s nickname is the “pie plant” because that is the primary use for this vegetable. Even though Minnesotans are fond of making pies, jams, jellies, and other sweet treats it was first used by the Chinese about 4,700 years ago for medicinal purposes. The dried root was used to cause vomiting, cure constipation and as a blood purifier. People did not start eating the rhubarb stalks until the early 1800’s, probably because those people who first tried rhubarb leaves got sick and died. Rhubarb leaves can be poisonous because they contain a substance called oxalate. NEVER eat the leaves cooked or raw!

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Green stalks with green flesh are very sour and are good for jams and jellies. Red stalks with green flesh are slightly tangy and less sour; they are good for cake fillings or cookie fillings. Red stalks with red flesh have a sweeter flavor or a slight raspberry flavor. This variety is good in fruit salads, or fruit tarts or pies. Generally, the deeper the red color, the sweeter the rhubarb will be!

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Rhubarb is not just for pie and bread recipes! Use for jams, jellies, syrups, bread puddings, crisps and cobblers – add something sweet to tame the mouth-puckering tartness of rhubarb. Add cooked rhubarb into a fruit topping for poultry. Top frozen yogurt with berries and cut-up rhubarb for a tangy twist. Rhubarb is a great match with other Minnesota Grown products such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples, peaches, apricots, pears and raisins. Its flavor is enhanced by ginger, cinnamon, orange, lime and mint. Mix all of these wonderful items together and enjoy a terrific fresh fruit salad.

Minnesota Grown Rhubarb

 

 

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