Food Challenge: Rhubarb

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Food Challenge: RhubarbI never intended to write a rhubarb food challenge, but one day my husband came home with an armful and I had to figure out what to do with it, so this challenge was born.

Rhubarb is one of those ambiguous plants that is a vegetable but eaten as a fruit.  The stalks resemble celery, but are often stewed with sugar and served with sweet berries to offset the tart taste.

I didn’t want to make several dessert recipes, so I scanned Pinterest for some variety.  I found recipes for a salad, a smoothie, an oatmeal, and a dessert. Okay, all of the recipes are all somewhat sweet, but they are all step out of the strawberry rhubarb pie box, which in my experience is where rhubarb mostly appears.

Try something new with rhubarb and show us what you made using #IDfoodchallenge.

How to prepare rhubarb

The Green Kitchen Maple-Tossed Beluga Lentil Salad
The Green Kitchen Maple-Tossed Beluga Lentil Salad

via My New Roots

I wasn’t sure about this recipe.  Raw rhubarb and asparagus?  I was afraid the dish would be too tart and bitter.  But, my husband and daughter love asparagus raw and I wanted at least one savory dish for the challenge, so I knew I should give this recipe a shot.  My commissary had a big empty space where the strawberries should have been, so I substituted blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.  I actually liked that better because rhubarb and strawberries are such a traditional pairing that it was nice to step outside of that box.  All of the nice berries and the maple syrup in the dressing balanced out the rhubarb and the asparagus.  My family really enjoyed this salad, calling it a superfood hit.

Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie
Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie

via One Green Planet

This recipe requires a little more effort than a traditional smoothie because you have to have to simmer and cool the rhubarb before processing.  But, you could prepare the rhubarb the night before so it’s ready to blend quickly for breakfast in the morning.  I used all frozen strawberries, the maple syrup option, and added a scoop of protein powder.

Nutty Rhubarb Oatmeal
Nutty Rhubarb Oatmeal

via Pastry Affair

Spring weather is unpredictable, so a cool smoothie is great on some mornings, but on other mornings a warm, comforting bowl of oatmeal is still welcome.  I used coconut sugar, available at my commissary, in place of the granulated and brown sugar.

no flour protein strawberry rhubarb crumble
No Flour Protein Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

via ifoodreal

Okay, so this is another strawberry/rhubarb combo, and it’s edging in on the stereotypical pie recipe that I wanted to steer clear of, but I was lured in by the No Flour + Protein title.  This recipe includes nuts and chia seeds for an extra crunch and protein boost.  Coconut oil replaces butter and I took it an extra step and replaced the sugar/stevia with coconut sugar.  I took a bite of this before the end of the 15-minute cooling period just to see if it was good, and promptly polished off the bowl before dinner.