Possessing a unique and amazing flavor that’s coupled with impressive health benefits, we should all take some time this summer for a rhubarb rendezvous.
Whenever I think of rhubarb I recall an adventure I had with my sister, Nancy – my cohort (and leader) in childhood escapades.
Our “rhubarb rendezvous” came a year after my mother had planted some in the yard – and issued the instruction, “Stay away from it!” Needless to say, there came a summer day when we found ourselves staring at its ruby-red stalks, wondering how it tasted so, Nancy dared me to taste it. I, being younger and trusting, did.
Starting Off On The Wrong Foot
“Yuck!” I immediately shrilled, spitting it off my tongue. “This is awful! Who would eat this?”
Surprised by my reaction, Nancy paused for a moment then said, “Well, maybe that piece wasn’t ripe enough. Here, try another.” Trusting her, I took another bite and sure enough, “Yuck!” I shrieked, spitting it out as far as I could. “It’s just as awful!” I whined. You try it,” I said, pushing both stalks into her hands.
Ever so cautiously, Nancy took the smallest bite humanly possible from the reddest of the two stalks and, in less than a split second, spit it right back out, shouting, “Ugh! This is nasty!” With both of us busily engaged in spitting the bitter taste from our mouths, we failed notice our mother approaching. “What are you two girls doing?” she shouted. “I told you to leave that rhubarb alone!” Looking downward in guilt, we both said, “Sorry, Mom. We promise to never touch it again,” and we really meant it, too!
Giving Rhubarb A Second Chance
With such a negative introduction, it might be a surprise that rhubarb ever crossed my lips again but, it did – much later in life – once I discovered that it possesses so many health benefits! Offering antioxidants like lycopene and anthocyanins, which help fight off disease, rhubarb also offers fiber, which benefits digestive health, helps lower cholesterol and boosts heart health.
Rhubarb also offers a good source of vitamin K, which helps our blood clot, protects our bones and helps fight off liver and prostate cancers. It’s also a good source of the anti-aging vitamin – C, as well as calcium, potassium and mighty magnesium, which is needed for a whopping 300 different enzyme systems that help keep our bodies running regularly.
What I found most interesting is that yes, rhubarb can also be quite flavorful, too!
Here now are some richly rewarding ways to have your own rhubarb rendezvous: