Rhubarb

Spring is here. In many gardens, rhubarb patches are flourishing. This amazing food is perfect for this season. 

It features the sour flavor, which, according to Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, renews our digestive systems after eating the heavier foods of winter.

Indigenous to Siberia, its leaves are so high in oxalic acid that they are somewhat toxic. Only eat the fresh stems before they become woody and stringy.

Try it!

Rhubarb is high in fiber and thus soothes stomach ailments and relieves constipation when eaten. Used topically, it makes an effective poultice to reduce swelling.

One serving provides about half of the daily value in vitamin K, which supports healthy bones and strong memory. Rhubarb contains vitamin C for healthy skin and resistance to infection. It is also high in iron, potassium, and calcium.

Rhubarb Coconut Milk Custard

For the tart:

  • 3 tablespoons water

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower or olive oil

  • a pinch of salt

  • 1 cup spelt (wheat-free) OR millet flour (gluten-free)

  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, spooned out in small chunks

For the custard:

  • 2 cups coconut milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 3 teaspoons arrow root powder

  • ½ pound rhubarb, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch thick pieces

  • juice of 1 lemon

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together all the tart ingredients in a large bowl. Add the coconut oil last and toss it with the flour mixture so that each chunk is coated with flour. Mix gently with your hands until a thick dough forms. Flatten dough into baking dish and set aside.

Then, using the same bowl, mix all the custard ingredients together. Whisk well to incorporate. Add the rhubarb and pour mixture into crust.

Bake for 40 minutes or until custard doesn’t jiggle when you give it a shake. Cool, slice and enjoy topped with fresh strawberries if you like!


Raspberry Rhubarb Tapioca Pudding

You will need:

  • 1 cup pearl tapioca (not instant)

  • 2 cups milk (cow or almond)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup chopped rhubarb

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup honey

In a large saucepan, combine the milk, tapioca, vanilla, and rhubarb. Cook for 30 minutes on medium heat or until the tapioca looks translucent.

Add raspberries, lemon juice and honey. Stir well and cook on low heat for 3 to 4 more minutes.

Serve in wine glasses or decorative bowls. Top with slivered almonds if you like.


Rhubarb Compote

You will need:

  • Juice of 1 orange

  • Zest of 1/2 orange

  • 1 cup maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon each: cinnamon and cardamom

  • a pinch of salt

  • 1 pound rhubarb, cut into half-inch pieces

  • 1/4 pound strawberries, topped and chopped

To prepare:

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the rhubarb forms a thick paste, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Store in jars in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.


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Rhubarb Ginger Muffins

You will need:

  • ½ cup rhubarb compote (use recipe above)

  • ¼ cup maple syrup

  • ¼ cup coconut oil

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • ½ teaspoon each: cinnamon, nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • a pinch of salt

  • 1 ½ cups spelt (wheat-free) or brown rice (gluten-free) flour

  • 1/2 cup milk (cow or almond)

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin with oil or line with baking cups.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together coconut oil and maple syrup. Add the egg and whisk well. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually add the rest of the ingredients in the order listed.

Fill muffin cups two thirds full of batter. Using a spoon, make a slight depression in the center of the batter. Place a tablespoon of the rhubarb jam into the center (the jam will fill the cupcakes as they bake).

Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean.

Favorite Breakfasts with 3 Ingredients Each

Each one of these breakfasts provides protein, fiber and flavor for balanced energy that jump starts metabolism and provides satisfaction.

I love sweet potatoes. They are a staple in my diet because they support the reproductive system, satisfy the sweet flavor, and feed beneficial gut bacteria. They are also rich in anthocyanins to recude inflammation and plenty of dietary fiber to stabilize blood sugar.

Grocery store labeling can cause much confusion. What is the difference between a sweet potato and a yam? 'Yam' comes from the Fulani (West African language) word 'nyami', which means 'to eat'. Native to Africa and Asia, these root vegetables belong to the Dioscoreaceae family

.Sweet potatoes, instead, are members of the Convolvulaceae, or morning glory plant family. They are more commonly grown in the United States. Breakfast can be easy and delicious. Watch the video and try these recipes and see for yourself! 

Prepare these dishes ahead and have them ready for the week to come.

Kasha Sweet Potato Pie

You will need:

  • Kasha (toasted buckwheat groats)

  • Olive oil

  • Roasted sweet potatoes

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cube and roast sweet potatoes with olive oil (4 tablespoons) and salt (1 teaspoon) on a cookie sheet for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, place kasha and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, add 1 teaspoon salt, and stir occasionally.

Once sweet potatoes are roasted, remove them from the oven and lower the temperature to 375 degrees.

Oil a pie plate with olive oil. Once the kasha is cooked, spread it into the pie plate. Top with roasted sweet potatoes and bake for 15 minutes.

Enjoy with a spoonful of your favorite nut butter. I like tahini.

Sunflower Sweet Potato Flatbread

You will need:

  • Cornmeal

  • Sunflower Seeds

  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Oil a loaf pan with olive oil.

Bring 3/4 cup sunflower seeds in a spice / espresso bean grinder until they reach a flour-like consistency. 

Combine with 1 cup cornmeal and a pinch of salt. 

Add 1 cup roasted sweet potatoes (see preparation directions above) and enough water to make a thick, chunky batter - about 1/2 cup.

If you would like a smooth consistency, blend in a blender or with an immersion blender.

Spread into loaf pan and bake for 15 minutes.

I like to slice it, toast or fry it, and serve it with parsley pistou

.

Coconut Sweet Potato Cakes

You will need:

  • Coconut flour

  • Shredded coconut

  • Roasted sweet potatoes

To prepare:

In a bowl, mix equal parts coconut flour and shredded coconut. 

I also like to add a teaspoon of cinnamon. 

Mix in 1 cup roasted sweet potatoes (see preparation directions above) and smash them with a fork.

Add enough water to make a thick, dough - about 1/2 cup.

If you would like a smooth consistency, blend in a blender or with an immersion blender.

Oil a cookie sheet or baking dish with olive oil. Shape dough into patties and place on the baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!

I like mine toasted and drizzled with honey or maple syrup and a spoonful of almond butter.

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Breakfast Power!

Instant Oatmeal


In a mason jar, mix:

½ cup quick rolled oats
½ teaspoon cinnamon pinch salt

1 handful sunflower seeds
1 handful raisins

When you get where you are going, boil about 1 cup of water. Pour boiling water into mason jar, stir and enjoy!

**You can bring yogurt (choose a whole milk brand without added sugar) to include with this breakfast.

Keeps in your cupboard for 2 weeks.

Tahini Honey Sandwich


Choose whole grain, sourdough bread.

Place two thin slices in the toaster.
When they pop up, spread with:

1 spoonful tahini (roasted sesame seed butter)

1 spoonful local, raw honey

Place two halves together in a plastic bag and enjoy once you get where you are going.

**If you like, you can eat an apple with your sandwich. Keeps in fridge for 2 days.


Quinoa Date Porridge

**Before bed, place in a mixing bowl:


1 cup quinoa
1 handful chopped, pitted dates
2 cups hot water

Allow to soak overnight.

**In the morning, drain off any excess water. Pour into a cooking pot with 1 cup water.

Bring to a boil; then reduce to simmer.

To the cooking quinoa, add:
½ teaspoon each: cinnamon and ginger
pinch salt

Simmer with the lid slightly askew until all the water is consumed (about 15 minutes) and you see air holes on the surface of the grain. You can add a spoonful of coconut oil if you like.

Keeps in fridge for 3 days.


Sweet Potato Pie


While you are cooking dinner, chop 2 large sweet potatoes.
Place them in a pot with enough water to cover them.

Bring to a boil, reduce to medium heat, and cook until tender.

Meanwhile, place 1 cup dry kasha (buckwheat groats) and 1 ½ cups water in a stock pot.
Add a pinch salt and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until kasha begins to thicken.
Stir vigorously for a couple of minutes until grain reaches porridge-like consistency.

Oil a glass pie plate and pour this ‘crust’ into it.

When sweet potatoes are tender, drain water and place in blender with:
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon each: cloves, ginger
pinch salt
2 heaping spoonfuls each: nut butter and coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blend until creamy. Using a spatula, scoop out this filling and smooth over cooked kasha crust.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and bake pie for 20 minutes. Yum!

Keeps in fridge for 3 days.


Blueberry Banana Walnut Drink


Place these ingredients in a blender:
½ teaspoon each: nutmeg, ginger
pinch salt
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 handful blueberries
1 banana
1 handful walnuts
2 spoonfuls coconut milk or whole milk yogurt (choose a brand with no added sugar)

Blend well and enjoy!

Keeps in fridge for 3 days.

Try to eat a piece of whole grain, sourdough toast with nut butter within an hour of drinking your smoothie. The carbohydrates in toast will help your cells to break down and metabolize the fat in the smoothie.


Avocado Date Almond Smoothie


Place these ingredients in a blender:
½ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 handful chopped, pitted dates
1 avocado
1 handful almonds
2 spoonfuls coconut milk or whole milk yogurt (choose a brand with no added sugar)

Blend well and enjoy!

Keeps in fridge for 3 days.

Try to eat a piece of whole grain, sourdough toast and nut butter within an hour of drinking your smoothie. The carbohydrates in toast will help your cells to break down and metabolize the fat in the smoothie.



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