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Rhubarb

Background: 

Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable, originating from the buckwheat family. Many cultivars and hybrids of the plant exist, each with slightly varying physical properties. The colour of rhubarb can range from dark red to green. Most deep red varieties of the vegetable can be grown in Canada and contain a high concentration of anthocyanins.  Rhubarb is often used as a novel textural agent in imitation meat due to its fibrous nature! For a refreshing and colourful touch, incorporate this highly versatile ingredient into a variety of savory dishes, such as: deserts, jams, soups and beverages.  

Benefits of rhubarb: 

  • Rhubarb can increase satiety because it is a good source of fiber and has a lower glycemic load, allowing you to feel fuller for a longer period of time.  
  • Anthocyanins are the antioxidants which give rhubarb its reddish pink hue. Anthocyanins are also present in beets, blueberries and raspberries. They provide protection against bacterial infections and various chronic diseases. 
  • An excellent source of vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for bone development and blood clotting. 
  • A good source of vitamin C. This water-soluble vitamin strengthens the immune system and can also act as a valuable antioxidant. 

Nutritional value of ½ cup Raw Rhubarb (1 stalk): 

  • 11 calories 
  • 2 g carbohydrate 
  • 1 g fiber 
  • 0.5 g protein 
  • 0 g fat 
  • ~12% recommended intake of vitamin K 
  • ~5% daily recommended intake of vitamin C 

Did You Know? 

Although rhubarb provides a variety of health benefits, the leaves of the plant contain a significant amount of oxalates. High concentrations of oxalates should be avoided as over-accumulation of this compound may lead to kidney stone formation. 

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