How often do you buy ingredients on a whim, with no prior conception of how they might fit into your meals?
Case in point: when I saw rhubarb crop up at the farmers market, I thought, ‘Ooh, pretty. I want! I want!’ and promptly bought a handful.
I didn’t pause to consider the only way I’ve used rhubarb is in desserts, like sorbets and crumbles. And I haven’t been indulging in the sweets of late.
A few days later, I decided to make compote, a dish I grew up with (but always hated, so I technically never ate it). Compote, in my family at least, meant cooked and mashed fruit, though my husband has never heard of it. You?
This compote was delightfully tart and quite zippy. Instead of refined sugar, I added a bit of coconut sugar, a low glycemic sweetener that’s also rich in potassium, iron, zinc and magnesium, as well as a number of B vitamins. I recently tried it for the first time and it added a mild, caramel-y flavour to the rhubarb.
Once this cooked down, it made quite a small portion – I got maybe half a cup. And my rhubarb was small (maybe 10-12 inches long), so I’d definitely use way more of it next time!
What non-dessert ways do you use rhubarb?
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- 4 small stalks of rhubarb, chopped
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 3 tbsp water, or more as needed
- dash of cinnamon
- Toss the chopped rhubarb, coconut sugar, water and cinnamon in a small pan. Cook over low heat until the rhubarb has softened, about 20-30 minutes. Add more water to reach your desired consistency.
- Once it has cooled, puree into a food processor, or crush with a potato masher if you like a chunkier consistency.