If there is one thing that comes to mind when I think early Summer, it is EVERYTHING rhubarb. From desserts like crisps, to morning treats like rhubarb rolls or the more savory side with bbq sauces and cooking along side pork, there really isn’t a bad recipe out there involving rhubarb.
DID YOU KNOW:TRADITIONALLY USED AS A FRUIT FOR DESSERTS, JAMS OR PRESERVES, RHUBARB IS ACTUALLY A PERENNIAL VEGETABLE!
Rhubarb thrives in cooler environments, which is why it does so well here in our Canadian climate. It also is a pretty easy plant to grow. It likes lots of water , needing sufficient moisture during those early summer months to grow. We cover our rhubarb each fall with chicken manure to allow lots of nutrients through the manure over winter. It is suggested that you dig up and split your plants every three to four years.
With this leafy plant, only the stalks are eaten as the leaves are actually poisonous when ingested. Rhubarb has a rich, tart flavour and a vibrant redish green colour to the stalk.
FUN FACT:Rhubarb leaves contain a property called oxalic acid that is extracted and used in a powder form for treating honeybees. Using a vapourizer at the hive entrance, the oxalic acid is turned into smoke and enters the hive. We use this treatment method each fall for our honey bees to make sure they are rid of varroa mites.
But are you ready for the only recipe you’re going to want involving rhubarb?
Rhubarb Simple Syrup
- Chop up about 3 to 5 cups of fresh rhubarb (depending on the size of batch you want to make)
- Add to a sauce pan with 1 cup of white sugar and 1/4 cup water
- Bring to a boil
- Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes
- Let cool. Strain out rhubarb mash and store syrup in fridge for up to a week or freeze for later.
NOTE: Keep the strained rhubarb to use as a sauce, for baking into crisps or, if you’re like me and have three little spoiled pigs living outside, a tasty treat for your animals!
I use this stuff for literally EVERYTHING in the summer. Looking for a sauce for pancakes? Wanting to spice up your typical summer cocktails? Looking for a glaze for your next BBQ meat? Drizzle over icecream on a hot day for a sweet treat. Add it into your breakfast yogurt for a little sweetness. The possibilities are endless!