Springtime Rhubarb Bread

May 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word rhubarb? Probably strawberry rhubarb pie, or rhubarb cobbler or rhubarb jam.

I think Spring, it’s finally here!

As soon as winter has loosened it’s grip I start checking for it. And then I can’t wait until the red stalks are big enough so I can pick some and start cooking all kinds of delicious things with it. Rhubarb needs sweetening, quite a lot, as it’s really too tart on it’s own. I like to use maple syrup, it works well in muffins, cakes, pies, and it’s particularly good with rhubarb.

Rhubarb is another one of those foods you either love or hate. I don’t know why one would hate it, maybe it’s the tart flavor? But if you love it there are so many things you can do with it. I make a delicious rhubarb chutney that’s great with meats and on sandwiches. And rhubarb clafouti is a an easy dessert you can whip up at a moment’s notice. (will post these recipes soon) My friend Priscilla said her grandmother stewed some every spring and called it her ‘spring tonic’. Rhubarb does have a lot of vitamins and minerals, calcium among them.

I got my rhubarb from a friend a long time ago, and it’s getting to be that time where I should divide it. It’s easy to do and good for the plant. Just take a shovel and cut into the crown, go deep, then replant the new piece. Rhubarb’s pretty tough, and can be almost impossible to remove completely. If you do grow your own, a reminder: it’s leaves are poisonous. (Could that be the reason rhubarb haters? ) They’re good in the compost pile though, I cut mine right in the garden and throw them in. And don’t cut the stalks with a knife, just grab a hold towards the bottom and give it a firm yank, it’ll break at the right spot.

You can keep rhubarb in the fridge for a few days before it starts to break down and get mushy. It freezes well, just cut the stalks into chunks, about 1 inch or so in length, put on cookie sheet, pop into freezer and when solid, seal in freezer bags.

The first rhubarb thing I made with my new batch this year was this delicious rhubarb bread. It’s very moist and great toasted with butter, in the morning with coffee or a snack anytime. After a day or so, keep it in the fridge, if it lasts that long.

Ingredients:

1 egg

1/2 cup maple syrup or 1 cup sugar

6 Tbl butter, melted ( I used 3 butter and 3 coconut oil)

1/2 cup yogurt, or you can use sour cream

2 Tbls  fresh orange juice

zest of one orange (organic preferably)

2 1/2 cups flour (white spelt is what I always use)

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups diced rhubarb

What you do:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Melt the butter and coconut oil, if using. While it’s melting, whisk the maple syrup (or sugar) and egg together until nicely blended. Then add the melted butter/oil, then the yogurt/sour cream, orange juice and zest.

Mix the flour, baking soda, salt together in a separate bowl and add this to the liquid ingredients.

Stir in the rhubarb. The batter will be thick, this is ok as the rhubarb will release some juice into it as it cooks.

Put batter into a greased and floured 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Bake about 50 to 65 minutes, check after 50. Test with toothpick or knife to make sure it’s done.

Cool this before you cut into it or it will crumble away.

You could add some nuts to this, chopped hazelnuts are really good. Just sprinkle some on top before you put it in the oven. You could also add some cinnamon, nutmeg, even a little grated ginger to the batter. Rhubarb goes well with all these.

 

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