We have a wonderful supply of rhubarb in the vegetable garden at the moment. Not too much to be overwhelmed, just enough to make crumble every couple of weeks and a smoothie here and there. It took me a couple of growing seasons before I was growing just the right amount for our family but I feel like I have it right now. I have two plants producing, which is plenty for our needs.
Rhubarb is a valuable addition to a family vegetable garden. It can take up a significant amount of space if not forced into a frame of some sort to contain it (see image below) I use chicken wire that has been secured into a round. This round shape pushes the leaves and stems of the plant up and keeps them contained. Without this the plants can seem overwhelming as the leaves can grow to a very large size. They may impinge on the growth of vegetables close by if they are not contained as the large leaves cover and shade smaller plants. It also makes them more prone to pest attack when they are sprawled on the ground.
The great thing about rhubarb is that it freezes well after being cooked. This allows it to be stored for use after the season has finished. When frozen rhubarb can be added to desserts and baking as required. Similarly, I used some of the blueberries that I had frozen from Summer excess. I freeze as many as I can fit into the freezer after we pick them at a local farm for use across Winter because the kids seem to quickly tire of Winter’s seasonal fruit.
I have not been too adventurous with rhubarb in the kitchen to date, I tend to stick to the same recipes. I find it a little tricky to get the right flavor balance with the sweet and sour characteristics of rhubarb. This recipe is the perfect balance. It has taken some trial and error but the kids have declared this recipe “the best ever”.
This is my family friendly, nut free, Rhubarb and Blueberry Crumble. This recipe is nut free so that the kids could enjoy some of the left overs in their school and kinder lunch boxes.
- 8 stalks rhubarb - chopped
- 1 tablespoon cocao powder
- 1 tablespoon organic raw sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- juice of 1 lemon
- 50 grams butter
- 1 cup nut free muesli
- 2 tablespoons dried coconut flakes
- 1 and ½ cups blueberries
- Set the oven to heat to 160 degrees celcius
- Add the ingredients for the filling to a pan (EXCEPT the blueberries) and simmer gently for approximately 5 minutes until the rhubarb softens
- Add the ingredients for the crumble together in a bowl and mix with your fingers to a crumb - or add to a food processor and pulse
- When the filling ingredients are cooked add them to a pie dish and then add the blueberries
- Scatter the crumble on top and place in the oven to cook for 20 minutes
- The top should be golden in color and the edges bubbling
- Serve with plain yogurt, ice cream or cream
- Enjoy the left overs the next day warmed or cold
Are you growing rhubarb in your vegetable garden? What is your favorite way to enjoy it?
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