I promised a huge post about rhubarb and here it comes. It’s one of my favourite things to eat. When I was little my grandma grew rhubarb in her garden. Our tradition as kids was to take a single stalk, lick it, put it in sugar and eat and repeat until our tummies hurt. I love it stewed, under a crunchy crumble, in a sponge cake, as a jam with ginger, paired with strawberries mmmm we can go on and on.
First dear gardeners if you don’t have rhubarb in your garden- buy some now. It a lovely plant to grow, so easy and fuss free. It grows in the same place for more than 10 years and needs some good treatment when put in soil. It loves rich, well drained soil and it doesn’t like to be dry. So prepare a nice place for it(sunny or semi shade is fine), put some well rotted manure and compost in, water it well and put the crown in. Definitely buy a plant, don’t grow from seeds. Rhubarb plants should be divided every few years to grow better, so ask someone who has one or buy one at a nursery.
Rhubarb is rather tolerant of soil acidity but does best in slightly to moderately acid soil. The crop can tolerate soil pH as low as 5.0. First year leave it alone, don’t collect any stalks. Just water it, cut down any flowering buds(they make the plant weak) and when the leaves die put a new layer of compost on top. Next year you can start collecting stalks and do the same as above.
Please remember that rhubarb leaves are toxic, always cut them of and compost them.
When your plant is established and you can’t wait to have some crumble or Eton mess you can force your rhubarb. Don’t do it more often than every three years since it is exhausting to the plant. It’s really easy to do. In late winter(January) I cover the rhubarb with a pot that excludes light completely. First I tidy it’s surroundings from any debris that might have accumulated over winter. And that’s it, leave it there till March. When the stalks are 30cm long I cut them off and have a crumble.
Are you ready for some crumble?
RECIPE – RHUBARB- APPLE CRUMBLE2 apples
8 stalks rhubarb
5 tablespoons brown sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 teaspoon cinammon
3 tablespoons coconut oil(room temperature)
half cup almond flakes
half cup oats
half cup white flour
Preheat the over to 180C/356F.
In a food processor mix together almonds, oats, flour, coconut oil until they look like wet sand. if they don't add a little water. Core,skin and cut the apples into 3 cm bites, cut rhubarb into 2-3 cm bits. Put them in a pan with sugar, scraped vanilla pod and cinnamon. Add a little water. Cook for 10 minutes. Put the crumble mixture on top and bake for 35-40 minutes until crumble is golden. Tastes really good with vanilla ice cream on top. Diet wise we skipped it this time, since I find crumble(without ice cream) a nice diet dessert full of good things.