Rhubarb-palooza: Rhubarb Simple Syrup

rhubarb

It’s here! It’s in season! It’s abundant! So many recipes to make!

What is it?

It’s rhubarb! Familiar or not familiar? That is the question.

I’ll be completely honest…until now, I have had zero percent experience with this red and green tangy stalk of a plant. Even though it’s abundant where I live, rhubarb was never prevailant as a child or as an adult. You can imagine my excitement when a neighbor friend asked if she could bring some over; she had an over-abundant crop this year and thought I would enjoy it. Isn’t that nice? Six pounds of local rhubarb…grown only blocks away…in MY kitchen…

Um…*eye shift*…now what? What do I do with this stuff? Google. Google. Google…ahhh!

A little bit about rhubarb:

  • Perennials that are harvested in mid to late Spring
  • Usually considered a vegetable, but since it’s used as a fruit (typically cooked with other fruits with sugar) the US coined it as a fruit to avoid higher vegetable import tarriffs
  • Watch out! Rhubarb does contain cathartic and laxative qualities
  • Colors of rhubarb can vary from crimson red to speckled pink to light green
  • The leaves of the rhubarb plant are toxic, so only use the stalks
  • Rhubarb has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years
  • Claims of health beneifts include: anti-cancer properties, aiding indigestion, lowering blood pressure, diminishing hot flashes, lowering cholesterol, and reports of anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergy properties

rhubarbcollage

To get myself aquainted with the newly accquired rhubarb, I decided to start with something easy: Rhubarb Simple Syrup. How is this used, you ask?

  • Cocktails! (duh) Use in sweet/sour drinks, mojitos, margaritas or bellini’s (1 part syrup to 4 parts sparkling alcoholic beverage)
  • Refreshing drinks! Use 1 to 3 with club soda or lime LaCroix. Also, add to lemonade or iced tea for a unique summer drink
  • Syrup can be used to drizzle over fruit salad, cake, ice cream…anything that needs a little rhubarb kick in the mouth

Yay! I did it! I made something with rhubarb. What about you? Do you normally work with rhubarb?

Up next…Ginger Vanilla Rhubarb Jam.

4 Responses to Rhubarb-palooza: Rhubarb Simple Syrup
  1. DB-The Foodie Stuntman
    June 3, 2013 | 12:23 PM

    Thank you for noting rhubarb’s cathartic and laxative properties. I didn’t know.I’ve only seen it paired with strawberries but according to The Flavor Bible, it’s most often used in sweet dishes.

    • Toni
      June 3, 2013 | 1:41 PM

      Yes! Actually, I was over ambicious and began by looking for savory rhubarb recipes (which I read goes well with duck!) I soon realized that I needed to get my feet wet with some of the rhubarb basics first.

      I suppose rhubarb would be a natural laxative if one was in need of such a remedy. 😀 I experienced no ill effects with these such amounts. I wonder how much is too much? I’ll refrain from experimenting. lol.

  2. Camilla @ Culinary Adventures
    June 3, 2013 | 6:08 PM

    Rhubarb is a family favorite! So much so that I decided to host a round-up of rhubarb recipes. Join the fun, if you’d like! http://culinary-adventures-with-cam.blogspot.com/2013/05/rhubarb-romance-call-for-recipes.html

    There are plenty of sweet offerings so far; I’m working on a few savories.

    Nice work with the simple syrup!

    • Toni
      June 4, 2013 | 6:56 AM

      Thank you so much for the link up…looks like lots of great rhubarb recipes listed there! Looking forward to seeing something savory :)

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