Rhubarb is one of the first spring vegetables to come in and one that gets me excited for the new season! This year I was able to source organic rhubarb and I grabbed it. Along with organic strawberries I thought I would make this easy strawberry rhubarb jam!
Rhubarb is actually a vegetable – a close cousin of garden sorrel – even though it is mainly used as a fruit. Its sour taste lends itself well to combine with sweet fruits. It originated in Asia over 2,000 years ago and was cultivated for its medicinal purposes.
Rhubarb root has been used for its balancing effect upon the digestive system. Rhubarb is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese medicine. Rhubarb roots are harvested in the fall from plants that are at least six years old. The roots are then dried and used as an antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitumor, demulcent, diuretic, laxative, purgative, stomachic and tonic. (source)
Rhubarb is also rich in vitamin C, calcium, vitamin K and dietary fiber. When it is unsweetened it is very low in sugar.
You’ll probably never see the leaves of the rhubarb plant in the market, as they are extremely high in oxalic acid and can be toxic to humans. Avoid any use of the leaves.
The stalks are typically made into jams and pie filling.
Be sure to use only organic strawberries as the EWG has just placed them as #1 on the dirty dozen list! Strawberries are high in vitamins A, C and folate and the mineral potassium. There is also a very nice omega 3 to 6 ratio in strawberries.
Dutch oven (where to buy)
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