I know it’s spring when I start to see rhubarb at the grocery store, and it’s here! Although rhubarb is commonly used in desserts like strawberry rhubarb pie, it’s actually a vegetable, and one of the lowest calorie ones at that – only 25 calories per cup. Rhubarb is also high in calcium (105 mg/cup), as well as potassium, and vitamins C, and K.
The color of rhubarb can vary from bright red to green, and even though most people think the red is sweeter, its color is not an indication of flavor. It’s most important to look for stalks that are crisp and blemish free. Because of its tartness, rhubarb partners well with sweet berries; otherwise, you do have to add a fair amount of sugar or sweetener to make it palatable.My grocery store had a great price on blueberries last week, so I bought a few packs along with the rhubarb and decided to make Bluebarb Jam. I’d seen a few recipes recently, but most called for way more sugar than I wanted to use – as much as 6 cups of sugar for 4-5 cups of fruit. Sugar, I found out, is important not only to sweeten the rhubarb, but also to help with the jelling process. Since I wanted less sugar, I added Pomona’s Universal Pectin, an all natural pectin, which is made to work with low sugar, or no added sugar jams. This jam was super quick and easy to make. Try it spooned into oatmeal or plain yogurt, on top of vanilla ice cream, or on whole grain bread with a slice of sharp cheddar.
Do you have any favorite rhubarb recipes?
- 2 cups blueberries, any stems removed, washed
- 1¼ lb rhubarb, trimmed, washed and cut into ½" pieces
- 1 Tbs crystallized ginger, chopped fine
- 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups sugar
- Pomona's Universal Pectin - prepare calcium water according to instructions
- Place fruit, lemon juice, ginger and 2 tsp calcium water (see package instructions) in a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, mix sugar with 2 tsp pectin powder in a small bowl.
- While fruit is boiling, stir in sugar-pectin mixture.
- Stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes to dissolve sugar.
- Return to a boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat.
- Spoon jam into sterilized jars. Mixture will jell when completely cool.
- Store in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.