Rhubarb is one of the first to make an appearance in my garden, just after the asparagus in May and I always greet it with renewed enthusiasm after a quiet winter of little homegrown produce. It is incredibly easy to grow if you have a small patch. I use a rhubarb forcer on some of the plants to get the magnificent bright pink and slightly sweeter stems and this is what you will often see early in the season in supermarkets. It is actually a vegetable, not a fruit and just in case you are new to growing it, be sure to avoid eating the leaves. It contains several B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, as well as iron, potassium, manganese and calcium.
The trouble with rhubarb is, of course, owing to its tartness, it requires a lot of sweetening and traditional recipes use lots of sugar. But, after many experiments I can confidently say that lots of sugar isn’t necessary and this recipe works really well. Serve with a yoghurt of choice and you have a really light, delicious and wonderfully pretty pudding.
Rhubarb & Orange Fool
What do I Need...
6 rhubarb sticks
4 large oranges, juiced
2cm cube fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp sweetener of choice, I used coconut sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or use a vanilla pod (optional)
yoghurt (I use coconut here)
optional: torn mint leaves
What do I do...
Heat oven to 170 c.
Top and tail the rhubarb and cut into 3cm chunks. Put into a roasting dish (ideally as one layer) and pour over the fresh orange juice and add the grated ginger. Stir in the sweetener and vanilla powder or pod if using. Cover with foil so that the rhubarb steams in the orange juice (otherwise the tops might be a bit dry).
Roast in the oven for 20 minutes – you want the rhubarb to keep it’s shape
Allow to cool, top with coconut yogurt and a few torn mint leaves
Note: In this picture I used forced rhubarb which keeps its bright pink colour so if you are using regular rhubarb don’t be disappointed if you don’t get the same colour.
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