Plant science at the dinner table – Rhubarb

Rhubarb is 1 of the initial plants harvested in Michigan gardens and is an early spring treat. It is technically a vegetable, but in the United States, it is eaten as a fruit. Quite a few men and women get in touch with rhubarb the “pie plant.”

Rhubarb is 1 of the initial plants harvested in Michigan gardens and is an early spring treat. It is technically a vegetable, but in the United States it is eaten as a fruit. Quite a few men and women get in touch with rhubarb the “pie plant.” Scientifically, it is an herbaceous perennial with leaves developing off the top rated of a thick rhizome (underground horizontal stem that produces shoots). The leaf stalks (petioles or leaf stem) are the component of the rhubarb we consume. It is generally utilised in desserts or an ingredient in sweet dishes, but there are a lot of recipes for savory dishes as nicely.

Folklore credits Benjamin Franklin with bringing rhubarb to America in the late 1700s. Having said that, it wasn’t till the late 18th or early 19th century that Wonderful Britain and the United States began making use of it for culinary purposes. Prior to that, it had been cultivated in Asia for more than five,000 years and utilised for medicinal purposes.

Searching for far more enjoyable details about rhubarb? Michigan State University Extension gives the following:

  • Rhubarb by it is scientific name is Rhuem rhabararum. Nowadays most plants are hybridized and ought to be known as Rheum x hybridium.
  • Rhubarb is native to Asia, in the cold climates of China, Mongolia and Siberia.
  • Rhubarb leaves are toxic, they include higher levels of oxalic acid. While poisonous, it would take 9-18 pounds of leaves to be fatal to a 145-pound individual.
  • Only the lengthy thick leaf petioles (stalks) are edible.
  • Rhubarb belongs to the buckwheat loved ones Polygonaceae and is closely connected to garden sorrel.
  • Washington, Oregon and Michigan are the top rated U.S. producers of rhubarb.
  • Rhubarb is field grown and grown in hothouses. Total production in the U.S. is about 1,200 acres.
  • Rhubarb requirements cold temperatures under 40 degrees Fahrenheit to generate stalks, but only grows when temperatures typical significantly less than 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Rhubarb is packed with minerals and vitamins, higher in fiber and low in calories with only 15 calories per ½ cup.
  • There are more than 40 polyphenol compounds in rhubarb, which includes anthocyanins, the similar illness-fighting compound in blueberries.
  • Cooking rhubarb increases its polyphenol content material and all round antioxidant capacity.
  • Analysis suggests there are useful compounds in rhubarb that may well fight cancer, decrease cholesterol, cut down inflammation, decrease blood stress and defend eye and brain wellness.

This is a terrific recipe to attempt if you are a rhubarb fan. Even if you are not a rhubarb fan, you may well just develop into 1 right after consuming these brownies!

Dark Chocolate Rhubarb Brownies

Adapted from the Endless Meal

Chocolate rhubarb brownies are wealthy and decadent with the slightly tart flavor of rhubarb which cuts by way of the sweetness like magic.

Begin to finish: 30 minutes (prep time: ten minutes cook time: 20 minutes)

Servings: 9


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup all-goal flour (can sub gluten-absolutely free or almond flour)
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup finely diced rhubarb
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly butter the paper.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla.

In a massive bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and sea salt.

Stir the wet components into the dry components and mix them till they are just incorporated. Add the rhubarb, chocolate chips, and nuts, mix till they are combined. The batter will be pretty thick.

Pour the batter into the ready baking dish and spread it out so that it is even. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or just till a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Make certain not to overcook the brownies so they never dry out.

Get rid of the brownies from the oven and let them cool for at least ten minutes. Reduce them into 9 squares

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