The Best Alternative to Rhubarb: a Complete Guide
Rhubarb is one of our favorite springtime produce items, but its sharp, sour taste can be hard to get used to. If you’ve ever been put off by the idea of rhubarb, you’re not the only one. It can be difficult to find a replacement for the tart vegetable. Luckily, there are plenty of other options to try instead of rhubarb.
Rhubarb is a vegetable that is typically used in desserts and desserts. But, there are many other ways that you can make use of this nutritional powerhouse. You can find plenty of amazing recipes to try out on your next trip to your local farmers’ market or grocery store. Here’s everything you need to know about rhubarb to help you find the perfect replacement for this slightly bitter plant.
What is Rhubarb?
Rhubarb is a leafy vegetable that grows at the bottom of a very specific type of plant (the Rheum species). It is often found in cooler, moist areas, and it is most popular in the springtime.
Rhubarb is a good source of dietary fiber. It is also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and niacin.
The tart flavor of rhubarb is due to a compound called tartrate. The chemical composition of rhubarb can vary, but the general rule is that the less tartrate it has, the more nutritional it is.
Where does Rhubarb Grow?
Rhubarb grows wild in many parts of the world, but it is particularly bountiful in Europe and Asia. A rhubarb plant will produce stalks with deeply veined green leaves if it is cultivated.
In order for a plant to be called “rhubarb,” it must be grown in soils that contain a lot of potassium, magnesium, and nitrogen. These nutrients help to promote the growth of the plant and give it the tanginess that is usually associated with rhubarb.
If you want to grow rhubarb at home and have access to an area that can get cold in the winter, you can overwinter the plants outdoors and bring them back inside in the spring.
What does Rhubarb look like?
Rhubarb plants produce heart-shaped leaves with parallel veins. The leaves are often a bright, vibrant green and can grow up to 8 inches long.
Rhubarb stalks can grow up to 6 feet tall and have dark green, spirally arranged leaves. They will grow from the bottom half of the plant, so they are not always visible.
The rhubarb plant is considered an annual and will produce new growth the following year after being harvested.
Health Benefits of Rhubarb
There are many health benefits of rhubarb that include improved immune system function and improved cardiovascular health.
The tangy flavor of rhubarb can actually help to calm your stomach, so it can help to reduce the risk of acidity and ulcers. It can also protect your teeth and gums by inhibiting the development of cavity-causing bacteria.
There are a variety of other health benefits of rhubarb as well, including the ability to prevent certain types of cancers and promote healthy blood vessels.
Top Rhubarb Substitutes
With so many health benefits and the ability to enhance the flavor of many different types of dishes, you might be wondering what other vegetables could be used as a substitute for rhubarb.
Here are some popular choices:
Asparagus – The asparagus plant is very similar to the rhubarb plant, so it is able to provide a lot of the same health benefits as rhubarb. It is often used in place of rhubarb in dessert recipes.
Beetroot – The red color of the beetroot can help to brighten up your recipe when you’re trying to get out of a jam. It has a similar flavor to rhubarb and it can also boost your immunity thanks to its rich vitamin C content.
Parsnip – This root vegetable is often used as a substitution for rhubarb in European desserts. Its flavor is very similar to that of rhubarb and it is a good source of dietary fiber.
Using Rhubarb in Desserts
We recommend using rhubarb in desserts because it can easily be replaced with no loss in flavor. Here are a few great ideas for how to use rhubarb in desserts:
crumble – Rhubarb is great for adding a sweet and tart flavor to your crumble. Try adding it to a cookie or shortbread recipe.
pie – Rhubarb adds great flavor to your favorite pie. Try adding it to a strawberry or blueberry pie.
sauce – Rhubarb is often used to flavor custards and other desserts that are typically not as sweet as other types of desserts.
dessert – Rhubarb is often paired with other fruits in desserts. Try adding it to a baked good like a crumble or muffin.
jello – If you’ve been looking for an excuse to make your own jello, rhubarb is just the thing. There are plenty of recipes online that will help you to make the perfect batch.
If you’ve ever been put off by the idea of rhubarb, you’re not alone. The tart flavor can be difficult to get used to for some people. Luckily, there are plenty of other options to try instead of rhubarb.
You can grow your own rhubarb, or you can buy it fresh at the store. Whatever you do, don’t let tradition keep you from trying something new and different each year. You might just end up loving rhubarb as much as we do!
And don’t worry if you’re not a rhubarb fan. There are plenty of other vegetables to experiment with at your local farmers’ market or grocery store.