Rhubarb is an important vegetable that is widely used today to create a wide array of desserts. It can also be used to create healthy baby food recipes that your child will surely love. Rhubarb is known to contain vitamins and nutrients that can help improve digestion, and support bone formation, making it ideal for the child’s nutrition.
Rhubarb contains vitamins A, C, E and K, this is why it can also be used to help protect the brain and support its development. It also contains Folate, Choline, and Niacin; these three nutrients are actually found in many infant formula simply because babies and kids needs them for growth on a daily basis.
Rhubarb is known as the harbinger of spring, this is why many people who have tried it will say that rhubarb taste like a tart, or a tangy celery. When prepared properly, this amazing plant will not just provide nourishment for your children, it can also bring so much joy to their palates.
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A Word of Caution
The delicious taste as well as the nutrients that rhubarb can provide you or your child needs to be carefully extracted if you are planning to use fresh ones. You need to remember that the leaves and the roots of the rhubarb contains oxalic acid in amounts that are toxic to humans.
This is why when preparing rhubarb, make sure that you get only the stalks, as this is the only edible part of the plant. If you do want to grow your own rhubarb for consumption, you need to have a greenhouse so you can grow it safely all year round. This will also allow you to grow “hothouse rhubarb”
Rhubarb that has been grown this way are actually sweeter, and they can have a deeper color and flavor. On the other hand, rhubarb that has been grown outside can have high concentrations of oxalic acid even inside its stalks if it has been damaged or exposed to the cold.
3 Healthy Rhubarb Recipes that you can make for your Children
Rhubarb is popularly known as the pie plant, and with that said, you should know that most recipes will use its stalks in order to create dishes which are mostly for desserts. Here are some of the best ways for you to try rhubarb.
1 Rhubarb Jelly
Making this jelly is the fastest and easiest way for you to enjoy rhubarb without the hassle. It is also one of the best ways you can store rhubarb especially if you want to preserve them for use during the winter. This recipe can also be used for scones, jelly rolls, or for simple toast.
What you need:
- 12 cups of rhubarb stalks, chopped
- 6 cups of sugar
- 2 cups of water
- 1 pack of powdered pectin
Optional: You can also add plums or strawberries to make a jelly combo!
In a deep pot, add the rhubarb and the water. You can also add other fruits if you wish to. Use high heat to boil the rhubarb. Boil it for 10 minutes or wait until it softens, you can also mash it inside the pot to make sure that the fruit has fully disintegrated. You can mash the stalks while simmering for five minutes. Use a sieve colander, a cheesecloth, or a jelly bag and drip overnight.
Avoid squeezing the bag. After all the juices has been extracted, you should then have at least 4 cups of it. If not, you can use more water. Add the water and the pectin into a clean, deep pot, and let it boil using high heat. Stir the mixture constantly while adding the sugar little by little.
After everything has dissolved and come together completely, you can turn off the heat and remove any foam. Place the mixture in sterilized jars for canning, or in a glass container and allow to cool before consuming it or using it for other recipes. Unsealed jars can stay in good condition if refrigerated, for three weeks. Preserved rhubarb jelly can last for 1 year if canned and stored properly.
2 The Rhubarb Refrigerator Pie
Image source: @lynndombrowski
A lot of people love strawberry and rhubarb pie. If you do not have a restaurant that can make this classic perfectly, then I recommend that you try to make a simple version of it at home. You can also make this pie with your kids. You will need 4-5 hours to make this recipe.
Here’s what you need:
- 1 cup rhubarb jam or jelly
- 1 tablespoon of gelatin
- A quarter cup of water
- 1/3 cup of butter
- 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- A quarter cup of lemon juice
- 1 ½ cup of crushed graham cracker
- A small pinch of salt
Optional: 1 kilogram of Fresh, cut strawberries or rhubarb stalks
Make the crust first by combining the crushed graham crackers, salt, sugar, and melted butter. Make sure that the crumbs and the butter are properly incorporated, and use your hands to pack the mixture into a pie plate. You should make sure that the sides and the bottom has an even layer of crust. This step will take about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the crust for 10 minutes until it gets crisp, and let it cool down in a rack. In a pot, combine the jam and the water and boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool down for around 20 minutes.
In a bowl, combine the lemon juice and the gelatin. Add the jam and the rhubarb stalks or strawberries. Let the mixture cool inside the ref, mixing it once every hour. Freeze it for 2 or 3 hours, until the gelatin has properly set. Spoon it over the baked pie crust after and serve the pie with whipped cream.
3 Rhubarb Sorbet
This is another treat that will surely make your child smile. It is ideal for hot days when you and your kids will need something sweet and refreshing just to beat the heat. You will need as much as 6 hours to make this recipe.
Here’s what you need:
- 750 grams of rhubarb stalks cleaned and chopped
- 200 grams of castor sugar
- 1 lime
- Peanut, almond, or pistachio brittle
Combine the rhubarb with the sugar and add 100 ml of water. Bring this to a boil for 10 minutes and cover the pot with a lid. As soon as it boils, remove the lid and let the mixture simmer for a five minutes. As soon as the rhubarb is cooked, you should let it cool down. Puree this mixture for 10 minutes and squeeze the lime to create a subtle taste.
As soon as the mixture has cooled down, put it into an ice cream maker. If you do not have one, pour it into a tub and put it into the freezer, let reach the right consistency and serve it with a peanut brittle. Let the ice cream make process the mixture for 4 hours.
If using the freezer, freeze it for 4 hours while stirring the mixture every one hour to prevent ice crystals to form. As soon as the sorbet has been properly made, you can carefully scoop it and put a piece of brittle on top. This recipe can make an exotic, tangy rhubarb sorbet that your kids will surely love.
Rhubarb can be made into tangy and sweet desserts that your kids can easily love. The nutrients that it can provide can also help your baby’s body to grow and develop properly. To make these dishes, you will need to have fresh rhubarb and you should also know how to carefully prepare the stalks. You can also decrease the amount of sugar used in each dish to lessen the calories.
To make these recipes into baby food, you can serve the jelly together with other mashed vegetables to add sweetness to your baby’s meal. You can also use the sorbet as a light snack especially during hot afternoons, you should however, consider excluding the brittle if your baby is less than a year old. As for the refrigerator pie, you can mash it properly, or opt to give your baby just the filling.
I am Jim Stevens, an Author of ToysAdvisors. I have two kids, a naughty boy and a very cute baby girl. I always want to make them happy, and I love to share my experience about parenting.