Tangy, colourful, and tasty, Rhubarb is slowly warming its way into my culinary world. Sometimes called the “pie plant” because it is so versatile and often accompanies strawberries in a deep dish, I bet you’d be surprised that it’s actually a vegetable! It contains a good dose of potassium, vitamin C, Vitamin A, dietary fibre, and calcium, but this kind of calcium isn’t generally well or easily absorbed by our bodies.
Rhubarb also has a long history of herbal usage. Its root, commonly used in Chinese medicine as a herbal medicine, has a positive and balancing effect on the digestive system.
Rhubarb is sold by the bunch, which is normally comes out to about usually 2 to 2-1/2 lbs., Remember that cooking 1 lb. of rhubarb will probably only give you 3/4 cups once the water is extracted from it.
When buying Rhubarb choose fresh crisp stalks, and peel off any stringy-ness covering it before use. Stand the stalks in cold water for an hour or so to refresh them before cooking. The stalks can be stored for 2-4 weeks in the fridge.
We’re on the hunt for your go-to rhubarb recipes, but in the meantime, here are a few we’ll be trying out this week!
An ingredient that took me years to appreciate, and i’m still learning to like it. I can’t say that i’ve ever prepared a dish with fresh artichoke, I normally resort to buying the bottled artichoke hearts (and they are delicious!). There are many ways to get health benefits from this green leafy vegetable. While most people would probably guess that the goodness lies in the heart, most of the health benefits stem from the leaves.
For instance, it’s good for the liver, studies have even found they may even regenerate liver tissue. Artichokes have long been used in folk and alternative medicine as a treatment for liver ailments and the scientific studies are now proving them to be correct. One large artichoke contains a quarter of the recommended daily intake of fiber. A medium artichoke has more fiber than a cup of prunes. Artichoke leaves have been shown to reduce cholesterol by raising good cholesterol (HDL) and lowering bad cholesterol (LDL). If worrying about your cholesterol isn’t your thing, perhaps you’ll be happy to hear that it’s also used as a hangover treatment, as it helps cleanse your liver.
When you’re ready to pick an artichoke look for a heavy and firm consistently green product. The leaves should look uniform and not wilted. Cooking an artichoke (and no, I don’t mean just opening the jar) can be tricky, but there are tips and tricks you can follow.
Here are the recipes we’ll be testing out this week!
Have you mastered some artichoke recipes? We want to hear about them as we build our recipe box of go-to recipes! Share them in the comments below.
Another ingredient that has an alter ego. Sometimes called anise, this crunchy slightly sweet vegetable is a great source of antioxidants. Generally, the green stalks aren’t the star of the show, but they do make great broth so don’t throw them out just yet. The bulk of the goodness can be found in the white bulb. It’s believed that it can aid in people with inflammatory problems like arthritis.
When you’re standing at the grocery store this week looking at fennel, consider picking one that has a white or light green bulb, with green stalks. The stalks shouldn’t have any sign of flowering, as that might indicate it’s past it’s prime. Fennel is one of those ingredients that is best used sooner than later. The longer it sits in your fridge, it may lose flavour. There are great videos out there on how to prepare fennel.
We really should give a shout out to fennel seeds too! Fennel seeds are a well-known digestive aid. Anethole, in the plant’s oil, can reduce inflammation and help prevent cancer. Try a crust of crused, toasted fennel seeds on seared tuna.
Here are some recipes we’ll be trying out this week:
As always, we’re on the hunt for the tried and true recipes, and this week we’re looking for your fennel recipes. Let us know what successes you’ve had in the comments below.
No, we are not teasing you! This week’s ingredient of the week is none other than (wait for it…) chocolate! Now, before you go grabbing a Mars bar, keep in mind that we are talking mainly about about dark chocolate here – let’s not get completely out of hand.
The higher amount of cocoa content, the healthier the selection when it comes to chocolate. Rich in antioxidants and minerals, there is absolutely no reason why having some of this (not so) sinful treat in your life has to be a bad thing.
We say this is the week to let the chocolate-lover within take the reigns in the kitchen!
Here are the recipes we can’t wait to get cooking this week:
Have any great sweet or savoury chocolate recipes to share? Share them below!
People that prefer their ingredients plain and simple might of had it rough over the last few weeks (radishes, asparagus, black beans, and all), but they are going to breathe a sigh of relief for this week’s much-loved fruit: strawberries. Heck, let’s admit it: we’re all pumped for strawberry week. Why? Because they’re delicious. But also because they’re full of vitamin C. Enough to give you your daily recommended intake in just one serving.
Not sure what to make with strawberries? Hint: check out next week’s ingredient, and maybe you can kill two birds with one stone.
When shopping, look for berries with bright, glossy skin, and clean them just before eating to make them last. Smaller berries will often have more flavour.
Here are the recipes that we are going to try out this week:
How do you like to get your strawberry fix? We’re looking for easy and delicious recipes including this week’s ingredient. Share in the comments below!