Rhubarb is considered a fruit because it is usually eaten as a dessert, but it is actually a vegetable.
Thought to be a native of Tibet, rhubarb is the leaf stalk (or petiole) of a perennial plant. The leaves are not eaten as they are poisonous.
What to look for
Look for firm, red glossy stalks that are crisp and showing no signs of wilting.
All year, but less available in July and August.
Refrigerate in plastic bags.
How to prepare
Remove leaves. Wash young rhubarb stalks and cut into equal lengths. Older, thicker rhubarb needs any coarse strings to be peeled off before slicing. Do not eat the leaves as they are poisonous.
Ways to eat
Rhubarb can be stewed with a little sugar and eaten as a dessert. It can be used in muffins, cakes, jams, flans or in crumbles, in place of, or in addition to, apple.
Bake, braise, stew.
|Stewed without sugar|
|Serving size: ½ cup - 133g|
|Fat, total (g)||trace||0%||trace|
|- saturated (g)||0||0%||0|
|- sugars (g)||1.3||1%||1.0|
|Dietary fibre (g)||3.2||11%||2.4||Contains dietary fibre|
|Vitamin C (mg)||10.6||27% RDI*||8.0||A good source of vitamin C|
|Calcium (mg)||123.7||15% RDI*||93||A source of calcium|
|Potassium (mg)||532||400||Contains potassium|
|Iron (mg)||0.5||4% RDI*||0.4|
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ
Source: The Concise New Zealand Food Composition Tables, 10th Edition, Plant & Food Research - 2014
Rhubarb is one of the highest calcium containing vegetables; however, calcium absorption may be inhibited by the presence of oxalic acid which is also found in rhubarb. Cooking can reduce the effect of oxalic acid. Rhubarb is a good source of vitamin C and contains dietary fibre and potassium at significant levels.
Display rhubarb on refrigerated shelving. Place heads in one direction for the most effective display. Use QR code on labels.
Store at 0ºC with a relative humidity of 95-100%. Rhubarb is ethylene sensitive so store separately from ethylene producing fruits and vegetables.
Purchase rhubarb with the New Zealand GAP logo.
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