It is rhubarb time here in Iowa and I am excited!! So, what does rhubarb have to do with a travel blog? Absolutely nothing! But, like most everyone else I have time on my hands these days. Baking and blogging are some ways I am keeping busy, so I thought I would combine the two and share a few recipes!
Spring is definitely the best time when my rhubarb starts to grow! As soon as the snow melts I am out looking for the first leaf to pop through the ground and then I can’t wait until the rhubarb is ready for picking and ultimately baking!!
What is Rhubarb?
Rhubarb is actually a vegetable but many think of it as a fruit and bake it in pies, cakes, jams, crumbles and more!! As a matter of fact, the most unusual way I have had rhubarb served to me was in a slushy with a bit of syrup and vodka. Surprisingly, it wasn’t bad!! A bit sour though! My dad used to make rhubarb wine years ago, but I was too young to try it!! Although, I have heard it was good!!
Rhubarb eaten in its natural state is quite sour, but add sugar and spices and you have yourself a sweet treat! It is important to remember, only the stalks are eaten as the leaves are poisonous. You can find Rhubarb with either green or red stalks. Personally, I prefer the red, as it looks more appealing when used, but the green is just as tasty. In addition, rhubarb is a good source of Vitamin K, antioxidants and fiber.
Rhubarb needs a cold winter to thrive so it grows well here in Iowa and when the weather starts to warm it is time to grow. I have grown rhubarb for years and still enjoy it. As a matter of fact, growing rhubarb is very easy. First of all, you start by planting a rhubarb crown (root), usually in the spring. In addition, you will need to water it well and don’t use or cut any of the stalks the first year. By the next spring, you will have enough rhubarb for a loaf or two of bread and maybe a pie. Each year not only will your rhubarb will return, but equally important, it will become more plentiful! After planting and watering it the first year, mine required no other maintenance! Very easy, which I like!
So like many in the midwest, I grew up eating rhubarb goodies when springtime came around. I have accumulated many great recipes over the years or came up with my own and the following are a few of them. I like to add strawberries or blueberries to my rhubarb recipes as I don’t care for straight rhubarb. These recipes can be varied by substituting strawberries with blueberries or by just using all rhubarb. Rhubarb time also means baking time!
Sour Cream Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake
My mom made a lot of coffee cakes and they were so good! The ladies in the neighborhood would to get together for coffee some mornings and I remember Mom making these delicious breakfast cakes! While going through her old recipes I found many of her coffee cake recipes, although, this is my favorite!!
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups rhubarb (chopped fine)
- 1 cup strawberries (chopped fine)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease or spray a 13 x 9 inch banking pan.
- Beat butter and sugar until smooth.
- Add eggs and beat well.
- Stir in sour cream and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and the salt.
- Fold dry mixture into creamy mixture.
- Add rhubarb and strawberries, stir until covered.
- Pour into pan.
- Mix all of the topping ingredients until the mixture is crumbly.
- Sprinkle the topping mix evenly over the top of the cake mixture.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until done.
- Serve warm with whipped cream.
- Refrigerate leftovers.
Strawberry Rhubarb Bread
Quick breads are a fun and easy treat to make! As a matter of fact, they also freeze well and thaw quickly so are handy to have around! I have been making this recipe for years. It’s a combination of a few different recipes and I have tweaked it many times over time! Always a favorite!
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 2/3 cup corn oil (I recently started using olive oil)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 rounded teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 scant teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup rhubarb, chopped (about 1/4 inch thick or less)
- 1 cup strawberries, chopped.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Grease and flour, or baking spray 2 loaf pans
- Beat sugar and oil until creamy.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat until well mixed.
- In separate bowl, mix flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda
- Add flour mixture alternating with buttermilk to the egg mixture, mixing after each addition.
- Mix until just moist.
- Fold in the fruit.
- Pour into baking pans.
- Bake 50-60 minutes.
- Cool for 10 minutes in pan.
- With knife, slide around the edge of pan and remove bread to wire rack and cool.
Blueberry Rhubarb Bread
This is the same recipe as above excerpt substitute blueberries for the strawberries! Equally as good!! You can use all rhubarb instead of the berries and have just rhubarb bread.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
My mom used to make the best crisps, whether it was apple, berry or rhubarb and for the most part she used the same ingredients yet she never used a recipe. I remember watching her make the crisp and I remember which ingredients she used but never paid attention to how much of each. After many trials and errors I finally came up with what I feel is Mom’s crisp recipe! You can substitute the strawberries with blueberries if you like or instead you can use all rhubarb.
- 6 cups rhubarb
- 2 cups strawberries (you can add an extra cup of strawberries per your preference).
- 2 cups granulated sugar.
- 3/4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cups oats
- 1 cup butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
- Grease and flour or use baking spray 9 x 13 inch pan.
- In a large bowl, mix rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, flour and vanilla until rhubarb and strawberries are well coated.
- Pour into pan.
- In a separate bowl mix the flour, brown sugar and oats.
- Pour melted butter over flour mixture and mix until crumbly.
- Sprinkle evenly over filling.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until bubbly.
- Serve warm with whipping cream or ice cream.
- Refrigerate leftovers.
Thanks for reading along about rhubarb time! It is a fun time of the year for me and also a great first sign of spring! Although the coronavirus has stopped many of my activities, baking my rhubarb has kept me especially busy this spring.
57 thoughts on “It’s Rhubarb Time!!!”
Lovely..!! Learnt something new today from you.. 😊😊
You are amazing Madam, expert in Archaeology, History, Travel and Food..!!
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe.. 😊
I’m not an expert in anything but know a bit about a few things!
Thanks for your comments!
You are being modest, Madam.. 😊 And you are most welcome.. 😊😊
Take care and stay safe..!! 😊
As a rhubarb lover, these are recipes I’m going to try. I do make rhubarb(strawberry) crisp and instead of part of the flour I add 1/2 c. toasted chopped nuts and 3/4 c oatmeal. Sometimes I think my family likes the topping better than the fruit….
My real question is whether you have ever tried to infuse vodka or gin with rhubarb. I saw a recipe for rhubarb gin but it required a lot of sugar. Thoughts?
Those ideas sound great! I I have never tried to refuse back or gin with it but it could be very interesting! I found a recipe for rhubarb lemonade but have not made it yet but I was thinking while looking at the recipe that a added shot of vodka might be good with it!! Lol
I loved Mom’s Rhubarb custard pie. No one down south does Rhubarb. We were hiking in the Shenandoah parkway and I ran across a lot of rhubarb growing along the trails. Great to hear people back home still know what to do with it.
That sounds delicious, Jeff!!! Nothing can compare to our mom’s baking! I guess it’s too warm down your way for the rhubarb to thrive? Seems like rhubarb was a stable and king of the springtime desserts when growing up!! Thanks for commenting! Hope you and your family are doing well!!!
those are some serious rhubarb recipes. I never knew that you just eat the stalks, not the leaves – you can tell how well I know my way around a garden!
Thanks! I remember hearing about the leaves from my mom years ago! She was right!!!
good advice to pass on – and now I know because of your mom!
These look FAB!!!
Thanks!!! And I wonder where the extra pounds are coming from 🙄
So jealous. Our rhubarb is jumping up a few inches each day, but still 2-3 weeks away from a picking. The cake looks delightful. Thanks for sharing. Allan
I will be jealous when yours are up and mine are done for!!!
OK, time to be jealous, now. First picking of rhubarb a week ago and we stewed it. Heavenly. Pies, crumbles and stewed to come. I too had the flower stalk this year and cut it off. Not sure about this putting vigour back into the plant. I do understand the stalk is poisonous (like the leaves and should be disposed of appropriately, as well as contact during cutting/pulling carefully washed off with soap and water. No prob during Covid times. Stay well. Allan
Well I am jealous your season has just started a week ago! My rhubarb season is done for the year!!! I of course froze a few goodies but I have to wait for almost a year now for fresh rhubarb!!!
I think I am going to plant some, because I wanted to buy some at the grocery store and 4 stalks, small ones were $7.99. Yikes!
Oh wow!! I bought two more plants this spring and they were $14.99 each! So plant away!!
Yep, going to this weekend
Wow, these look delicious. That rhubard crips
Thanks!! I love them all!
Dang, mine has just started to grow here in Wyoming!
Seems like mine was earlier than usual this year.
Love rhubarb, but your’s is at least a month ahead of mine! My fav is rhubarb and raspberry crisp!!
I am going to have to try raspberries instead of strawberries next time!!! Sounds wonderful!!!!’
I have a lot of rhubarb as well. I would add that it freezes beautifully. The amount we grow is way too much for two people to use in one growing season, so we just harvest the stalks, chop them up into small pieces, and put them in a ziplock bag. Then, mid-winter, we defrost a bag and make rhubarb pie or crumble. So easy!
Great idea!!! Thank you so much for the tip!!!
You’re welcome! Can’t let all that wonderful rhubarb go to waste!
That’s for sure!!
It’s such a nice combination, rhubarb and strawberries. The only thing my green thumb can grow is rhubarb. Flowers, asparagus, tomatoes, etc., never quite make it. I freeze some rhubarb after cutting it up and rinsing it off with running water, then make a sauce for ice cream during the winter. jerry
That sounds good!! I bet it taste great during the winter!! Thanks for the tip!!!!
They all look good. I’ve made the coffee cake a few times. I just planted rhubarb last year and was told you couldn’t harvest it for a few years, but can I if it’s only the second year? It looks like it has spread out quite a bit, and has a big bulby thing on part of it – is that the crown? I don’t remember that being there last year and wasn’t sure what it was?
I have always harvested the year after I have planted, just a light harvest. My plants in the photos are 3 years old. They have spread out a lot. The big bulky thing will grow out and go to seed. Some people I know cut that off. I always have let it go to seed. Not sure what is right but at my old house my plants were 8 years old and extremely productive!!
Thanks….I’m assuming going to seed means make more plants?!
Yes. I have never planted mine. It grow into a large flower if you do nothing with it. I have always been told if you cut it off when it first appears it will increase your rhubarb production. I have not noticed this. But usually if it grows once it flowers it means to end using the rhubarb for the season. But, I am a rebel so I have made a pie or two right after it flowered and the rhubarb wasn’t too tough!! Now these are just things I learned from people over the years. Also I know you can plant rhubarb from the seed but I don’t know how. My guess would be you wait till the flower dries out and then you save the seeds for spring to plant but I do not have any idea past that!!!
They look amazing – I love rhubarb….
Thanks! I do too!!
Mom was born in Ohio and Dad in Iowa. Mom loved rhubarb too. Mostly she made pies with strawberries and also jams. She grew her own too, which was no mean feat in southern California. She kept a plot on the north side of the house so it would be coolest and not get too much sun.
Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of rhubarb no matter how you fix it. But your post sure brought back some memories.
Glad it brought back memories! When my youngest was little she used to help
Me make strawberry rhubarb jam and we would sell it at the farmers market!! Lots of fun!!
Oh, now you made me crave some rhubarb!
The strawberry crisp one looks tasty! I’ll have to try it as I have rhubarb in my garden and tend to make crumbles and pies with apples or blackberries
It is tasty!!! It’s so nice having your own rhubarb isn’t it?
Definitely, I was looking at it the other day thinking it’ll soon be good to have then saw your post. Good timing!
That is good!!!
My grandmother LOVED rhubarb! Even years after her death we still grew rhubarb in the backyard even though none of us really liked it. 🙂 It always make me think of her. Thank you for the lovely memories today!!
You are welcome! Glad you have great memories of your grandmother!!
mouth-watering photos! Fond memories of my grandmother’s strawberry rhubarb pie, too. I remember eating stalks of it in her kitchen, dipping the stalk into sugar before each bite.
Glad you liked the post!! Mmm strawberry rhubarb pie is so good! And I too have dipped the stalks in sugar!! Delicious!!!
Learned a lot that I didn’t know today. And I love the recipes, which I’ve printed. Great photos, clear recipes, and helpful hints. Doesn’t get any better!
Glad you liked it!! Enjoy the goodies!!
Strawberry rhubarb pie is my favorite. Your recipes sound amazing!
Thank you! Strawberry Rhubarb pie is always a treat!