Top 5 reasons to add a little rhubarb to your life.

Finally, the pregnancy nausea has passed. Now, I can get back in the kitchen and get creative. For about 10 weeks, early in this pregnancy, I survived on raspberries and peanut butter toast. It was basically all I could stomach. Experimenting with rhubarb was too much for my stomach to handle. Now, I am back and it feels great.
Last week, I got a bunch of rhubarb from a local farm. Honestly, I had no idea what to do with it. I do remember it growing behind my Pap and Grandma’s house and my Pap just pulling it out of the grass and chewing it!
I had to do a little research. Turns out rhubarb is a pretty healthy vegetable. Typically it is added to fruit in the form of a dessert. Cool. A heathy veggie in a dessert.
Please note that the leaves are not edible and can be quite poisonous, so make sure to use only stalks when cooking your favorite dishes with rhubarb. Also, rhubarb is actually more nutritious cooked compared to eating it raw. Good to know.

Here are my top 5 reasons to add a little rhubarb to your life:
1. It keeps things moving. You know what I am talking about. It keeps you regular so if you are one of those people who goes #2 like once a week, add a little rhubarb to your diet. Keeping things moving is a good thing.
2. Surprisingly, it is a good source of calcium. Yep, another plant based source of calcium. Score.
3. It is super high in antioxidants. That beautiful red color is not just for show. Rhubarb is full of several kinds of antioxidants which helps with cancer prevention.
4. It lowers blood pressure. Yes, that’s right.
5. It tastes damn good in desserts. See for yourself and try this recipe.

Rhubarb Strawberry Crumb Bars
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds or hazelnuts), divided
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold coconut oil, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon hazelnut extract
3 cups diced strawberries (fresh or frozen), divided
3 cups diced fresh rhubarb, divided
1/4 cup apple juice
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup cornstarch
To prepare crust: Combine 3/4 cup nuts, whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, palm sugar and salt in a food processor; pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add coconut oil; pulse until well incorporated.
Whisk egg, oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla and hazelnut extract in a small bowl. With the motor running, add the mixture to the food processor. Process, then pulse, scraping down the sides, if necessary, until the mixture begins to clump, 30 to 45 seconds (it will look crumbly). Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture and combine in a bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped nuts. Set aside for the topping.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or coconut oil.
To prepare fruit filling & assemble bars: Combine 2 cups strawberries, 2 cups rhubarb, juice, agave and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very thick, 4 to 5 minutes. (It may take up to 10 minutes to get a thick result if you start with frozen fruit.) Stir in the remaining 1 cup strawberries and 1 cup rhubarb.
Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish. Spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom to form a crust. Spread the fruit filling over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved topping over the filling.
Bake the bars for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300° and bake until the crust and topping are lightly brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. Let cool completely before cutting into bars, at least 1 1/2 hours. Refrigerate when not enjoying!

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