Thursday, May 26, 2011

Favorite Things Friday - Rhubarb, Etc.

One of the many good things about spring is that it means there will be rhubarb from the garden, and rhubarb is one of my favorite things!

As kids, we used to dip a freshly pulled stalk in sugar and eat it raw.  To be honest, I took less pleasure in the mouth-puckering tartness of raw rhubarb than in the rhubarb-stalk-as-delivery-system for pure sugar.

Ironically, I have been trying to avoid refined sugar recently for health reasons (darn that Dr. Oz and my swollen cankles), and also just to see if I can.  I am only about a week into this experiment, and let me just say that if it weren't for the couple squares of dark chocolate (health benefits!) I am allowing myself per day, I might have gone a little nutty-cuckoo.

So when my dad delivered to me some fresh rhubarb today, I had a dilemma.  How am I going to make my favorite rhubarb crisp without good old/bad old sugar?

The answer was to use a couple tablespoons of agave nectar, sweeter than honey but with a lower glycemic load than table sugar.  I also mixed some naturally sweeter fruit with the rhubarb, including an apple, a couple ripe pears, and some mixed berries.  The topping is some gluten-free pancake mix, sorghum flour, a dab of shortening, and a bit more agave, mixed until crumbly.

So how'd it taste?  Pret-ty darn good.  And if I were not shunning sugar, I'd have plopped on a big scoop of dairy-free ice cream to make it even better (or, I guess, worse).

Who dat makin' all da funky noi'?
I heard some awesome new music this week, thanks to my daughter who emailed me a couple of links.  I am including her comments above each one because she said it better and more succinctly than I could have.  And, wow, does my daughter know my musical taste or what?  She couldn't have been more spot on.  I love that these are both reminiscent of the music of my youth, '70s power rock and funky soul music. And James Brown's influence runs through both (check out the white shoe shuffle on the first one).

"Love that funky fat bass."

"You can't not like this."


  1. Don't know that I've ever had rhubarb, but your post makes me want to .. even without the sugar!

  2. loved the clips...especially Rival Sons and the bass was very 'funky'. Thank you! I am trying to grow rhubarb at the moment. Love apple and rhubarb crumble...yours looks very yummy and healthy too. Well done!

  3. Great way to use up that fresh rhubarb, it looks delicious!

  4. rhubarb is one of my all time favorites too! Just had my dad ship me some plants from 1000 miles away, so I can enjoy it from my own garden next year. Love strawberry/rhubarb pie!!!!!

  5. I love rhubarb and your recipe sounds so good! Avoiding refined sugar is tricky when there is so much of it in processed foods. Enjoy your rhubarb!

  6. I just got a bunch from my mom last weekend. I will be making some things this weekend. I am so glad that I am not cutting sugar from my diet....although, I think I should look into it.

  7. Looks yummy. I never developed a taste for rubarb, but it was my dad's favorite. He liked strawberry and rubarb pie.

    Love the music too.

  8. Rhubarb,ah yes it is so good!!! I may plant some next year as it is probably too late for this season:)

  9. it is hard to eat rhubarb without sugar isn't it - I too ate it like you did as a child with sugar. I can't grow it here in Arkansas, I just don't have the temperatures here to grow it well. They only sell it in the local stores for about a month or two so I am stocking it up in my freezer right now. I have not tried the sweetener you mention and will look for it.

  10. Mmm...rhubarb! I haven't eaten that in years. That crisp looks divine!

    P - Your taste in music has such a wide range. You always surprise me with your choices. :)

    Thanks for sharing. Happy FTF! :o)

  11. Strawberrie Rhubarb is one of my favorites.

  12. Growing up we had a rhubarb patch. My mom wouldn't let us dip it in sugar very much, so we didn't eat it very much.

    Your rhubarb crumble looks awesome and I have to say that you are very creative in working with your dietary restrictions. I don't know that I would be that patient.

    Loved the music -- I think Black Joe & the Honeybears was my favorite. Thanks for sharing.

    xo -E

  13. My Dad is a complete rhubarb nut and would be drooling all over his keyboard at your pictures.

    I really must look to see whether rhubarb is something that is easy to get here so I can make this next time my folks drop by.

    I so enjoy your musical interludes.

  14. That rhubarb crumble looks amazing! I go to the farm tomorrow! Can you freeze it in Ziploc and still have good results in pie later? I love agave nector and use it as a substitute for honey!

  15. Love rhubarb, but I can't grow it here, fortunately it's readily available in the supermarket when in season. I don't think I could have your will power at working around not having sugar.
    Love both your music choices, the first one has some Led Zeppelin sound to it too. They are both my kind of music.

  16. I love Rhubarb Crumble....haven't had it for ages. Do you need a frost to grow rhubarb? I used to like the tartness as well :-)

  17. I have good memories of my mom baking things with rhubarb. We never had a garden but we always seemed to have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies from friends and neighbors who did.
    Good luck with the "no sugar", really is something I need to do.

  18. Mmmm rhubarb. I made rhubarb crisp yesterday and today my boss brought me a huge piece of rhubarb custard pie that his wife had made. And I still haven't had my fill of rhubarb!


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