Calling all rhubarb lovers. Here is a new rhubarb recipe to add to your collection. These are cake-like muffins with lots of flavourful rhubarb. Rhubarb is one of the first fruits available on the Canadian prairies, and prairie cooks have come up with lots of ways to use it: there are rhubarb pies, rhubarb crisps, rhubarb jam, rhubarb relish, cobblers, cakes, and muffins. While we think of rhubarb as a fruit it is classed as a vegetable.
Rhubarb is mildly laxative. Research shows that it may be beneficial for diabetes as it mimics the action of insulin, allowing the sugar to enter the cell, where it may be burned instead of circulating in the blood. Rhubarb is not a good frequent food choice for people that are prone to form oxalate kidney stones. Always remember that the leaves of the rhubarb plant are poisonous. I always like to use the younger thinner rhubarb, as I find them more tender and less sour than the larger stalks.
Rhubarb can be easily frozen for later use by cutting it up into 1-inch pieces, blanching it for 1 minute and then rinsing it in cool water, patting dry, and packaging it in plastic freezer bags. Rhubarb is also a good source of fiber, vitamin K, and vitamin C. You can choose to fill the muffins tins up to 2/3rds, or to the top, where they will rise above the tins and spread out on top, to give you nice muffin tops.
1/2 cup butter
1 cup of sugar (divided)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vinegar (apple cider or white)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups rhubarb (finely sliced)
Finely chop the rhubarb and stir in 1/2 cup sugar. In a separate bowl cream, the butter and 1/2 cup sugar together with an electric beater, beat in the egg, and vanilla. Measure the tablespoon of vinegar into a 1 cup measure and then fill with milk, stirring half way. Buttermilk can be substituted for the vinegar and milk. Beat the milk into the butter mixture, and then beat in the baking soda and flour. Stir in the sugar-coated rhubarb, and spoon into a buttered or papered muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. This recipe makes slightly more than a dozen.