Rhubarb is the first fruit of the year in the UK. Here in Yorkshire, where I live rhubarb is never very far because the famous ‘Rhubarb Triangle’ is located in that triangle between Wakefield, Morely and Rothwell – about an hour’s drive away. My local shops are full of it.
The cold damp climate and the proximity to the rugged Pennine Hills provides an ideal climate for rhubarb to grow. And grow it does in the rhubarb forcing sheds which facilitate the early growth of carmine pink stalks that are harvested one stalk at a time by mainly European workers in the months of January and February.
The young, pink rhubarb is tender to eat and perfectly suitable for someone with a sensitive gut. It is low in fructose, polyols and oligofructans. It can be sweetened with sugar (brown is lovely) and other flavours can be added for example ginger, lemon or orange.
Rhubarb can be eaten on its own or made into crumble which usually contains wheat. I have used oats (certified gluten free if you like) and a little bit of buckwheat flour, instead of wheat flour, and it looks and tastes delicious. So this can be a delicious gluten free dish.
- 800 g rhubarb, cut into 2 cm/1 in lengths
- zest of 1 lemon and 1 tbsp juice
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 2 cm ginger grated
- 8 tbsp rolled oats
- 4 tbsp buckwheat flour or gluten free flour
- 1 pinch sea salt
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp coconut oil /butter
- 1 tbsp chopped nuts (not pistachio or cashew) and seeds
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Place the chopped rhubarb and other ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Set on one side.
Prepare the crumble. Mix the oats, buckwheat flour and salt together in a bowl. Add the sugar, vanilla essence and coconut oil and mix together with your hands. Scatter nuts and seeds. Place the fruit in a baking tin and place the crumble mixture on the top and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and the juice is bubbling through.
..and while the snow fell I made rhubarb crumble…
For more information on how to look after your sensitve gut have a look at the IBS Network website at www.theibsnetwork.org