My family used to have a rhubarb patch in our backyard, but we never used it, so my dad literally just mowed over it every month. If you know anything about rhubarb, you know that this is not enough to get rid of it. It just popped up again and again and again, every summer.I remember a few times in my childhood, I snapped off a stalk of rhubarb and sucked and chewed on it, thinking it would be sweet like candy. After all, the only rhubarb I had eaten before was in the form of a crisp or crumble. Well, in case you were wondering, that’s not what it tastes like raw. I’m not sure why I kept giving it another chance, but each time I would pucker my face and spit it out disgustedly.
But here’s the deal. Rhubarb, my friends, is not all that scary. I’ve wanted to use it in oatmeal for over a year now, but I feared I wouldn’t be able to do it without sugar. Well, I was wrong, because I did not need 1/4 cup of refined sugar to calm the rhubarb down, like the internet claims.
I gave the rhubarb a couple extra minutes in the saucepan before adding it to the oatmeal. I let it simmer in water and a touch of maple syrup. The oatmeal turned out perfectly. The rhubarb was not “offensive,” like I expected it to be. It tasted like strawberry oatmeal with an extra hint of pleasant tartness. I was also impressed by the texture result. I was worried the rhubarb would still be crunchy and stringy like celery, but the chopped pieces were soft and virtually undetectable. Bam!
If you have any access to rhubarb, give this recipe a shot. Act fast; rhubarb season is coming to a close!
What you'll need:
- 1/3 cup chopped rhubarb
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp maple syrup (or honey)
- 3/4 cup milk of choice, or water
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
- 4-6 fresh strawberries, chopped
- 1 tsp lemon juice, or 1/8 tsp lemon extract
- pinch of salt
How to make it:
- Combine first three ingredients in your saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let it simmer for about one minute.
- Add the milk to the rhubarb and turn the heat up to medium high. When the liquid begins to boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium again. (If you'd like to add flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
- Add most of the strawberries and save the rest for topping.
- Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add lemon extract and salt. Stir.
- When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Add a splash of your milk of choice, remaining strawberries, and any other additional toppings (shredded coconut, nuts, etc.).