Rhubarb Time

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Spring time is synonymous with rhubarb, ‘the first fruit of the season.’ Rhubarb is not a ‘fruit’ but we treat it like one, adding sugar to make desserts. Rhubarb is very healthy to eat: low in calories, high in fiber, and high in Calcium. Most desserts use large amounts of sugar, which makes rhubarb-eating less healthy. However, there are beverages to be made from the plant’s stalks [the only part of the plant that is edible] which can be very healthy, and today I will share them with you. The beverages’ ingredients include Crushed Rhubarb, Rhubarb Puree, and Rhubarb Juice. [That last one really needs a new name, to sound more appetizing — suggestions will be appreciated.]

Crushed Rhubarb

Makes 6 cups crushed rhubarb
5 cups/1½# sliced rhubarb
4 cups/1 L. Water 
Simmer in a large pot for 20 minutes or until the rhubarb softens and starts to break down.
Stir, crushing rhubarb with back of spoon. Cool.

Uses: The crushed rhubarb and its juice can be used as the liquid in smoothies instead of orange juice. >>>Berry-Yogurt Smoothie   >>>Blueberry Smoothie  >>>Fruit Smoothie   

Rhubarb Puree 

After cooking, run it all through a blender/VitaMix to puree it or use an immersion wand. In our house, we use this puree to supplement orange juice. Why do this? 1] better nutrition 2] makes purchased OJ go further, saving $ 3] less sugar in your diet.

Makes 3 cupscalories fat fiber protein carbs Calcium Sugar 
1 c. rhubarb PUREE, liquid+solid210.2 g2 g1 g4.6 g87.5 mg1.1 g
2 c. orange juice2200 g0 g0 g54 g40 mg48 g
1 c. combined800 g0.6 g0.3 g19 g42.5 mg16 g

Rhubarb Juice — based on a recipe from Fannie Farmer and her cookbook.

Mush on the left, juice on the right

After preparing the Crushed Rhubarb, strain the pulp from the liquid with a sieve or colander. The color of the juice will vary from light pink to greenish-brown depending on the color of the rhubarb stalk. You will now have the clear juice and the solids, aka rhubarb mush. Both have their uses. Yield from full batch of rhubarb: 3-1/2 of juice + 1½ c. rhubarb mush Yield from 2 cups crushed rhubarb: 1½ c juice + ½ cup rhubarb mush USES FOR RHUBARB JUICE with added sugar >>>summer beverage: Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar to 3-1/2 cups warm, strained juice. Chill, and drink over ice garnished with a strawberry and a sprig of mint. Very refreshing. >>>cocktail: ½ cup sweetened Rhubarb Juice + 1 fluid oz rum, served over ice. NOT for a FAST DAY. USES FOR RHUBARB MUSH >>>Rhubarb Pudding >>>Rhubarb Creme Brulee You can also use it as part of the fruit in any smoothie, sweet or savory.

The Crushed Rhubarb, the Rhubarb Puree, and the Rhubarb Juice can easily be hot-water-bath canned for shelf storage throughout the year. Keep the savings going long after the rhubarb patch is covered with snow.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday …………………………… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz eggNext week, the topic will be smoothies.
white whole wheat flourFind a new favorite breakfast in Archives
yellow cornmeal + strawberries
fat-free vanilla yogurt + blueberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday:………………………….. single portion for Thursday:

crab meat [Jonah or Rock] + asparagus + scallionNext week, the topic will be smoothies.
Plain not-fat yogurt  + Dijon mustard + oilFind a new favorite dinner in Archives
garlic powder + parsley + low-fat mayonnaise
1 two-oz egg + 70-cal whole grain bread + lemon juice
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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