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Native Sweet Strawberries and Tart Rhubarb Are Now Available!

June is the time when the first and finest of fruits, Sweet Strawberries and Tart Rhubarb are available in Connecticut!

Amazingly sweet and satisfying eaten just picked, strawberries also make great additions to salads and many other desserts. With only 50 calories per cup, they are fat free, have no cholesterol, and are a good source of fiber. When selecting strawberries, keep in mind, smaller berries can be more sweet and flavorful. 

Rhubarb looks like stalks of pinkish green celery. Its flavor, however, is much more tart than sweet, making it an ideal accompaniment for sugar in sweet dishes like crisps, compotes, and pies. Rhubarb is 95 percent water with only 26 calories per cup, rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber and calcium. When selecting rhubarb, the stalks should be heavy and crisp with shiny skin. Watch out for rubbery, fibrous, dry stalks. Important note: Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, so trimming and discarding them is essential.

Try this recipe below where the complementary flavors of these two fruits will have you asking for seconds!!

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

Roasting the rhubarb with orange juice and sugar before adding it to the simmering sauce enhances the flavors. Serve it warm or chilled over ice cream, Belgian waffles, shortcakes or crepes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 lb strawberries, hulled
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)

NOTE: Sugar can be reduced down to 3-4 Tablespoons or a sugar replacement can be used for those limiting their sugar intake.

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Toss the rhubarb, 3 tablespoons of sugar and orange juice together in a
non-reactive 8-inch by 8-inch pan. Roast the rhubarb mixture for 30 to 40
minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is tender and the juices have
thickened. Stir the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, strawberries and orange zest into a medium-size saucepan set over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil for 5 minutes. Crush 1/3 of the berries with a fork. Add the roasted rhubarb and pan juices to the strawberries and allow the mixture to simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the compote from the heat and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped fresh mint leaves.

Makes 6 to 8 servings. 

Danielle Brodeur is a Holistic Health Coach and the Program Director/Weight Loss Coach at Aiki Academy of Self Defense in North Branford. If you have any questions, please feel free to submit them to aikiacademy@yahoo.com, or you can contact Danielle directly at danielle.brodeur@snet.net.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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