I call strawberries and rhubarb the perfect fruit counterparts.
Why? Strawberries are naturally sweet, so when they are paired with the natural sweet tartness of rhubarb, rhubarb actually intensifies the sweetness of the strawberries, taking the flavour to entirely new heights! It's a perfect fruit complement -- the Ying to the Yang in the fruit world.
So why eat either or?
Strawberries are known to ease inflammation, which is important because a major source of systemic low-grade inflammation is insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a pathological condition in which cells fail to respond to the normal actions of the hormone insulin, and can lead to weight gain, particularly in the belly.
Strawberries lower our blood levels of C-reactive protein, which is a signal of inflammation in the body. This is the same marker used as a cardiovascular risk factor and is an inexpensive blood test.
Strawberries aren't only delicious they are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is an important vitamin to boost your immune system and help your body handle stress. A half cup serving of strawberries contains 51.5 mg of vitamin C which is about half of your daily requirement.
They also have anti-aging properties; strawberries are filled with biotin, which helps build strong hair, glowing skin, and nails. They also contain an antioxidant called ellagic acid and helps to protect our skin from sagging as we age.
Rhubarb is actually not a fruit, although it is largely prepared and treated as though it is one! The roots and stems are rich in anthraquinones, such as emodin and rhein. These substances are cathartic and laxative. The anthraquinone compounds have been separated from powdered rhubarb root for medicinal purposes.
It is also a good source of magnesium, and a very good source of dietary fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, potassium and manganese.
OK, so obviously we need to eat as many strawberries and rhubarb as we possibly can, right?
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Serve this strawberry rhubarb crisp warm with non-dairy ice cream, because ice cream makes everything better!
2 cups of fresh, sliced strawberries
1 cup of fresh, chopped rhubarb
2 Tablespoons of corn starch or tapioca starch
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
2 Tablespoons of coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of old fashioned oats
2/3 cup of coconut sugar
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup of butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine chopped strawberries and rhubarb in a large bowl.
- Whisk corn/tapioca starch, lemon juice, and coconut sugar until you form a paste. Gently stir paste into strawberries and rhubarb.
- Pre-grease an 8-inch baking dish with coconut oil.
- Pour strawberry- rhubarb mixture into baking dish. Combine oats, coconut sugar, cinnamon and butter/coconut oil until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (I like to use a fork to do this.) Then add chopped pecans.
- Crumble mixture over strawberry and rhubarb mixture.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
Have some extra strawberries around?
Why not make this Sweet and Spicy Strawberry Mango Salsa? The combination of sweet, spicy and salty in the recipe will keep your guests double dipping!
Pro Tip: Use an ataulfo mango for best results! Ataulfo mangos are golden yellow with a somewhat sigmoid (oblong) shape and a gold-blushed yellow skin. Their buttery sweet flesh is not fibrous, and they have a thin pit.
Want to learn more about living SMART? Learn to see food not as the enemy in your health journey, but as a friend, with Kathy Smart's five-week Live the Smart Way Program.
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