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22Mar

Rhubarb is one of my favourite vegetables – yes you heard right – it is a vegetable, a stalk, but with a glorious colour and taste. It marries very well with ginger. Rhubarb has an anecdotal use as a laxative in herbal and Chinese traditional medicine but paradoxically it is also suitable for a low fodmap diet. The leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid and are toxic so not to be consumed but the stalks are very popular around the Calder valley – perhaps because we are not too far from the rhubarb triangle.

What about the chemistry of rhubarb – well Andy Brunning of Compound Interest has produced the following excellent graphic.

The-Chemistry-of-Rhubarb

I can find no RCTs for the use of rhubarb as a laxative or its use to assist in ameliorating any symptoms in IBS so I can only assume that the anecdotes are just that but the information in the graphic is very interesting, non the less. But what about recipes – to make a rhubarb cordial and puree see the recipe below which makes around a pint of cordial.

400g of rhubarb

1 inch stick of ginger

Adequate water to cover the rhubarb in a pan

Sugar or sweeteners (not polyol based) to individual taste.

Wash and slice the rhubarb stalks, peel and chop the ginger and add to a small pan. Cover with water and cook till very soft. Add sugar (I used just enough to remove the tart taste.) Pass through a sieve or blend. then cool and add to a bottle – I used the one in the image it once contained rhubarb liqueur. The pureed rhubarb that remains in the sieve can be used to add to lactose free yoghurt as a breakfast fruit puree. Store the cordial in the fridge – you can either drink it cold or warm. Sweeteners will work just as well in the cordial and for those ‘nutrition evangelists’ that decry sweeteners as toxic- we have NO evidence that they are harmful and if they are used to reduce energy consumption for weight management or for diabetes management, then that surely has to be a benefit?

DSCF2686 (2)

  

Julie

I am a state registered dietitian and advisor to The IBS Network, the UK charity for people with irritable bowel syndrome. My specialty is dietary treatment of gut disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, coeliac disease, lactose & fructose malabsorption and complex food intolerances. I also have experience in dietetic treatment of people who have bariatric surgery and weight management.

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