Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Rhubarb Recipes

Cate and I visited Ben and Emily's allotment near Stockton on Sunday (oh, and the Forbidden Corner on Saturday, but that's a different story). They've scaled it back to the basics this year, as they only get a 45-minute gardening slots while little Phoebe is asleep. Their rhubarb however has taken off brilliantly, so here come some recipes after I "helped" "thin it out" a little. Yum.

Breakfast: Rhubarb Porridge

50g rhubarb
40g oats
50g yoghurt
2tsp sweetener or sugar

Chop the rhubarb into chunks and heat in a saucepan with just enough water to cover the bottom. Add 2tsp sweetener or sugar. Cook until water has just evaporated and rhubarb is softened. Add more water if necessary.
In your cereal bowl, stir boiling water into the oats - I cover the oats plus another centimeter or so. Either cover with a plate and set aside for 5 minutes, or microwave for one minute to thicken.
Top with rhubarb and yoghurt and eat while porridge is hot and yoghurt is cold. I really enjoy the different textures in this breakfast.
(200kcal if served with fat-free yoghurt and sweetener)

Dessert/Pud/Snack: Baked Rhubarb Mousse

This is one of my staple recipes at the moment, as it is a protein boost with no added carbs or fat, and I'm on a mission to weigh as little as David one day. So, if you like your puddings delicious and truly low cal, this one is for you. If you prefer the full energy load, just switch to the ingredients in brackets.

Pre-heat your oven to 160-180C.

400 g cottage cheese 0.4% fat (or full-fat cottage cheese or ricotta)
200 g cream cheese 0.2% fat (or mascarpone)
2 medium eggs
zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
4 tbsp sweetener (or caster sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Blend these ingredients together with a hand blending stick until smooth. Then blend for a further 2 minutes to ensure the mixture turns creamy when baked. This mix makes a nice cake in itself, and works with a variety of fruit and chopped nut bases. Here's this season's rhubarb version:

200 g rhubarb
2 tsp sweetener (or sugar)
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Chop rhubarb into chunks, mix with sweetener and ginger. Microwave for 3 minutes (or soften in a saucepan), then scatter in the base of an 18 cm / 7" non-stick cake tin.
Pour mousse mix evenly over rhubarb and bake for 35-45 minutes until just set, but not brown in the middle - we're aiming for a soft creme brulee consistency, not dehydrated omellette!

Allow to cool and then upturn onto a large plate. Serve with yoghurt.
(80kcal per 1/8 of cake slice for the basic recipe - otherwise a lot more! Also, 1.4 g fat, 5.4 g carbs, 11 g protein.)

This recipe is naturally gluten-free. For a dairy-free recipe, substitute the cottage and cream cheeses with 600 g silken tofu (the cheap tetra packs are best), and for a vegan recipe don't add the eggs either, but bake a little longer to set.

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