Rhubarb is now grown in many areas and thanks to greenhouse production is available throughout much of the year. Grown primarily for its fleshy stems (petioles), commonly known as rhubarb sticks or stalks. Rhubarb is ready to be consumed as soon as it is harvested. Freshly cut stalks are firm and glossy.
The colour of the rhubarb stalks can vary from the commonly associated deep red, through speckled pink, to simply green.
Rhubarb leaves contain poisonous substances. Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, a corrosive and nephrotoxic acid (. The stems are not poisonous. Rhubarb can act as a laxative. Nephrotoxicity is one of the most common kidney problems and occurs when your body is exposed to a drug or toxin that causes damage to your kidneys. When kidney damage occurs, you are unable to rid your body of excess urine, and wastes.
Rhubarb is usually stewed with sugar to make jams and pie fillings. Due to its tart nature it also makes a good accompaniment for fatty meats such as pork and duck.
This information is specifically for countries in the northern temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere; particularly the United Kingdom, however it should be applicable for northern USA, northern Europe, Canada, Russia, etc.
Rhubarb is at its best and in season during the following months:
January, February, March, April & May.
Rhubarb: What portion size makes one of my 5 a day?
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