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SOS Kitchen Challenge for June

[See those teensy flecks of red scattered throughout these scones?  Could they be. . . ??]

June is here, so you know what that means: another S.O.S. (Sweet or Savory) Kitchen Challenge!  Kim from from Affairs of Living and I are excited to be hosting our third event this month.  First we challenged you to use beets. Last month we asked you to get creative with spinach. And this month, get out those chef’s toques so you can cook up something delicious with. . .


Like Kim, I am a huge fan of rhubarb (though I may not mention it quite as often as she does on her blog) 😉 . Rhubarb is a staple during spring and early summer, and features in a huge variety of recipes.

A relative of buckwheat, rhubarb is botanically a vegetable yet most often treated like a fruit.  It is generally used in sweet dishes and is rarely–if ever–eaten alone due to its tart, sour flavor. In fact, it is nicknamed the “pie plant” because it is most often used in pies.

Rhubarb originated in Western China, Tibet, Mongolia, Siberia and other areas of Central Asia. The root was used primarily for medicinal purposes, considered a powerful treatment for a number of ailments. In the  the eighteenth century, rhubarb began to be consumed in foods in Europe, primarily drinks and meat stews (so let’s not forget the “savory” aspect of this ingredient!).  

By the end of the eighteenth century, rhubarb was introduced to the United States.  It is now a popular crop, and many people have thriving plants in the backyard!  Besides being delicious in things like cookies, compotes, scones, and bars, rhubarb has a number of nutritional benefits. It is low in sugar and carbohydrates and is a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamin K and vitamin A.  It is thought to reduce risk of cancer, may have a positive effect on lowering blood pressure, may help reduce hot flashes and has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-allergy properties. Not bad for a lowly vegetable!  Unfortunately, it is also high in oxalic acid, so if you are oxalate sensitive, you might wish to hold back.

Rhubarb is most sweet and tender in spring, but can grow late into the summer if kept well watered and if the weather isn’t too hot.  When selecting rhubarb, pick firm stalks with the deepest red color.  Once picked, wrap loosely in a plastic bag, and store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to about a week and a half.  When you are ready to prepare it, cut off and discard and leaves.  Never eat the rhubarb leaf–it is actually poisonous, due to the high level of oxalates and other toxins! After discarding the leaves, trim from stem and leaf end of the stalk, and then chop or slice the remaining stalk to pieces to the desired size.  Use fresh immediately, or freeze for later use.

My first submission this month is the culmination of my little obsession with a recent biscuit recipe by Celiac Teen.  Her millet flour-based biscuits had been on my mind ever since I saw the original recipe.  When we received a bunch of rhubarb in our organic box last week, my first thought was to make my habitual rhubarb compote–nice enough, to be sure, but perhaps a bit insipid, and something I could cook up in my sleep*. 

Then Lauren’s biscuits came to mind again, and I decided to add chopped rhubarb to the dough.  The result was a perfect breakfast quick bread, tender and not too sweet, dotted throughout with a refreshing jolt of tangy rhubarb; a pleasant, gentle means to rouse you from a morning lethargy, like waking to the clock radio set to music rather than the blaring buzz tone. I slathered some organic coconut oil over these and was happy for hours.

And be sure to check out Kim’s kickoff submission–a fabulous looking Rhubarb-Strawberry Crumb Cake (and a heartwarming story about how rhubarb has figured prominently in her family history!).

Want to participate in this month’s SOS Kitchen Challenge?

To take part in the challenge, simply post a recipe using rhubarb on your blog before the deadline of midnight, June 20, 2010, CST, and send it to soskitchenchallengeATgmailDOTcom  (note: you don’t have to cook up an original recipe–any recipe that uses the ingredient is just fine, even if you found it somewhere else!). If you don’t have a blog, you can still play along–just check out the SOS page for information.

For full details on what kinds of ingredients to use and how to enter the challenge, see this page.  I’ll post the roundup (as will Kim on her blog) about a week after the deadline so you can take your time browsing through the amazing collection of recipes before the next challenge!

For even more delicious rhubarb inspiration, check out some of these fellow food bloggers’ recipes:

* Just joking, of course.  One should never operate one’s gas range while sleeping.  It’s hard to measure ingredients with your eyes closed.

Millet Biscuits with Rhubarb

adapted from Celiac Teen

These biscuits are tender, substantial, and so alluring you’ll want to gobble up more than one.   Because I knew I’d be the only one in our house eating these, I halved the recipe and made only 4 scones, and it worked beautifully.

2 tsp (10 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus enough unsweetened almond, soy or hemp milk to make 1-1/4 cups (300 ml)

1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract

5-10 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid

1 cup (240 ml) millet flour

1 cup (240 ml) tapioca flour

1/2 cup (120 mlg) brown rice flour

1-1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) xanthan gum

1 Tbsp (15 ml) baking powder

1/2 tsp (2. 5 ml) baking soda

1/4 tsp (1 ml) fine sea salt

1/2 cup (120 ml) coconut oil, preferably organic, solid at room temperature

1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped rhubarb

Preheat oven to 425F ( C).  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.

In a measuring cup, combine the lemon juice, milk, vanilla and stevia.  Set aside.

Into a medium bowl, sift together the millet flour, tapioca flour, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Cut in the coconut oil with a pastry blender, two knives, or a wide-tined fork until the oil is the size of small peas.  Add the milk and rhubarb and toss with a fork, stirring only if necessary until the mixture comes together in a dough.

Lightly flour the cookie sheet.  Place the dough on the sheet and form into a rectangle or circle about 1 inch (2.5 cm) high.  Score with a knife to create the outline of slices (the number of slices will depend on the shape you chose). 

Bake in preheated oven 10-15 minutes, until slightly dry and firm on top.  Remove from oven and quickly brush with melted coconut oil.  Rotate the cookie sheet, then bake another 10-15 minutes, until the top is deep golden brown. Cool completely before slicing.  Makes 8-10 biscuits.  May be frozen.

This recipe is also my contribution for this week to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays event–head over to check out some yummy, healthy foods!

Last Year at this Time: Blog break (no blog entry)

Two Years Ago: Shock and Ossify: Raw Fig & Cherry Bars

© 2010 Diet, Dessert and Dogs


39 comments to SOS Kitchen Challenge for June

  • I’ve never cooked with rhubarb–I don’t even know whether my local farmers’ market has been carrying it–but I am getting more and more intrigued by it as I hear more about its uses. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled.


  • Claire Binek

    Ricki, these look wonderful and I just might be able to still get some rhubarb down here in the tropics of Philly (no joke!). However, I don’t have the proper gluten-free flours around. Could you use white (pastry) whole wheat? Would I need to up the stevia if the GF flours add some sweetness? And I only have granulated stevia stuff- can I bake with that?

    It’s one of those questioning days. I was up with the 5:30 sunrise for no reason. Enjoy the week!


  • I never saw rhubarb at our farmers’ market last year or this year. I wonder if people down here even grow it. I remember my mom had a hard time getting it to grow in Oklahoma. Maybe the spring isn’t long enough down here. It gets hot FAST in the deep south.


  • wow… what a challenge. I’m looking forward to this.

    funny thing is that I used to be one of those people eating rhubarb as is. we had it growing in our garden, and you just needed to take a leaf with a stem, rip off the leaf, wash the stem, peel it and enjoy (all while trying to smile, as the sourness made you cringe). 🙂


  • Jes

    Great ingredient! It’s a bit late in the year for me to join you with it (out of season already), but I can’t wait to see what you all cook up! And those biscuits are beautiful!


  • […] also hosts a S.O.S. Challenge every month with Kim from Affairs of Living.  This month’s challenge is rhubarb.  Ricki and […]

  • rhubarb is such a memory from my childhood. it seems everyone had it growing in their garden…
    but no one ever made anything this good looking with it 🙂


  • These look delish! I was also eyeing Lauren’s millet biscuits, so it is fun to see this variation on them. What a great kick off, Ricki. I’m so excited about this challenge. I have so many rhubarb recipes I want to post, it is out of control! And I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with 🙂 xoxo Kim | http://www.affairsofliving.com


  • I have a ton of rhubarb in the freezer already, and more to pick. This should motivate me to come up with a use for it all. 🙂


  • I love it when challenges actually use seasonal (and local!) ingredients. I have some rhubarb in my fridge and will try to come up with something for this challenge. 🙂


  • ooh i love rhubarb!! tried a few savory recipes last year and really enjoyed those, too 🙂


  • Rhubarb! I love it, and it’s been way too long since the last time I’ve had some. I’m already looking forward to seeing the recipe round-up!


  • Ali

    Oh dear – I must be missing something. How much rhubarb should I add to the recipe? I can’t wait to try this out. Thanks!


  • Wow – these look so lovely. I love that they already meet our dietary needs too. And who doesn’t love a good scone? I might have to work on a rhubarb recipe myself so I can join this roundup! Thanks Ricki.


  • oh i feel far to uncreative with my cooking to participate but I am wildly excited even for the recipes you posted! i have long wanted to cook with it, but been afraid


  • Okay, I guess it is time to track down some rhubarb and actually try it! Those scones look wonderful 🙂


  • Courtney

    I love rhubarb–those biscuits look great!



  • Oh rhubarb. My old nemesis. WE MEET AGAIN.

    Will I FINALLY find some way to like it? After all these years? WE SHALL SEE . . .

    *girds loins*


  • What fun! I’ve been loving rhubarb lately, so it will be a lot of fun to see what everyone comes up with :).

    Ricki, I love what you did with my biscuits – such a cool incarnation of them!


  • love rhubarb and am already wondering what I could make for this event – like the idea of savoury dishes but will see how I go


  • Rhubarb! You know, I don’t think I’ve ever even had rhubarb, I know for a fact that I’ve never cooked with it. It looks amazing, though. I wonder if I can find any here. If so, I’ll have to whip up one of your amazing creations!


  • I’m going to have to go searching for rhubarb now so I can participate! I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in my grocery store, but maybe it’s because I’m not looking closely enough!


  • The biscuits look AMAZING!


  • The biscuits do look toothsome and yummy. The rhubarb plant back in my Wisconsin garden must be wondering where I am, and why I’m not pulling stalks like a rhubarb fiend.

    Thanks for the link! I have a rhubarb tart recipe on my blog that I may re-post in honor of the aforementioned plant. Does the recipe for S.O.S. have to be a “new” one?


  • Claire,
    I’ve never used white whole wheat, so I’m not sure, but I would guess “yes.” You might have to reduce the amount a wee bit, though (and if anyone else out there knows the answer, please add it to the comments!). I would say that the GF flours don’t add much, if any sweetness, so you can keep the stevia as is (though these aren’t overly sweet). I think the granulated stevia would be fine–just use an equivalent amount re: sweetness. Let me know how they turn out!

    I never knew you could eat rhubarb raw! Wowza.

    Aw, thanks! 🙂

    Thanks–we actually tried to keep it seasonal. 🙂

    Ooops. I’ve now added the rhubarb into the recipe–thanks! 😉

    I hope you join in!

    Well, for you, it seems,this really IS a challenge! You can do it!!

    Glad you like them–always a bit nervous when I adapt someone else’s recipe! 😀

    It doesn’t have to be a new recipe, but it does have to be a new post. So if you re-post the recipe in a June blog post, feel free to join in!


  • Guess who came home with way too much rhubarb yesterday. Not me. The boyfriend. He made som compott but we still have so many rhubarb stalks left and I gotta show him this recipe! Thank you.


  • I LOVE rhubarb sooooooo soooooo much. I can’t get it here in Spain for love nor money!
    *sad rhubarbless face*


  • […] This is my sweet submission to Ricki and Kim’s SOS Kitchen Challenge, featuring sweet or savoury natural vegan cooking highlighting rhubarb this month. […]

  • Rhubarb- I’m on it! What to make, what to make…


  • Those sound and look delicious. I haven’t been brave enough to cook with rhubarb yet..maybe soon! 😉


  • […] and Kim’s SOS Kitchen Challenge, featuring sweet or savoury natural vegan cooking highlighting rhubarb this month and to this month’s My Legume Love Affair hosted by Diana at A Little Bit of Spain in […]

  • Thanks, Ricki! You should totally celebrate a birth month. It’s 30 days more fun!

    These cookies look great. I love the thought of a challenge.


  • how did you know there was rhubarb in my fridge???!!!???


  • I’ve never liked rhubarb but the scones look so good that I’d risk it and eat one. 🙂


  • Heather

    I made these last night and they are SO GOOD! Thank you for posting the recipe.

    Changes I made including using Soy-Free Earth Balance instead of coconut oil, and using plain instead of vanilla liquid stevia (because the only vanilla stevia I found said “natural flavors” on it and as an ACDer I try to avoid unknowns). I also ended up doubling the rhubarb because I had so much of it, making the biscuits moister. They are so super delicious I had a hard time not eating them all as soon as they came out of the oven. 😀


  • […] tapioca flour, vegan This recipe is submitted to the SOS Kitchen Challenge hosted by Ricki at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs and Kim at Affairs of Living:      The choice of rhubarb for the June SOS Kitchen Challenge […]

  • […] Earlier this month, I was challenged to think of savoury ways to use rhubarb through Ricki’s SOS challenge. I posted a few recipes with rhubarb this month, including an Indian Lentil and Rhubarb Stew, but […]

  • […] am a bit late, but we’ll see if Ricki can add this to her SOS Rhubarb round-up (I can’t wait to see what everyone else […]

  • Mel


    Can I substitute something for the xanthan gum? I don’t have any, but I have all the other ingredients. I’m Stage 1 right now (BTW). Thanks for posting I’m excited to try this. Maybe it will be my Birthday Cake!!!


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