April 9, 2014
When I was a little girl, I would watch my grandmother stir a bubbling pot of strawberry-rhubarb sauce on the stove. It was destined for great things, like vanilla ice cream, pie, or angel food cake. And even for a picky, picky eater, that sauce was one of my favorite springtime treats. My grandmother’s garden was always brimming with both fresh strawberries and thick, red rhubarb stalks. That rhubarb plant grew wildly off to the side of her magnificent garden. It was gigantic – so large that in my child mind, it was practically a tree. I looked forward to her yearly harvest and that lovely combination of strawberry and rhubarb. Not much has changed over the years. I’m still a huge fan, which is why I had to turn my two favorite spring time fruits into a deliciously creamy smoothie.
Smoothies are a daily thing at my house. I fell in love first and slowly my kids have followed. My blender is running several times a day to keep up with my kids’ new found love of slurping up their fruit (and veggies!) For me it’s about packing in a little more nutrition into our day, so I start my day with a green smoothie and share with my kids. After school I make another one for them to share. This yummy strawberry rhubarb smoothie is definitely a new favorite. It’s creamy and tart with just a touch of sweetness and a pleasant floral note from orange blossom water.
California strawberries are in season and that brings a smile to my face. We’re still a few months out from local strawberries where I live. Every time I hit up the grocery store, I come home with another pound or two of strawberries. We simply cannot get enough. Rhubarb is a little more difficult to come by. When I see it, I snatch it right up. It used to be that it was difficult to give away rhubarb – it was kind of spring’s zucchini. Everyone had it growing in their garden. But now I find it to be a little more challenging to find, so when I do it’s a real treat. Rhubarb is very tart on its own, so I added a little raw honey to tame it. Honestly, I never thought of using raw. I mean, my grandmother never did. But it’s really quite refreshing. It doesn’t have quite the same flavor that it acquires from that long simmer on the stove, but it’s wonderful nonetheless. Altogether this smoothie is so bright and refreshing. It would be the perfect addition to an Easter Brunch menu.
Now for the healthy part! Rhubarb, as I recently learned, is a great source of calcium. One cup provides 10% of the daily recommended value of calcium. Pretty sweet. It also a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, lutein, Vitamins K and C, and antioxidants. Strawberries and oranges are also excellent sources of Vitamin C. See? You can’t go wrong here. You simply must make this to sip while you’re dipping hard boiled eggs into small pots of color (and before you gnaw off the ear of the chocolate rabbit).
- 2 cups fresh strawberries
- 1 cup fresh or frozen rhubarb, sliced
- 1 large orange, peeled
- ½ cup coconut cream
- raw honey, to taste (1-2 teaspoons)
- ½ teaspoon (or more) orange blossom water (optional)
- ¾ cup ice
- Place ingredients in blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.