In the cold climate here in Ohio, rhubarb is one of the first foods available for harvest in the spring. Rhubarb first came to the U.S. in 1820. It is botanically classified as a vegetable, however, in the U.S. a New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used here as a fruit it was to be called a fruit. A side effect from this was a reduction in taxes paid.
Rhubarb is one of those foods that not many people know what to do with and some don't use it as most recipes calling for it also calls for a good amount of sugar because it is kind of tart. I found a recipe at the end of rhubarb season last year that was good and it didn't require lots of sugar. I wish I had frozen some so we could of had these muffins all year. Besides snacking, muffins go good with soup or for breakfast with your free range, pastured eggs.
These muffins are really moist but have a crunch because of the topping which makes it a nice combination. They are not to tart and not to sweet. Give them a try and let me know what you think. We now have rhubarb available for sale if you need some.
Crumb-Topped Rhubarb Muffins
Preheat oven to 350*
1/2 c. yogurt (strawberry, vanilla, etc) *see note
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 c. flour
1/2 c. (maybe even a 1/3 c) brown sugar (sucanat works good)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. salt
1 1/2 c. (about 1/2#) rhubarb, chopped in small chunks
In sm. bowl, mix wet ingredients. Combine dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just about blended; fold in the rhubarb. Spoon into greased or paper lined muffin tins.
1/4 c. brown sugar (sucanat)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. nuts, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
Combine topping ingredients. Spoon over tops of muffins and press down into muffin dough.
Bake for 25 min or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pan for about 15 minutes before removing. ENJOY!
Yield: about 10 muffins
Strawberries and rhubarb par well together so using strawberry yogurt works really well in this recipe. Using a fruit on the bottom yogurt is best as you'll get a bit of a strawberry taste every now and then.....I used Brown Cow's 6 oz. Cream-top strawberry yogurt. The 2 times I've made it this year, I didn't have any strawberry yogurt so I used up some strawberry kefir that I already had and it works good too but I didn't get the strawberry taste like I wanted in the muffins after they were baked. I did try adding a few strawberries last year to the batter but it made the muffins too mushy as the rhubarb already makes the muffins pretty moist.