Roasted strawberry and rhubarb butter

Roasted strawberry and rhubarb butter | Me & The Moose. This thick, spreadable butter uses minimal effort for maximum flavor and is an easy way to use this seasonal vegetable. #meandthemoose #rhubarb #rhubarbrecipes #rhubarbbutter #strawberryrhubarb #vegan #vegetarian

Rhubarb season is here! Turn this tart veg into a thick, spreadable butter to use all day, every day.

Take me to the recipe!

If you’ve searched Instagram recently, it’ll come as no surprise that rhubarb is a very photogenic vegetable. The variations in color lend themselves to ombre-ing and chevron-ing to your hipster heart’s content. But today, we’re keeping it simple by doing neither of those things.

Instead, we’re turning frozen strawberries and those giant rhubarb stalks you find in the grocery store (or your garden if you’re lucky enough to grow your own) into a butter in the style of apple or pumpkin. Because why should our fall fruits and vegetables have all the fun?

I used frozen berries in this recipe because it annoys me that strawberry and rhubarb are a perfect combination, but their growing seasons only overlap for a hot minute. Here in New England, rhubarb starts popping up in stores and markets around mid April, but strawberries aren’t ready until June.

Anyhoo, if you do use fresh berries, I’m guessing there will be slightly more juice, but they may cook a little faster. Keep an eye on the berries after about 20 minutes instead of waiting until 30 have passed.

Let the berries and rhubarb cook until the juices start to get a little syrupy. You can test this by sticking a spoon into the hot liquid (DON’T USE YOUR FINGER!!!). If the strawberry juice coats the back of the spoon and doesn’t drip off entirely, you’re about done. Make sure that your berries don’t burn because they can taste bitter.

Stay tuned on Insta for a few ways to use this butter in both sweet and savory ways!

Roasted strawberry and rhubarb butter | Me & The Moose. This thick, spreadable butter uses minimal effort for maximum flavor and is an easy way to use this seasonal vegetable. #meandthemoose #rhubarb #rhubarbrecipes #rhubarbbutter #strawberryrhubarb #vegan #vegetarian

Roasted strawberry and rhubarb butter | Me & The Moose. This thick, spreadable butter uses minimal effort for maximum flavor and is an easy way to use this seasonal vegetable. #meandthemoose #rhubarb #rhubarbrecipes #rhubarbbutter #strawberryrhubarb #vegan #vegetarian

Roasted strawberry rhubarb butter

Active time: 5 minutes
Total time: About 1 hour, 45 minutes
Yield: 12 oz (1½ cups)

 
3 heaping cups frozen strawberries
2 heaping cups chopped fresh rhubarb (about 3 extra-large stalks chopped into 1-inch chunks)


Preheat the oven to 350.

Wash and chop the rhubarb. Combine with the frozen strawberries on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking tray.

Cook for 35-40 minutes, until the fruit is soft, the strawberries have released their juices, and the juice has started to become syrupy. Watch the berries closely after about 30 minutes to ensure that they don’t burn.

Let the fruit cool completely, about 1 hour.

Scoop the fruit into your blender. Whatever juice gets onto the spoon is fine, but do NOT add any remaining syrup.

Blend until smooth.

Store in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Roasted strawberry and rhubarb butter | Me & The Moose. This thick, spreadable butter uses minimal effort for maximum flavor and is an easy way to use this seasonal vegetable. #meandthemoose #rhubarb #rhubarbrecipes #rhubarbbutter #strawberryrhubarb #vegan #vegetarian

Raspberry rhubarb chia jam bars

IMG_7658.jpg

Preschool germs. Is there a stronger force in the universe? In my memoir, this era will be titled: The time when my child who never got sick, was never not sick.

And I don't know if all kids do this when ill, but mine is like a koala bear who drank a pot of coffee. He's both lethargic and wired, wanting to be on top of me while simultaneously thrashing like he's breaking out of a human prison. In short, this has not been a fun week.

Anyway, since we're stuck in the house for the foreseeable future, I've tried my hand with chia jam a few times. The basic recipe in that link has worked well for me as long as I cook the fruit down for about 20 minutes before adding the chia seeds and letting the mixture set in the fridge for about 30 to 60 minutes before using it. 

IMG_7642.jpg

And this jam is really versatile! It works in sandwiches, obviously, but is also great when added to oatmeal, yogurt, and baked goods. It would also make a tremendous baby puree.

IMG_7647.jpg

This is as easy as dessert/snack/breakfast gets. One bowl, no extra tools, and the same batter for the base and the top crumble. This recipe also uses gluten-free flour and clarified butter, so it's free of gluten, dairy, nuts, and eggs. And I've used as little butter and sugar as possible to maximize health without losing out on taste and texture.

IMG_7625.jpg

This dough is definitely crumbly, but packs down nicely with a rubber spatula. If it's too crumbly, feel free to add an extra tablespoon or two of butter.

IMG_7629.jpg

Raspberry rhubarb chia jam bars

For the jam:
12 oz frozen raspberries (one package or about 1 ½ cups)
2 cups rhubarb, chopped
2 large green apples, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp water
4 Tbsp chia seeds  

Add raspberries, rhubarb and green apples to a medium pot. If your berries are still frozen, add 1 tablespoon of water to get things started. If your berries have unfrozen and there’s some liquid in your bag, skip the extra water and just start cooking.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium or medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is falling apart and the liquid has largely evaporated or become syrupy, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly and add the chia seeds. Cool in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before using.

Yield: About 3 cups


For the bars:
1.5 cups gluten free flour
1.5 cups quick oats
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom
½ tsp kosher salt
Zest of 1/2 large lemon
8 Tbsp clarified butter
4 Tbsp ice water
1.5 cups chia jam (see recipe above)

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x9 brownie pan with clarified butter or olive oil and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt and mix well.

In a small bowl, melt some clarified butter. Measure the butter when melted and add to the dry ingredients, stirring after adding each tablespoon. Add the ice water, also stirring between additions.

Pack about 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of your brownie pan with a rubber spatula or wet hands. Top with the chia jam and smooth out. Crumble the rest of the oat mixture over the chia jam. If possible, pack some of the oat mixture into larger pieces and place those on top.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the edges begin to darken slightly.

Let cool completely before cutting.

Yield: 16 pieces

IMG_7660.jpg
IMG_7664.jpg

Strawberry rhubarb gummies

Man, oh man. It's been a while since I blogged...AGAIN. My excuse this time is that M needed some stitches in his face last week and it was horrible. When he got hurt, I immediately felt afraid and guilty about how vulnerable he is and how I can't protect him from danger. I think it's human nature to do whatever helps us pretend that we have control: No one would get out of bed if they thought too hard about the horrible accidents that could befall them at any minute. In our case, we try to be proactive parents by reading books and tuning into our kid and then making choices based on the information we glean. Do we always make the right choices? Absolutely not. But it's the act of TRYING that feels the most valuable to me. But that's the rub: Trying to be "proactive" is what I do to strengthen the illusion of control. And when injury happens, I'm reminded that my control is, in fact, just an illusion and that much of parenting--hell, much of life--is about reacting to the unforeseen. It's terrifying.

But in addition to feeling shocked, I also felt a little bit of awe. They had to strap M down so that he didn't move or grab the instruments and he was so scared and sweaty and confused. But just a few minutes later, he was sitting up in his stroller extolling the virtues of his blue lollipop. He also told us the next day, unprompted, that he had felt "scared" in the doctor's office. I was pretty floored by this tidbit of emotional maturity in my two-year-old.

Obviously, I've cried a couple of times this week. But what really puts me over the edge is thinking about his courage and sweetness despite all the other stuff. He is showing us that it's possible to feel fear and pain without turning it against others or being ashamed. He isn't trying to blame anyone for what happened. He just wants a blue lolly. Never change, kiddo. 

Also obvious: ALL I WANT TO DO IS GIVE HIM BLUE LOLLIES AND KISSES AND MY PHONE AND ANYTHING ELSE HIS LITTLE HEART WANTS. But that's a bit dramatic. Instead, we're going back to normal and trying to eat some healthy things. These strawberry rhubarb gummies are delicious and portable and sweet without being sugary. I use this brand of gelatin that feels a little more wholesome than other types, but it's expensive, so use what feels good for you. If working with this gelatin or something similar, try to keep these gummies cold-ish as the gelatin un-gels when warm.

A note on making a puree instead of the gummies: Without any sweetener, this puree is TART. I love it, but I'm sure a developing palette would be a bit shocked. If trying this out with a kiddo under 1, add 1 Tbsp of maple syrup at a time to taste. Or, throw in a roasted banana or 1 cup of mango cubes to cut the tartness with fruit rather than added sugar. You can also reduce the rhubarb to 1 cup chopped. It's also a watery puree, so add it to some greek yogurt or coconut cream to thicken it up.

 

Strawberry rhubarb puree and gummies

4 large pieces of rhubarb, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 pint strawberries (about 3 cups of whole berries with stems removed)
¼ cup water
4 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
5 Tbsp gelatin

Grease a baking pan with coconut oil or your oil of choice. Set aside.

Chop rhubarb into 1-inch pieces after removing the leaves and the root ends. Place in a sauce pan with ¼ cup of water and turn heat to medium/medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb starts to get mushy, about 6-8 minutes. Add the whole strawberries and continue cooking until the berries begin to soften and all of the rhubarb has lost its shape, about 10 minutes more. Puree in a blender or food processor.

This will yield about 3 cups of puree. This mixture is fairly watery, so if you don’t plan to turn it into gummies, I would mix it with greek yogurt or coconut cream. It’s also fairly tart, so I recommend adding some honey (for kids older than 1), maple syrup, or another fruit such as 1 large roasted banana or 1 cup of chopped mango.  

For the gummies: Return the puree to the pot and turn the heat to low. Let the mixture heat up slightly, but don’t let it boil. Add the sweetener and mix well. Sprinkle the gelatin into the mixture very very slowly in 1 tsp increments and whisk continually to avoid lumps. Once the powder has dissolved, turn off heat. Pour into your greased pan and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve.

Yield: 64 1” by 1” squares