Growing up, my dad did all the cooking and baking. A lot of what he made was "ruined" (or so I thought as a child) with the addition of rhubarb. Pies, jams, tarts, you name it-he made them all and well, ruined them all. I’m not sure what I had against rhubarb. I think just because it is a vegetable it was automatically something I refused to eat. Yes, I was one of those kids. I mean, in retrospect I think this makes my dad kind of a genius. Perhaps he purposefully added in rhubarb knowing I would disapprove therefore granting him my share….maybe he was on to something as opposed to trying to “ruin my life” by adding a vegetable to desserts.
We had rhubarb growing in our backyard so I’m not exaggerating when I say he added it to every dessert. We also had tons of raspberry bushes, some strawberries, and a fully loaded vegetable garden. It was, and still is a dream. I wish I could go back in time and munch on more than just the berries, carrots, and peas. I wish I appreciated and loved every last planted item. I’m now 32 years old and would kill to have my childhood backyard again, rhubarb included.
Truth be told, I actually have never made anything myself using rhubarb until these muffins. Since my naïve childhood years, I have of course learned to appreciate the vegetable and any and all desserts that it compliments-but I have never brought it into my own kitchen. And then, I received my very first CSA produce box of the season from Crampton’s Market. And damn, was it a killer box. It got me so incredibly excited for the 2017 season. In it, I received a glorified amount of leafy greens (swiss chard, bok choy, spinach, romaine, and garlic chives), the first of the locally grown strawberries, rhubarb, beets, and tomatoes. What really stuck out were the strawberries and the rhubarb-am I right? How generous of them to pair the two together. I knew I had to take advantage and get my rhubarb on. I added spinach to these muffins because I knew it would give them an extra boost of nutrients and well, obviously it would look super purdy.
Strawberry, Spinach & Rhubarb Muffins
- 1 cup milk/milk alternative + 2 tsp. white vinegar or lemon juice (alternatively, use 1 cup buttermilk)
- 2.5 cup spelt flour
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1.5 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted (you can also use any other oil of choice or butter or ghee)
- 1 egg (or keep it plant-based and use 1 tbsp. ground flax or chia mixed with 3 tbsp. warm water)
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1.5 cup diced rhubarb
- 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
- ½ cup chopped fresh spinach
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small bowl, mix together your milk of choice with the white vinegar/lemon juice and set aside to let curdle.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In another bowl, mix together your wet ingredients (maple syrup, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Also add in the milk and vinegar combination and stir.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Make sure not to overmix. Stir gently only until you can’t see and dry ingredients running through the batter. Overmixing will remove the air and can result in flatter, dryer muffins.
- Fold in the rhubarb, strawberries, and spinach.
- Fill muffin liners ¾ of the way (or almost to the top like I did hehe) and bake for 20-22 minutes.
- Let cool for 10-15 minutes and enjoy!
*Note: they freeze very well too, just be sure they are completely cooled down before storing them in the freezer.