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Green and Red and Rhubarb

May 8, 2010

As much as I have loved seeing all the different shades of green popping up and morphing and waving all around me over the past month, what I really love is the purples, whites, reds, peaches, oranges, and pinks of the azaleas everywhere.  This neighborhood is strewn with them, from the manicured, overflowing lawns to wild, unpruned bushes shooting up at the edge of the woods.

And after a winter of broccoli, brussel sprouts and spinach, I am so ready for some color in my food as well.  If I could pick all those azaleas and eat them on a salad, I would!  So in the store the other day, I sprang for the next best thing – rhubarb.

Rhubarb, unfortunately, carries the impracticability of needing to be served with ice cream; butter-laden crumb crusts; cups of sugar.  And as much as I love it, I needed to find a way to indulge it that didn’t involve caloric overload.

So when I found this recipe I knew I had to try it.  Not that muffins are always healthy, but they at least can replace breakfast instead of just adding sugar calories at the end of the day like dessert!  Although I will admit, I did eat one for dessert this evening.

My only regret in making this recipe is that the muffins were actually a really drab color; especially combined with the dark apartment (where did the daylight go?!  I thought it was staying light late?!).  I was expecting vibrant pops of red in the batter but it just got mushy flecks of apple-like material.  It was okay; it tasted fantastic; but if I want that bright azalea color I’ll just have to force myself to cook the rhubarb down into a sugar-y syrup…

Rhubarb Cinnamon Muffins (found at allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (I added a half a tablespoon of vinegar to half a cup of milk and it worked fine!)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup rhubarb, minced

TOPPING:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

Sift first five ingredients. Combine egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla separately; then stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in rhubarb. Fill muffins cups about half full. Stir together topping ingredients; sprinkle over each muffin. Bake at 375 degrees for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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