Rhubarb: A unique and versatile vegetable packed with nutrition

  • 1 Minute Read
Brenda Braslow
Brenda Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

Rhubarb is a unique, easy-to-grow vegetable packed with good nutrition and very few calories. Learn how to use this vegetable in some tasty and healthy rhubarb recipes.

Rhubarb nutrition

Relish a little rhubarb nutrition in your diet

Have you seen those thick stalks of rhubarb in the produce section but are unsure how to use them in your diet? Rhubarb is a versatile vegetable that looks a lot like celery. Many people think of it as a fruit. In fact, the USDA classifies it as a fruit, yet it is a sour vegetable with just a hint of sweetness. Some people enjoy eating it raw like celery, but that is perhaps an acquired taste. Rhubarb is commonly consumed with other ingredients in a recipe.


A very forgiving plant, rhubarb can withstand quite a bit of neglect and little water. Being hardy, it will come back every year after the initial planting. Enjoy a harvest all summer if you cut the stalks about 1/2 inch from the ground and leave a few stalks to shade the plant from the sun. But remember, rhubarb leaves are toxic and should be discarded.

Rhubarb nutrition

Rhubarb has a lot of nutrition packed in with minimal calories. It has a mere 26 calories and zero grams of fat in one cup (138 grams) serving. Its fiber comes to 3 grams per cup, and it is especially rich in vitamin K, an essential vitamin for blood clotting and bone health. Rhubarb also contains antioxidants, such as lycopene, important for cancer and heart disease prevention. However, rhubarb does have a high oxalate content, so if you are prone to oxalate-based kidney stones, you should avoid it.

Healthy rhubarb recipes

Because it is sour, rhubarb pairs best with sweeter fruits, such as strawberries, apples, or pears. Of course, there are a lot of rhubarb recipes with loads of sugar, but let's focus on some healthier rhubarb recipes. Here are some healthier rhubarb recipes that don't contain a lot of sugar.

Roasted Rhubarb Salad from Eating Well - This recipe uses roasted rhubarb as a tart topping for a mixed green salad with walnuts, raisins, and goat cheese. One serving contains 197 calories, 5.2 grams of protein, and plenty of vitamins and minerals.

Roast Pork with Sweet Onion-Rhubarb Sauce from Eating Well - This heart-healthy recipe balances tart rhubarb with sweet onion to create a complementary sauce for roast pork, which pairs nicely with whole grains and steamed vegetables for sides. One serving has 259 calories and 25 grams of protein.

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote from Skinny Taste - Serve this compote over crepes or Greek yogurt for breakfast or frozen yogurt for a lovely dessert. One serving has only 33 calories.

Easily import these recipes into the MyNetDiary database. You simply search "Recipes" and go to "Import Web Recipes" to find them. Here is a brief video on MyNetDiary's recipe import feature.

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Apr 11, 2022

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