Summer Recipes- All Things Rhubarb

“I’ll really talk about anything,” I confirmed to a coworker who told me she listed me as a referral at a local salon, “Really anything I do or use, I’ll recommend it to everyone.” As a proud new participant of a CSA, this proves no different.

I signed up for the Good Acre Twin Cities CSA once seeing it posted at my Corepower Yoga studio. Signing up for a half share (good for two people or one vegetable crazy person), this seemed like a great way to try new fruits and vegetables and be pushed out of my cooking comfort zone.

csa

Sure enough, the last two weeks, I’ve received bunches of rhubarb and have had no clue what to do. All I could think of was rhubarb pie, which is quite for a non-baker like myself. Committed to consuming each week’s selection before the next pick up, I realized it was time to embrace the apron. But not the pie.

Enter a recipe I actually followed- Rhubarb Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (spelt flour would probably work great too)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon all spice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed (ripe) banana, about 2 medium bananas
  • ⅓ cup honey (I used agave and plan on using maple syrup next time for more flavor)
  • 1 cup finely chopped rhubarb, about 1 large stalk (for me this was 3 stalks)

prep

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and prepare an 8×4″ loaf pan* with a natural cooking spray.
  2. Whisk all dry ingredients, flour through all spice, in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. *Use a stand or hand-held mixer to beat eggs on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  4. Mix in vanilla, banana and honey until combined.
  5. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Gently fold in rhubarb. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until loaf is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes. Loosen sides with a knife and remove from pan

This was more mild than I was expecting, so I’d recommend serving with butter or whipping up a glaze to put over it. (Pretending that I can just whip up a glaze- so in my case, google it hard)

bread

Followed by- Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble

INGREDIENTS

Rhubarb Strawberry Filling
3 cups rhubarb, chopped
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt

Crumble Topping
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup large flake rolled oats
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped

mix

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Crumble Topping
In a bowl mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and oats until combined. Use a fork to mash in the softened butter until crumbly. Stir in the pecans until combined; set aside and prepare filling.

I’m a huge fan of any baking that calls for just stirring. The second I see the word zest or sift, I’m out. Enjoy how easy this is!

Rhubarb Strawberry Combo
Grease an 8 inch square baking dish or something of a similar size and set aside; Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together the chopped rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour into prepared baking dish, cover with foil and bake for about 25 minutes or until the rhubarb is just starting to get tender.

fruit

Remove dish from the oven and lower the temperature to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the crumble evenly over top. Return to the oven to bake uncovered for another 15 minutes or so or until the crumble is golden and the filling is bubbling at the edges.

Remove and cool for 5-10 minutes. Awesome served warm or cold! I didn’t think these would stay together at all, but once chilled they’re very stable.

cobler

Grand finale (unless I get more this Wednesday)- Banana Rhubarb Bran Muffins

Pro tip- when in doubt, follow the instructions on the box. I do think I get 30% credit for making this recipe up, though all I did was add banana and rhubarb to the Bran muffin recipe on the ____ box, without making any other adjustments. There was a pretty good chance these would be too liquidy as a result, but they turned out great! Considering it made 24 large muffins and 12 mini ones, that’s great news for me.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups Hodgson Mill unprocessed wheat bran
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (I did 50% grassfed butter, 50% ghee)
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 5 thin rhubarb stalks (2-3 cups chopped)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 eggs

chopped

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Boil 1 cup of water, and mix in 1 cup of bran muffin mix until it is absorbed
  2. In a separate bowl, blend sugar and butter
  3. Add flour, baking soda, and salt
  4. Combine the moist* bran (I tried to find a different word) with beaten eggs, mashed banana, and chopped rhubarb
  5. Mix in the remaining 2 cups of bran, almond milk, and sugar-butter-flour combo (once again, we’re just mixing!)
  6. Finally, pour into muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Yields just over 2 dozen.

overboard

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The Truth About Being a Morning Person

My alarm goes off at 4:36 a.m. most weekdays, I physically jump out of bed to make sure I don’t snooze, and I question all of my life choices that brought me here.

It’s a nice ritual.

After waving goodbye to my sleepy dog snuggled in her crate, who gives me a little wag in return, I awkwardly cart my bike out the door with the grace of a bull in a china shop. I then hop onto my bike at 4:55 and pedal 7 miles to arrive at Corepower just before my 5:30 a.m. desk time.

By the end of mile one, I remember how much I love mornings. Some days, I have a visceral reaction to how uncomfortable bike seats are. But most days, I spend 7 miles admiring the various angles of the sunrise. After wondering if I’m missing my calling as a sunrise photographer, I’m there. I’m energized with a clear mind, and that shell-shocked 4:36 a.m. Sarah is nowhere to be found.

bridge

Recently, I was listening to the Ted Radio Hour episode A Better You and was introduced to Matt Cutts, who committed to taking on a new habit for 30 days, every month. As he got into the swing of things, this commitment became less daunting. Rather than altering his life drastically every month, he made small changes. Some stuck, some didn’t.

But that wasn’t what he would focus on. He wouldn’t think about the level of commitment a new habit would be, he just thinks about what would be a good shift to make, and tries it out. One day at a time.

Mornings come naturally to me. But that doesn’t mean the first five minutes of being awake aren’t as hellish for me as they are for the rest of the population. I’m not immune to that, I just see past it.

People often claim they “just can’t do mornings,” and while there’s truth to when we feel our best, I have a feeling these night owls take those first five hellish minutes as a foreshadowing for the day.

They don’t wake up with a smile on their face, stretching their arms overhead with the joy of every person in any coffee or face wash commercial. But here’s the secret- as a lifelong morning person and early riser- neither do I.

But I bounce back, and I think it’s because I don’t have a story that goes along with getting up early. I don’t start the morning telling myself how tired I am, how much coffee I should consume or how to get it in IV form.

To me, mornings represent possibility. It’s a blank slate for my long to-do list, which I can optimistically look at and plan to demolish. Night time is when I feel the tendency to stress about all the boxes that were left unchecked. For some, it’s the opposite. Mornings are daunting and night is the time to revel in your accomplishments.

pilsbury

But it doesn’t take long scrolling through your LinkedIn newsfeed to find out that being on the sunny side has it’s advantages.

8 Things Ridiculously Successful People Do Before 8 AM

Create a Meaningful Morning Routine by Making These Two Key Changes

10 Tweaks To Your Morning Routine That Will Transform Your Entire Day

Rather than being another person to list the 19 things you now need to do every morning (even though you hate mornings and everything of that list), I’d like to share that how you’re looking at motivation is likely all wrong.

While I’ve always been an early riser, my routine of morning workouts began because I was motivated to not shower at the Fraternity house I was living in that summer. Every morning, I’d wake up and go to a 6 a.m, yoga class, so I could use the Corepower showers instead of the ones I was sharing with five sorority sisters and 25 guys.

Somehow that inspiring tale isn’t made into a motivational poster.

I used to live less than a mile away from my yoga studio. I would always say one of these mornings, I’ll bike there, rather than drive the short distance, to teach my 6 a.m. class.

That never happened.

That’s because I’m not motivated by biking. I don’t have dreams to be the best biker, in fact, I enjoy being pretty mediocre. I don’t enjoy biking in spite of being the fastest one on the trail, I enjoy it because I don’t have to be.

I am motivated to bike because I don’t like sitting in traffic while Minneapolis reconstructs every street and highway at the same time. I probably wouldn’t have taken this on if it wasn’t a healthy habit, but what motivates me more than getting back that #thighgap is not paying $9 to park downtown on the daily.

That’s really it. It’s not inspiring, but it’s true.

Along the way, of course, I’ve found countless benefits. I really can’t get over that sunrise. My legs are looking and feeling more like they did when I was an avid runner. I feel more awake on the days I bike, despite the 30 minutes of sleep I sacrifice, than when I drive. I don’t have to worry about keeping my sleepy eyes open while being on the highway. I get to spend more time outside, and less money on gas.

bike
Crazy yoga pants recommended for being seen by rush hour drivers

Biking has become a moving meditation for me, and is the rare quiet space I have throughout the day. It’s revived a creativity and thoughtfulness in me, hence why you’re ready this blog post.

Rather than focusing on the 180 degree changes you need to make, tap into what exactly you are unhappy with, and what healthy change you could make to fix just that. The life changing transformation you’ve heard so much about will unfold naturally, once you create the space for it.

bootcamp