It’s the final entry in the June Challenge! Our pal Kim conquered rhubarb!
Growing up, my only encounter with rhubarb was on vocabulary tests, never on a plate. Additionally, at some point I read that part of the plant was poisonous, and not trusting myself to remember which part, I figured I should probably stay far away from it. (Note: it’s the leaves, which you’d have to eat several pounds of for a lethal dose, and no one is going to sell rhubarb leaves to you anyway, so you’re safe.)
Then last year, my friend mentioned that she had gotten some really good strawberry-rhubarb pie at Mission Pie and that it was her favorite pie variety, and I confessed that I’d never tried it. She made me promise to give it a shot, and so I did. Turns out that this stuff is really good! However, I still wouldn’t dream of cooking it—did I mention the poison?
Then I read about the Vegansaurus June Challenge the same day that I saw a recipe for Rhubarb Snacking Cake on one of my favorite food blogs and someone had even gone to the trouble of veganizing it for me. Once I saw that rhubarb was on sale at the grocery store, there was no turning back—I knew what I had to do.
I chose not to add strawberries, deciding (as my husband so tactfully put it) to go “full rhubarb”, allowing the fruit to stand on its own merits. Like Then Squash, I spent most of the baking process sure that this wasn’t going to turn out, while suspiciously eyeing this incredibly weird, red, celery-shaped “fruit”. Go figure—if you add fruit and a bunch of sugar to a cake recipe, it turns out pretty tasty! And not poisonous!
My downstairs neighbors are always happy when they get to taste-test some vegan baked goods—their comment on this one was “so delicious!” Next time I will definitely add the strawberries, as just rhubarb with sugar lacks some depth of flavor that I think a third ingredient would provide, but at least I know I’m making the choice for the right reasons. Thanks Vegansaurus, for daring me to give this a shot!
Kim, we are so proud of you! We also highly approve of anything called “snacking cake,” which sounds fancier (and less gas-station-y) than the standard “snack cake.” Thanks to everyone who participated, especially our submitters. You’re all super-eaters, and we hope you feel a great sense of accomplishment.
Because of you all, our June Challenge was a great success. Tell us, what do you think about another Vegansaurus Challenge later in the year? Would you participate? What should it be? Our criteria are: It should involve eating; it should not be super-difficult. Share your ideas for being more creative, adventurous, excited vegans!
A rhubarb daisy, with homemade rhubarb syrup, from the Paupered Chef! Oh please make me one. Or two. Or more. Because I’m home from Georgia and dying for fancy cocktails on a warm summer evening (afternoon) (late morning)!
The recipes for the rhubarb syrup and the daisy are here, plus more gorgeous photos of the cooking process. Summer produce, c’est si bon!