Healthy eating: Local fruits star in rhubarb strawberry sauce

Rhubarb is hitting the farmers’ market right now and strawberry season will be upon us very soon. The strawberries in my garden patch have begun to emerge and as the sunshine continues they will begin to ripen. Using fresh fruit at this time of the year is glorious and we are so lucky to have an abundance of rhubarb and strawberries that are grown locally.

Rhubarb is a tart vegetable consisting of fleshy, pink-red stalks and combines well with the sweetness and texture of strawberries. It’s important to only eat the stalks of the rhubarb plant as the leaves are toxic to humans. Rhubarb and strawberries are good sources of vitamin K, fiber, and antioxidants that can support overall health and help prevent chronic disease. I have many variations of this rhubarb strawberry sauce. This version is quick and easy. It certainly won’t last long as it’s delicious when used on pound cake, shortcakes, angel food cake, ice cream, yogurt as well as granola.

Easy Rhubarb Strawberry Sauce

1 pound (about 2 cups) rhubarb, trimmed, cleaned, and chopped crosswise into to 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
1 pound strawberries cut in half
1/2 to 3/4 cups sugar (depending on taste) plus more to taste. (Feel free to use maple syrup if you prefer, adjust amount depending on your taste for tart/sweet.)
Pinch of kosher salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice plus more to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a small saucepan, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and salt, and cook over low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The rhubarb will begin to soften and break up, and the sugar will liquify, creating saucy consistency.

Remove from the heat.

Optional: Use a stick or immersion blender to puree the rhubarb mixture. If you don’t have an immersion blender just stir the compote to break up the larger pieces. It will be a chunky sauce.

Mix in the lemon juice and vanilla.

Taste and adjust for tartness by adding more lemon by the teaspoon, adjust for sweetness by adding more sugar by the tablespoon.
The flavors should be a balance of tart and sweet.

Store the sauce covered in the refrigerator for up to five days, or frozen for up to two months.

— By Deborah Binder

Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She loves to cook from scratch using produce from the gardens she created and maintains with her husband. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and focused on desserts, pastries and bread. She’s worked for restaurants and caterers in the front and back of the house (kitchen) on both coasts. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. Deborah loves experimenting and developing new recipes. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at



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