Can You Eat Thin Rhubarb Stalks Raw? Everything You Need to Know

Do you know that rhubarb is not a fruit, but rather a vegetable? While it is commonly used in sweet pies and desserts, the nutritional value of rhubarb stalks cannot be overlooked. In this article, we will explore the benefits of including rhubarb in your diet and answer some common questions regarding cooking with thin rhubarb stalks.

Firstly, did you know that rhubarb is an excellent source of fiber? Not only does it aid digestion, but it also promotes weight loss and regulates blood sugar levels. Rhubarb also contains vitamins C and K, as well as calcium and potassium.

If you’re wondering whether you can eat thin rhubarb stalks raw, the answer is yes! However, due to their tart taste and stringy texture, it’s best to chop them up finely or add them to smoothies for easy consumption.

When cooking with thin rhubarb stalks, they become more tender when exposed to heat. Try making a delicious compote or stewed dish using these vibrant bright red stems!

Nutritional Value of Rhubarb Stalks

Rhubarb is a vegetable that is commonly used in desserts and pies, but it also has high nutritional value. Here’s an overview of the nutritional value of rhubarb:

  • Fiber: One cup of raw rhubarb provides about 2. 2 grams of dietary fiber, which helps keep you feeling full and aids in digestion.
  • Vitamin K: Rhubarb is a good source of vitamin K, with one cup providing about 26% of your daily recommended intake. Vitamin K helps support bone health and blood clotting.
  • Vitamin C: Rhubarb stalks are also rich in vitamin C, with one cup providing about 10% of your daily recommended intake. Vitamin C boosts your immune system and supports collagen production.
  • Potassium: One cup of raw rhubarb contains approximately 351mg potassium which helps maintain fluid balance and plays a role in muscle contractions making it great for athletes or people who exercise regularly.

Benefits Of Eating Rhubarbs

Eating rhubarbs can bring many benefits to our health, some include;

  • Aid In Digestion: The high amountoffiberin rhuarbarbasit helpsto improve bowel movement thus aiding indigestion.
  • Lowers cholesterol levels: fibre works by bindingwith the bile acids reducingtheir re-absorption hence decreasingthe LDL (bad) cholesterols within the body and as a result promoting heart health
  • An aid to Weight Loss: rhubarbs have a low caloric value and are rich in fibre thus eating rhubarbs can promote weight loss.

Comparison Of Thin and Thick Rhubarb Stalks

The thickness of a piece of rhubarb doesn’t determine its nutritional value but it does affect its flavor and texture when used in recipes. Here are the main differences between thin and thick rhubarb stalks:

  • Thin stalks: These stalks have a delicate flavor and tender texture which make them perfect for lightly cooked or raw recipes such as salads or smoothies.
  • Thick stalks: They have abolderflavour henceare greatin bakingand making jams or preserves. They’lltake longerto cook/ bakecompared tothin ones sothey’rebestused in recipessuch as pies, crumblesor cobblers that require stove top cooking.

Can You Eat Thin Rhubarb Stalks Raw?

Many people wonder if it is safe to eat thin rhubarb stalks raw. Some may have heard that raw rhubarb can be poisonous and want to know if this is true. Others may be looking for new ways to add more fruits and veggies into their diet and are curious about whether raw rhubarb could be a tasty addition.

The Answer

Yes, you can absolutely eat thin rhubarb stalks raw! In fact, some people prefer the taste of raw rhubarb over cooked despite its tartness.

Texture and Taste

Rhubarb has a uniquely tart flavor that’s hard to describe. It’s similar in tanginess to a green apple, but with its own distinct sweetness. When eaten raw, the texture of thin rhubarb stalks can be crunchy like celery or fibrous like pineapple depending on how thick the stalk is.

Health Benefits

Eating raw rhubarb holds many health benefits. Rhubarbs are low in calories but high in antioxidants such as vitamin C that help fight cellular damage caused by free radicals. They also contain fiber which assists digestive functions by preventing constipation as well as reducing overall inflammation levels within our body.


  • Avoid eating the leaves because they contain oxalic acid which causes nausea, vomiting, kidney stones when consumed in large quantity
  • Pick fresh from your garden instead of store bought due possible pesticide contamination
  • If you have ever had issues digesting chicory or artichokes, then there is a higher chance you might not digest it. Always start with small amounts first

Tips for Preparing Thin Rhubarb Stalks for Raw Consumption

  1. Select fresh, thin rhubarb stalks that are not more than 1 inch thick and still firm to touch
  2. Cut off both ends of the stalks and rinse them thoroughly under running water
  3. Please remember to peel it. The stringy fibers on the outside might cause choking hazard if not removed.
  4. Slice the rhubarbs into small bite-sized pieces or use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons like zoodles
  5. If you find it too tart soak it in honey before consuming but mindful of possible sugar overload.

Cooking with Thin Rhubarb Stalks

Rhubarb is a vegetable that’s often used in desserts, but it can also be cooked and served in savory dishes. In this section, we’ll explore different cooking methods for rhubarb and share some recipes that use thin stalks of rhubarb. We’ll also compare the taste and texture of cooked and raw rhubarb.

Overview of Cooking Methods for Rhubarb

Rhubarb can be boiled, stewed, baked or roasted depending on your desired result. Below are popular ways to prepare rhubarb:

  • Stewing: chop the rhubarbs into small pieces, cook them over low heat with sugar until they break down into a jam-like consistency; good for making jams or sauces.
  • Baking: cut the rhubarbs into chunks, mix them with sugar then put them in an oven-proof dish – bake them at high temperature until they’re softened; suitable for pies or crumbles.
  • Roasting: you may chop your stalks into small pieces or cook whole fast so it still retains some crunchiness; delicious as a side dish or topping to salads.

Recipes for using thin Rhubarb Stalks in Cooking

  1. Rhubarb Chutney: Cook chopped onion and ginger over medium heat – add diced rhubarbs when onions start going translucent. Add vinegar, palm sugar, mustard seed folding constantly until it simmers then lower the heat till everything blends perfectly & chutney form is achieved.
  2. Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Sauce: Roughly chop the rhubarb stalks and put them in a roasting dish with pork tenderloin. Roast until the meat is cooked through to your liking, then remove from oven – put on hold meat while you make sauce; with light broth mixed into roasted pan scrapings – add cornstarch slurry to thicken.  
  3. Rhubarb Salad Dressing: In a blender or food processor, blend rhubarb stems together with honey, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt & some water. Mix recepie till it forms an emulsion.

Comparison of Taste and Texture of Cooked and Raw Rhubarb

The taste of raw rhubarb is very sour with a crunchy texture that can be somewhat tough and stringy. Cooking rhubarbs releases water from the stalks reducing their toughness but brings out its tart flavor yet it forms part of dishes like pies crumbles sauces jams salad dressings etc so its versatile savory or sweet.


In conclusion, incorporating rhubarb in your meals provides numerous health benefits while adding a unique tangy flavor profile. Be creative with how you use this versatile vegetable in sweet or savory dishes – the possibilities are endless!


Can I freeze fresh rhubarb?

Yes! Simply wash the stalks thoroughly before blanching them for 1-2 minutes then immediately soaking them in ice water until cool. Dry off excess moisture before storing them into freezer-safe bags.

Is Rhubarb safe for dogs?

No! Rhubarbs contain oxalic acid which can be poisonous to pets either cooked or raw

How do I choose good quality Rhubarbs from stores?

For thinner varieties like “Champagne” Rhubards look out for plump juicy reddish-pink stems without any noticeable cracks on its flesh. For larger varieties like Victoria Rhubards, select the stalks that are vivid rich red and firm with upright leaves.

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