Add a rich color and exquisite taste to banana muffins easy healthy recipes by adding rhubarb, a vegetable that is most often used as a fruit and added to pies, cakes, and made into sauce, jams, jellies, and desserts. The delicate sweetness of bananas and the robust aggression of the rhubarb make a surprisingly delightful and quite a nutritious combination. Use sweet ripe bananas and look for rhubarb with crisp and firm stalks with a vivid red color. Avoid rhubarb with stems that are stringing or decaying at the ends. Stringy rhubarb are tough and don’t make ideal easy desserts ingredient.
While rhubarb is technically a vegetable, it is often prepared as a fruit and served the same way as a fruit especially in English cooking where it is popular. Also known as a “pie plant,” rhubarb is often used as a pie filling although it is not uncommon to use it as an ingredient for making luscious-tasting muffins. Rhubarb combines well with strawberries, cranberries, apples, and raspberries. It is also perfect mixed with bananas such as in this recipe. It can also be used in savory dishes and added to or served with meats and fish.
Ingredients: 2 egg whites, 2/3 cup skim milk, 1/4 cups vegetable oil, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup mashed banana, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 2/3 cup chopped fresh or frozen and thawed rhubarb
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick oil spray or line cupcake papers. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the milk and oil. Add the flours, sugar, banana, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg, stirring until just moist. The batter will be lumpy. Gently fold in the rhubarb. Pour the batter into the muffin tin, coming nearly to the top of each cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cook 5 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
The leaves of the rhubarb plant are poisonous. So it is crucial to remove the leaves from the stalk and discard them. When storing rhubarb in the refrigerator, however, leave the leaves on the rhubarb as they help keep the stem fresh. Rhubarb does not store well, however, and can be kept only a few days in the refrigerator before they start wilting. There are two types of rhubarb: hothouse rhubarb, which has pink to light colored stalks and yellow leaves with a milder taste and less stringy; the other one is field-grown rhubarb, which has green leaves, deep red stalks, and a more intense flavor.