You can turn rhubarb into all kinds of crisps, tarts and crumbles. You can even make rhubarb jam. When it comes to cooking and baking, rhubarb is so versatile. But you don’t need to heat your rhubarb to enjoy it. So if you’re wondering can you eat rhubarb raw?, the answer is you bet!
What Part of the Rhubarb Can You Eat?
Stick to the stems if you’re eating rhubarb raw—the leaves are poisonous. I repeat: Rhubarb leaves are poisonous. The leaves contain oxalic acid, which can be fatal to both people and pets if consumed in large amounts. (But don’t stress, we’re talking several pounds’ worth of leaves).
To learn more about this vibrant vegetable, look through our rhubarb guide.
How to Eat Rhubarb Raw
In its raw state, the “pie plant” is pretty sour. Think Granny Smith apple sour! This is one of the reasons it’s often paired with sweeter fruits, like strawberry. To eat rhubarb solo, dip the stalk into sugar or honey to help mellow out that tart taste. You can also whip up a raw rhubarb compote and add it to your morning bowl of homemade yogurt. Its biting acidity goes beautifully with sweet ripe strawberries (of course), mangoes and even coconut.
Rhubarb is a wicked good way to kick up the crunch factor in salads, too. Its sharp flavor makes a mouthwatering foil in sweet fruit salads, but it’s a delight in green salads, especially when paired with fennel. You can even add thin strips of raw rhubarb to a slaw.
Before you harvest rhubarb, consult our helpful how-to guide!