Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fresh From the Garden

Now that summer is here, the produce is always abundant in my kitchen! Two of my favorites would have to be good ol’ versatile zucchini and rhubarb from our backyard!

What’s your favorite summer produce find?

So starting in the spring, I try to compile a list of recipes to use a variety of summer fruit and vegetable findings. Not surprisingly, today’s are both sweet recipes.  But first..

Health Benefits of Rhubarb:

  • Studies have shown that rhubarb has anti-cancer properties and might help in cutting down the risk of cancer.
  • Fresh rhubarb stalk is a very good source of dietary fiber and is beneficial for those suffering from indigestion
  • Eating a cold piece of rhubarb stalk can help counterbalance stomach acid and thus, restore health.
  • Regular consumption of fresh rhubarb has been seen to have a positive effect on lowering of blood pressure.
  • Researches have suggested that rhubarb can prove to be beneficial for those suffering from high cholesterol.
  • Rhubarb has been found to have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties.

Health Benefits of Zucchini:

  • Zucchini helps to cure asthma as it contains Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Zucchini helps to prevent diseases, like scurvy, bruising etc, caused by the deficiency of Vitamin C.
  • Eating zucchini also helps to support the arrangement of capillaries.
  • Regular intake of zucchini effectively lowers high homocysteine levels.
  • Zucchini also prevents the risk of having multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • Zucchinis have high water content (over 95%), so they make perfect food for people on diet.
  • Zucchini contains useful amounts of folate, potassium, and vitamin A, necessary for a human body.
  • Zucchini contains Vitamin C and lutein, both of which are good for eyes.


    Rhubarb Banana Cream Delight

    *You wouldn’t think banana and rhubarb would pair well together, but turns out they are a heavenly combo!*



  • 1 cup whole-wheat or honey graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


    • 1 (4 serving) package sugar-free vanilla cook-and-serve pudding mix
    • 1 (4 serving) package sugar-free strawberry gelatin
    • 1 3/4 c water
    • 2 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
    • 1 c sliced banana
    • 1 (4 serving) package instant banana cream pudding mix
    • 2/3 c nonfat dry milk powder
    • 1/2 c Cool Whip Free




    • PREHEAT oven to 350° F.
    • COMBINE graham cracker crumbs, oil, sugar,and cinnamon in medium bowl; stir well. Press onto bottom and side of ungreased 8 x 8 glass baking dish.
    • BAKE for 8 to 10 minutes; cool.


  • In a medium saucepan, combine dry cook-and-serve pudding mix, dry gelatin, and 3/4 c water. Add rhubarb. Mix well to combine. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and rhubarb becomes soft, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in banana.

  • Place saucepan on wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes.Spoon rhubarb mixture over crust. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

  • In a medium bowl, combine dry instant pudding mix and dry milk powder. Add remaining 1 cup water. Mix well using a wire whisk. Blend in Cool Whip free. Spread pudding mixture evenly over rhubarb mixture. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

  • Cut into 8 servings.


    Tropical Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

  • *The coconut extract and shredded coconut really takes these muffins to a tropical level, and who doesn’t like that?"*

  • Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 c zucchini, finely shredded
    • 1/2 c granulated sugar
    • 1/3 c light brown sugar, packed
    • 1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
    • 2 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
    • 1 c all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 c whole wheat flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • dash of salt
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp cloves
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 c chopped pecans, or almonds
    • 1/4 c mini chocolate chips
    • 1/2 shredded coconut


    • Preheat oven to 350 F.
    • In large bowl combine both flours, both sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves.
    • In separate medium bowl, mix together zucchini, applesauce, oil, eggs, vanilla, coconut extract, and shredded coconut.
    • Add wet ingredients into large bowl with dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
    • Fold in nuts and chocolate chips.
    • Fill 12 muffin liners evenly. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.



    Lindsay @ http://pancakesnpajamas.blogspot.com/ said...

    These both look amazing, but I have a giant zuchini waiting to be used! I need to make these muffins!

    Sook said...

    What lovely recipes! I love zucchini too. I always buy like 5 at a time. :)

    Krista said...

    I love zuchhini AND rhubarb! I knew they were both good for me...I just didn't realize how good! I have a rhubarb banana recipe on my blog...

    sophia said...

    Hey baking queen! This is the first timeI see rhubarb paired with banana! Cool! My fave summer produce is white peaches, and cherries!

    Jenny said...

    I still can't bring myself to make zucchini muffins/bread. It just sounds like such an unlikely combo! (says the girl who just polished off some avocado chocolate pudding).

    Mary said...

    Your recipes are both amazing. It is so nice to be able to use seasonal produce. I most look forward to asparagus and of course the berries. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

    Jessica said...

    I've been enjoyig rhubarb pie the last week! YUM!
    My fav veg, especially from my garden are crazy cloured/shaped heirloom tomatoes!

    Erica said...

    I totally want to plant some rhubarb after making my crisp! It is delicious and I had no idea it had so many great health benefits as well. Summer produce rocks. Great combo of the banana and rhubarb too. Have a great rest of the week

    brandi said...

    yum! Both of these look awesome!

    Jessica said...

    I love Rhubarb! Thanks so much for posting this and sharing the info!

    Kim said...

    I love both zucchini and rhubarb. I'm really intrigued with the rhubarb and banana dessert. I bet it was very creamy and delicious.

    And, zucchini makes the very best muffins and bread. Love it!

    anudivya said...

    I have always been scared of Rhubarb... never given it a try. The zucchinis on the other hand... I could make that work! :)

    katecooks said...

    ive never made anything with rhubarb before but i really like it so i should probably give it a try!!

    Kerstin said...

    Yay for fresh rhubarb and zucchini - both treats look so tasty!

    mangocheeks said...

    Your right I would not have thought of banan and rhubarb goign together. Must give a try. Thank you for sharing the combo.