Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins are always the first thing I make when the spring rhubarb begins to show itself. To me, rhubarb smells like spring, and brings back memories of childhood. Memories of dipping rhubarb stalks, freshly cut from the backyard, into little bowls of sugar. Yup, parents gave their children little tupperware containers of sugar back then, to dip their rhubarb in. There was always this wonderful pucker in your mouth feeling, when you bite into the stringy stalk, tempered with the sweetness of sugar and the feeling of sunshine on your hair at last.
One fact that I didn’t know about rhubarb, is that the leaves of the rhubarb plant are highly toxic. Just in case you’re ever tempted to use rhubarb greens in a stir fry, right? In case you were contemplating that, don’t do it. The rhubarb stalk, however, is very much edible, and adds a unique, and delicious tartness to so many dishes.
Another rhubarb fact. It is a vegetable, and not a fruit. Like tomatoes, are a fruit, and not a veg. How we use food is how we think of it, so we usually think of rhubarb as a fruit.
I don’t have rhubarb in my garden, but a friend gave me some from hers. That distinctive rhubarb scent inspired me to make something that feels like spring. And spring is finally here. Really. Finally. Here. (How can you tell, that’s it’s been a crazy long winter here?) Strawberries and rhubarb are always the perfect combination of tart and sweet, and these strawberry rhubarb muffins are topped off with a crispy nut streusel, which brings it home.
The fruit makes these muffins really moist and lovely and that little touch of cinnamon works itself in there beautifully. Make these muffins for a spring brunch or snack, and they freeze really well for a grab and go breakfast.
If you need more ways to use your rhubarb, check out this easy Rhubarb Jam.
Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/3 cups brown sugar, packed
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- zest from one lemon, about 1 tbsp
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk + juice from 1/2 lemon (or substitute buttermilk and omit the lemon. I used almond milk)
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
- 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp cold butter
- Preheat oven to 375°
- In a large bowl, combine flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and lemon zest
- In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk & lemon mixture, oil, and vanilla
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg/milk mixture, stirring with just a few swift strokes to just moisten the ingredients. Don't over mix.
- Fold in the rhubarb and strawberries
- Spoon into muffin pans, should fill 18 holes.
- In a small bowl, put the topping together by combining the nuts, cinnamon, & brown
- Cut in butter until crumbly
- Sprinkle topping over each muffin evenly
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.