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Rhubarb and Date Chutney

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Based on and picture taken from a recipe on BBC Good Food

We longingly await the first “fruit” of Spring don’t we? Botanically speaking, rhubarb is a vegetable – a stem which makes it so. Nonetheless, with a little sweetening, it can be made into a variety of delicious desserts, chutneys, jams and even cakes.

Rhubarb needs a little care in preparation. The leaves are poisonous to human beings – although not to slugs apparently! Oxalates are in many vegetables – particularly some of the leafy ones such as rhubarb, spinach, chard, but also legumes and many fruits, nuts and soya. Oxalates are naturally occurring molecules, which when eaten can bind with calcium and prevent its absorption. As with most things – it’s the amount, preparation and frequency that will make all the difference.


50g grated fresh ginger
300ml red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
500g chopped eating apples
300g chopped dates
200g raisins
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon curry powder
400g (or try a little less) sugar
700g rhubarb cut into 2cm chunks
500g chopped red onion


1. Put the onions in a large pan with the ginger and vinegar. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the rhubarb, plus 2 tsp salt to the pan and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 mins until the apples are tender.

2. Stir in the rhubarb and cook, uncovered, until the chutney is thick and jammy, about 15-20 mins. Leave the chutney to sit for about 10-15 mins, then spoon into warm, clean jars, and seal. Label the jars when cool. Keep for at least a month before eating.

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