Rhubarb is not just for crumble. It makes a great morning treat, too. At this time of year, when the field-grown rhubarb is reaching its peak, rhubarb’s infinite baking potential is nicely exploited with these crumble muffins; and the smoothie makes a wholesome and refreshing breakfast that’s do-able in a hurry, quickest if you already have some rhubarb compote chilling in the fridge — but if you don’t, you can also use raw rhubarb with a little honey. Raw rhubarb is more acidic, so less is needed than when it’s cooked, and it can be harsher on more delicate stomachs. Whether using raw or cooked, trim off every bit of leaf, as the leaves are poisonous.
The rhubarb compote is so easy to put together it’s worth making to have on hand for a couple of days’ worth of desserts and breakfasts. Just cut the rhubarb into 3cm (1 inch) pieces and put into an oven-proof dish with a couple of tablespoons of orange juice and about one-quarter of its weight in sugar, or to taste; add some fresh or candied ginger if you like, and bake uncovered at 175C / 350F for about 25 minutes or until it’s tender, but not falling apart.