Coconut Custard with Rhubarb Compote

My memories of rhubarb are that my mum used to always ruin a perfectly good apple crumble with it. This was slightly changed by my dear friend Pippa, who on her return from Finland a few years ago, brought a most delicious rhubarb desert to our house. Still, until last night this fruit had remained a mystery to me.

While browsing a ‘free vegetables’ list. That is, list of vegetable who are fibrous or low enough in calories and sugar to be included in a serious ‘leaning out’ diet I spotted rhubarb. Ever since then I’ve been eyeing off the rhubarb at the farmers markets and at my organics shop. It’s thick stalks and strange colour taunted me ‘You’ll never make anything out of me’. Finally, on Friday I picked some up from Wilson’s Organics. The guy who always serves me and I both commented on how we’d never cooked it before. He’s quite used to me buying mystery ingredients each week and I report back whether they’re a success or not. Upon leaving the shop I broke a small bit off a stalk and had a taste. ‘PWFATTSST!’ Don’t do that. How anyone would ever think of eating this stuff after a raw taste is beyond me. However, I persevered and with a bit of scanning of my cookbooks concocted a plan.

Nutrition Data has this to say about Rhubarb:

It is also a good source of Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Calcium, Potassium and Manganese.

However, further research suggests that

… while it’s true that 1 cup of diced rhubarb contains about 10% of the daily value for calcium, it is hardly bioavailable at all, owing to the presence of these pesky natural compounds called oxalates, which bind to the calcium in the vegetable and prevent us from being able to absorb it.  So in fact, rhubarb is NOT actually a good non-dairy source of calcium…

Coconut Custard with Rhubarb compote

Rhubarb Compote

  • 6 stems of rhubarb, cut into 2cm pieces
  • the zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon, freshly squeeze orange juice (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon Splenda®

Coconut Custard

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 165ml of light (coconut) milk*
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essense
  • 1 tablespoon Splenda®

Place all the ingredients for the compote in a small fryingpan/skillet over a medium heat and cook, stiring occasionally, for 8 minutes.

To make the custard, heat the milk until almost boiling. Either 2 minutes in the microwave or on the stove, stiring until bubble form at the edges.

In a large metal or glass bowl combine the eggs and Splenda®, while whisking add in the hot milk. Place the bowl over a saucepan with about 5cm of simmering water in the bottom of it. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. Continue to stir until the mixture thickens. If lumps form, it’ll still taste good but it might not be dinner party material. Once the mixture is at the desired thickness it can be allowed to cool and reheated again gently in the same manner. The slightly scrambled version in the photo was very delicious, so if it’s just your Sunday breakfast don’t worry, you haven’t ruined it.

Divide the rhubarb amongst 2 ramekins and place the custard on top. Use a small spoon to give the mixture a ‘half-turn’ to make a pretty swirl.

*Plain low-fat milk works fine also.  I always buy TCC light coconut milk (like at the bottom but in a green can)

Nutrition per serve (makes 2 serves)
Calories: 180
Fat: 10.8g
Carbs: 13.8g
Fibre: 3.7g
Sugar: 3.4g (mostly from the OJ- replace with water to reduce)
Protien: 8.4g (you could boost this by adding in a scoop of vanilla whey to the custard mix)

About Michelle

Michelle is passionate about showing people how easy it is to prepare food that is healthy and packed full of flavour. She has just completed her first recipe book, Healthy Helpings: fast food for fit physiques. She began sharing her love of food in 2007, when she produced two series of the online cooking show ‘Healthy Helpings TV’, making fast food healthy and healthy food fast. In 2008 she competed in bodybuilding as a novice figure shaping competitor and she remains passionate about physique sports. She was a 2009 Australian Masterchef semi-finalist, and contributes articles to Oxygen Magazine Australia. Michelle lives with her husband on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, where she loves to search out new ingredients and food ideas from local farmers markets, health food shops and ethnic grocers, and take her two dogs on long rambles through the vineyards. Find out more about Michelle's book