Rhubarb, ginger and berry smoothie to chase away a cold

strawberry-rhubarb-smoothie.sidebar.jpgI have a raging cold at the moment. Stuffed head, fever, ringing ears, streaming eyes, the lot. What makes it worse is that the weather is glorious outside, and here I am stuck inside, groaning a lot and feeling sorry for myself.

In times like this the only things I can even think about eating and drinking are fruity yogurt, juices, and tea. This smoothie, which is an adaptation from a recipe in the adorable Innocent Smoothie Recipe Book, combines two of those elements and is tart yet spicy in a nice chest-clearing sort of way. It also tastes wonderful. Although, I’m pretty sure it would taste even better if my mouth didn’t feel like cotton wool.

It’s a good thing I took this picture against the clear blue spring skies before the cold took over at full steam.

The glass in the photo is a vintage ’60s frosted-glass one I got at a flea market in New York. I have a set of 6. I love them and would kill anyone who broke them.

Rhubarb, berry and ginger smoothie

For the stewed rhubarb in apple juice:

  • 1 carton of apple juice (1 litre or 1 quart) - organic, blabla preferred, or juice your own apples
  • 4-5 stalks rhubarb, cut up

Stew the rhubarb in the apple juice until soft, about 10-15 minutes. This can be stored in the fridge for making the smoothies later.

For the smoothie:

  • 1 cup stewed rhubarb and juice
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen red berries - strawberries or raspberries or a mix
  • 8 Tbs. plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbs. ginger syrup (if you don’t have ginger syrup, use honey)
  • 1 tsp. ginger juice (grate some fresh ginger and squeeze out the juice)

Combine all in a blender. Serve in tall cool glasses.

Makes 2 servings (which you may consume by yourself if needed as medication)


It’s also great without the ginger element. (The original recipe doesn’t have ginger.)

innocentsmoothie.jpgThe Innocent Drinks Company is a U.K. maker of smoothies and other ‘healthy’ type drinks, with very hip and cute marketing. (They’ve recently branched out to Germany too.) In a way the book is another marketing ploy. It has cute bite-sized bits about saving the environment and so on, alongside the nice and sometimes quite imaginative smoothie ideas.

I do try to not over-indulge in smoothies since one glass of a smoothie can be like 3-400 calories, but nothing much else goes down as, eh, smoothly, when your tonsils are swollen.

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Rhubarb lassi

I made a similar drink a few times this week for breakfast… Last Saturday at the market, rhubarb was just too tempting.

Mine was stewed rhubarb, banana and buttermilk, along with some ice cubes. With the dairy products it’s probably less than ideal for a sore throat, but for me it was nicer than a boring bowl of cereal, easier than toast and eggs, and cheaper than a morning latte and pastry.

Jason Truesdell | 14 April, 2007 - 08:01


rhubarb lassi sounds very good! Where can you get rhubarb in Japan though Jason? (I get asked this quite a lot)

maki | 14 April, 2007 - 12:38

Rhubarb in Japan

To tell the truth, since I’m usually in Seattle I don’t give it much thought… I guess I’ve been cooking lots of Japanese food lately so it must look like I’m in Japan :)

However, Hiroyuki on eGullet pointed out there’s a similar Japanese plant called Itadori… probably not that common everywhere, but it should share the same season and apparently has some very similar flavor characteristics. http://www.s-kanematsu.jp/ also offers rhubarb online, probably shipped through that nifty food courier service that a few shipping providers offer in Japan.

Jason Truesdell | 15 April, 2007 - 00:24


This plant, commonly known here as Japanese Knotweed, is a common invasive weed here in the northwest. I’m looking for information as to how it is prepared for tea. There is a ton of it growing just a few blocks from my house.

Clare Love | 5 June, 2007 - 08:41


I live in northern Japan and I have seen rhubarb (or what I believed was rhubarb) in the markets a handful of times. It is always displayed with items aimed towards the French in this community.

T | 16 April, 2007 - 09:36

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