Quick Strawberry Rhubarb (and red beet) Syrup

Rhubarb season is in full swing in the Rockies. The other morning I discovered we were out of maple syrup for pancakes so thought I would attempt a strawberry rhubarb syrup with a secret ingredient—red beet (for color)! It's a nice, mild syrup (and, no, you cannot taste the beet) with impressive color!

I am tickled to say that I discovered a secret cache of four huge rhubarb plants! I saw them growing alongside an abandoned house out our back door and over the fence. Hero "me" saved them in the nick of time from a yard man who had come to weed whack everything in sight. I think he thought I was a crazy woman running down there and begging him to spare the plants. I don't even want to know what the neighbors were thinking.

Add to a medium saucepan:

1 cup 1/2" inch pieces of RHUBARB
1 cup STRAWBERRIES, hulled and rinsed
1/2 cup filtered WATER

Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until rhubarb is soft and begins to fall apart. Add:

1/4 small RED BEET, sliced

Simmer another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain liquid into a bowl. Save pulp (discarding beet chunks) for another use. Return liquid to saucepan and add:

1/4 cup HONEY
1/4 cup filtered WATER
1 teaspoon VANILLA EXTRACT
15 drops SweetLeaf Vanilla Crème LIQUID STEVIA (or to taste)

Bring to boil and add a slurry of:

1/8 cup filtered WATER
1-1/2 teaspoons ARROWROOT STARCH

Allow to boil for 5-10 seconds and remove from heat. Makes just over 1 cup of syrup. Drizzle on ice cream, over a stack of pancakes, or into a glass of iced, sparkling water.

Free rhubarb at the abandoned house out back!