It’s officially rhubarb season at our house! Our plant out back is huge, and I’m determined to make the most of it this year. I did okay last year, but I know I could have done better. So now it’s my own personal challenge – to make the best use of that plant as I can this year. I love all things rhubarb, and I don’t want any of it to go to waste!
Now, as much as I’d love to put all of my rhubarb into breads and bars and pies, I honestly don’t have time to do that much baking, especially with our little person underfoot. I’ll make rhubarb desserts as I can, but to be completely honest, a lot of this year’s produce is going straight into the freezer. Freezing rhubarb is super easy, and it works great for making rhubarb recipes later.
So here are a couple tips for rhubarb that I’ve learned this year, and a couple suggestions for how to use up your rhubarb in the kitchen. I hope you find them helpful, and I’ll keep you posted on how my rhubarb challenge goes! 🙂
1. Rhubarb is like any other plant – it likes sun, but not too much sun. Our plant likes the Iowa weather; it has a sunny little corner in our backyard, and it grows all by itself. I’ve heard that rhubarb plants like the shade better in warmer states though, so you might want to look into that if your plant isn’t doing as well as you’d hoped.
2. Is it poisonous? Yes and no. The leaves can be poisonous, the stalks are not. Break the leaves off as soon as you harvest the stalks and toss them into the compost. Make sure you keep little people away from them too – we don’t want to have any accidents!
3. Freezing rhubarb is as easy as 1, 2, 3 – wash, chop, freeze! Make sure you wash the stalks well after you harvest them. Remember you’re going to be eating these eventually. 🙂 Use a serrated knife and a cutting board to chop them to the size you want. (I like my really small, but I know others prefer 1 inch segments.) Lay the chopped rhubarb on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer for a few hours. Once the pieces are frozen solid, put them all in a gallon sized freezer bag, and voila! You’re done!
4. Using frozen rhubarb in recipes is simple – just measure out how much you need for the recipe, put the rhubarb in a bowl, and thaw it in the microwave. This will produce some extra juice, so you’ll want to strain the extra off. Don’t squeeze the juice from the rhubarb pieces though – that’s important for your recipe! 🙂
Delicious Rhubarb Recipes:
Streusal Rhubarb Bread (Taste of Home)
Rhubarb Cake (Karis’ Kitchen)
Strawberry Rhubarb Cream Cheese Bars (Beki Cook’s Cake Blog)
Rhubarb Muffins (Little Yellow House Adventures)
Freezer Jam – Come back soon for my recipe! This is on my to-do list!
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie – not because I’ve tried it, but because I’ve always thought this has to be the most delicious thing ever!
Any other tips for dealing with rhubarb? Any favorite recipes to share? I’d love to hear about them!