How to Freeze Rhubarb
Harvesting This Early Spring Vegetable is Quite Easy
Rhubarb is a large-leafed plant with edible stalks that grows like a bad weed anywhere that it gets the opportunity to be planted. It is a very hardy perennial. Unfortunately, it is a vegetable that often gets neglected when it shouldn't. Rather than being harvested along with the rest of the garden's riches, rhubarb is often just left in the garden to decompose.
Your rhubarb really does not have to be left behind from the harvest. It is so very easy to harvest and to store.
Gardening Doesn't Take Up Much Space
Do You Grow Some of Your Own Food
Preparing Rhubarb for the Freezer
- You can twist and pull the stalk out at their base to yank it up from the ground and out of the main rhubarb plant. If you find this too difficult to manage you can chop the rhubarb stalk low to the ground keeping in mind that the remaining stubble may interfere in future growths.
- Remove the rhubarb leaves as these are toxic and should never be eaten.
- Wash the rhubarb stems thoroughly.
- Remove any woody or damaged stems.
There are a Number of Ways to Package It for Freezing
There are a number of methods for freezing rhubarb:
- Rhubarb can be put in airtight plastic bags or within plastic storage containers for freezing.
- It can be frozen as whole stalks within either freezer bags or bread bags.
- It can be chopped and frozen in its natural state, frozen with added sugar, or frozen within a syrup mixture.
I generally freeze my rhubarb plain as this is the easiest and quickest method to freeze this vegetable. I simply chop my rhubarb, pop it into the bags, and then into the freezer. I do, however, place my rhubarb into a variety of different sized containers so I have an ample variety of sizes to select from. This ensures that no matter how large a batch it is, that I am choosing to cook that day I'll be sure to have the correct package in the freezer for my needs.
Adding Sugar to Your Packages
If you are adding sugar in with your rhubarb, generally use about one part sugar for every four parts of rhubarb. You can stir your sugar and rhubarb within a bowl before bagging it or just dump the sugar into the bag over top of the rhubarb. Shake the container to coat.
Anyone who has ever eaten rhubarb plain knows that it is a very tart vegetable it is therefore best when it is combined with other fruits to give it a little more natural sweetness. For a more tasty treat in your recipes combine apples along with the rhubarb. Apples tend to compliment the flavor of rhubarb very nicely.
Don't forget to put the date on your packages before you put them in the freezer to insure that older batches are used first.
A Deliciously Nutritious Early Spring Vegetable
Rhubarb has long been known for its health merits. The stem of the plant is rich in anthraquinones. These substances are known for their laxative and cathartic or body cleansing abilities and provide for a natural body cleansing when ingested.
It was a standard plant in rural gardens but as produce became easier to purchase this plant was often treated as simply a decorative addition by those who did not realize its true potential. Looking much like a weed with its huge leafy foliage rhubarb is of late being once again more widely recognized for the tasty and nutritious food that it is.
Rhubarb is such an easy vegetable to preserve that it takes just minutes to prepare for freezing and once frozen it will maintain its nutritional value for up to nine months. Rhubarb can be added to all kinds of tasty treats to add that little extra nutritional value to your desserts.
Recycling Makes Sense
The containers that you use to freeze your rhubarb can be recycled ones. Margarine or yogurt containers work perfect for storing your gardens bounty.
In addition to being an economical option and saving more plastics from being created or thrown into a local landfill, reusing your plastic containers also gives you a wider range of various sized containers to choose from.
When freezing your rhubarb, as with all fruit or vegetables, try to put a variety of sized packages in your freezer for later use. Having a number of size options in your freezer will help prevent waste when baking.
Rhubarb is often just left in the garden. Do you harvest yours?
Do you neglect to harvest your rhubarb?
Apple-Rhubarb Crisp Recipe
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
- 2 cups diced rhubarb
- 2 cups diced apples
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- Prepare the crumb mixture by creaming the margarine into the brown sugar. Add the next four ingredients and mix till crumbly.
- Dice the fruit into small squares and mix with the white sugar.
- Combine one-quarter of the crumb mixture with the diced fruit in a baking pan. Pour the remaining crumb mixture atop the rhubarb, apple and crumb mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees for thirty-five to forty-five minutes. Top with ice cream, whipping cream or serve with a small amount of milk.
Note: You can lessen the brown sugar to one cup if you like your crisp less sweet. This crisp can also be prepared without the apples. Just replace apples with two cups of additional rhubarb.
Malic Acid May Help Remove Metal Toxins
I've already let you know that rhubarb is a natural cleanser for your body, but did you know that apples will also help cleanse your body too? Apples are well-known for their rich vitamin content, but a lesser-known fact is that the pectin/malic acid within apples can help to detoxify your system. It binds with heavy metal toxins such as aluminum and mercury and aides in their removal from the body. Apple-rhubarb pie . . . what a yummy way to get a little healthier.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2009 Lorelei Cohen