Preserving rhubarb is a great way to get the most out of your harvest. Check out these easy ways to preserve your own rhubarb at home.
I have found rhubarb to be one of the easiest things in the world to grow and almost impossible to kill. Sadly that was a lesson I learned a little too late. I don’t remember how plants we started with, but let me just say, if you thinking about growing your own one rhubarb plant will likely be far more than enough!
Our current rhubarb patch has survived two major transplants as well as several splittings. Currently, we have 10 plants, all of which are doing very well, as a matter of fact, they survived the last move so well, we had a bigger harvest than ever. This left me wondering what on earth I was going to do with all of it, of course, there were plenty of baked goods I could make, pies, bars, etc. After all that was the whole reason, we had gotten rhubarb plants in the first place.
But I had a feeling, even with ten people in the house, there was no way we could make and eat enough baked goods to put much of a dent in your rhubarb crop. I’m a big fan of letting food go to waste, especially not food I’ve spent a good deal of time growing and taking care of. So I set out to find some quick and easy ways to store and persevere rhubarb at home.
There are defiantly more ways than I am about to list, but these are my top 3 best and easiest ways to ensure you get the most out of your rhubarb harvest. And can store enough rhubarb to last you to next season.
Even if you don’t grow your own rhubarb, you can easily follow any of the methods listed below to store and preserve the rhubarb you get at your local Farmer’s market, or grocery store.
This might seem like a no-brainer to some people. But honesty till a few years ago freezing rhubarb never really crossed my mind.
I’d frozen berries, Jalapenos, and even avocados before, but I never really thought of freezing rhubarb. But I’m glad I did, and I’m always glad to have a bag of frozen rhubarb pieces to pull out when the carving for Strawberry Rhubarb pie hits in the dead of winter.
This is by far the easiest way to preserve rhubarb. It takes little to no time to do. Rhubarb freezes extremely well and will last up to a year in the freezer.
How To Freeze Rhubarb
- Pick your rhubarb stalks, and cut off the leaves and the ends of each one
- Wash the rhubarb and let it air dry.
- Label the bags with the month and year.
- Slice it into 1/4-1/2 inch slices. Put the sliced rhubarb into a quart-size freezer bag. I do 2 cups of rhubarb per bag.
- Seal the bags and shake them a little so the piece spread out in a single layer and the bag lays flat. (this works best for stacking and storing them in the freezer.) Frozen rhubarb will last up to one year.
Alternatively, you can also place your chopped rhubarb pieces on a baking sheet, and freezer. Then transfer them to a bag after they are frozen.
You can slice your rhubarb stalks into bigger pieces if you like as well. But personally, I would recommend keeping them to 1-inch pieces and smaller.
Make Rhubarb Jam
A couple of years ago, my Mum found this Jam recipe. And let me just say Shaye Elliott you are one of my favorite people on earth for creating this recipe. This jam is seriously amazing, it’s like fall in a jar and it tastes a bit like a homemade apple pie. Honestly, this is got to be one of my all-time favorite recipes. It’s easy to make, use honey instead of sugar, and you can whip up a fairly large batch in less than an hour.
This was also the first recipe that introduced me to the European canning method. If you’ve never heard of it before, trust me you’ll love it. It makes canning 10 times easier and removes the need for a water bath.
For some reason, I didn’t around to making it last year, and that was rather disappointing, especially once fall hit. So this year I have plans to make a lot. At least enough to last us till November, then again with how good this jam is and how much we love it, I doubt it will last half that long.
What Is European canning?
To give a quick explanation. You’ll prepare like normal, clean your jars, and lids, and keep them warm if at all possible. Then prepare your jam(or whatever you are making). Make sure your mixture is hot, very hot almost. Then spoon it into the jars, screw on the lids, and flip the jars upside down.
The heat from the jam causes the jars to seal and eliminates the need to use a water bath to seal the jars. If the jars seal properly your jam will last just as long as it would if you used a regular canning method.
Personally, I’ve only used this method for jam, but my sister uses it when she cans her salsa and I’m hoping to experiment more with it this year.
Pickle Your rhubarb
This is the first year I’ve tried pickling rhubarb and let’s just say it was quite the endeavor. I was a little more out of canning practice than I had thought, turns out skipping a year does affect you. My first batch didn’t turn out at all, I broke one pint jar, and the other one wouldn’t seal properly. Needless to say, I’ve had better days, and my second attempt went much better, thankfully.
Pickling rhubarb was another one of those things that have been on my list of things to try for years now. I don’t remember where I first saw the idea or why it took me so long to try it. But I’m glad I finally did! pickled rhubarb is amazing, and I can’t wait to make more. I also can’t wait to share the recipe I’ve been working on with to stay tuned!
There truly are a million different ways to preserve rhubarb and save it for future use. Aside from the ideas mentioned, you can also make a traditional rhubarb jam in your water bath canner. You can make rhubarb compote and rhubarb sauce, simple syrup, stewed rhubarb, and many more.
There is also a wide variety of baked goods you can make with it, so be sure to pick a cookbook or do a little looking online. Some ideas include rhubarb cake, ice cream, and rhubarb quick bread.
But there 3 ways, are my favorite ways, and not to mention the easiest ways to preserve rhubarb at home!