How to Freeze Rhubarb and 5 Easy Rhubarb Recipes

When I was growing up in New England, my parents always had a garden.  In their garden, the one thing that came back year after year was rhubarb.  My mom was a master at knowing how to freeze rhubarb because she had so much of the stuff it was insane.  She used to tell my dad that she didn’t care how much darn rhubarb there was in the garden, he should leave it there because she had WAY too much of the stuff.  She had a ton of rhubarb recipes in her repertoire and I was always thrilled to find a strawberry rhubarb pie waiting for me for dessert.  Now that I live in the south, I growing rhubarb is really hard.  It doesn’t really like the heat and I have to baby it all summer just to get enough to make one pie with.  For me, freezing rhubarb all summer usually get me just enough to bake with come July or August!  If you are growing rhubarb this summer, here are some tips for freezing it, along with a few easy rhubarb recipes to try in your own kitchen.

Freezing Rhubarb and 5 Easy Rhubarb Recipes

How to Freeze Rhubarb and 5 Easy Rhubarb Recipes

How to Freeze Rhubarb

Rhubarb needs to be picked regularly if you want to ensure a bountiful crop.  Honestly, the more you pick, the more your plant will grow.  But, once you pick the stuff, what do you do with it all?  Here are a few tips to get you started.

How to Freeze Rhubarb and 5 Easy Rhubarb Recipes

 

Step One:  Choose the best stalks:

In order to get the most flavor from your rhubarb, choose only mature stalks that are thick and firm.  Most varieties of rhubarb will have the stalk mostly red when ready to pick.  There are a few varieties that stay mostly green, however.  You should try and know which variety you have. I grow my rhubarb organically and the only issues I have with bugs are snails that like to eat the leaves.  Check out my post on how to get rid of snails in the garden if they are a problem for you as well.

The Joy of Rhubarb: The Versatile Summer Delight (Fruits & Favorites Cookbooks)101 Recipes with RhubarbLife's Little Rhubarb Cookbook (Cooking at Its Best from Avery Color Studios) by Joan Bestwick (1999-06-01)

Step Two:  Trim the stalks:

Do NOT eat the leaves of your rhubarb.  They are toxic!  They are not like collard greens or kale.  Cut them off and throw them away!  When you pick rhubarb, you will grasp the stalk firmly at the base and twist to release it from the root.  This leaves you with a pale, wide, dirty section at the base of the stalk.  Trim that off, too.  You want only the slim, straight stalk to remain.  The only things you really need for this step are a sharp knife and a good cutting board.  I prefer wood cutting boards, personally, but you do have to care for them properly.  Treat it to a coating of DIY wood butter every few months and they will last forever.

How to Freeze Rhubarb and 5 Easy Rhubarb Recipes

Step Three:  Wash well and chop:

Once you have the stalks trimmed, run them all under cool water and pat dry.  Lay them on a cutting board and with a sharp knife, chop them into 1 to 2-inch chunks.  Some people like to trim the very outer layer of rhubarb off the stalk.  Almost like peeling an apple but you are basically pulling off fibrous threads.  Neither my mom nor I have ever done this.  Yes, rhubarb is stringy.  That is the nature of rhubarb.  Personally, I think you end up wasting way too much rhubarb by peeling it.

Arrow Home Products 04365 30 Piece Freezer Storage Container SetWhite and Red 1 x 2 Inch Freezer Labels, Set of 100WalterDrake Freezer Markers - Set of 2

 

Step Four:  How to Freeze Rhubarb

This is the easy part.  Freezing rhubarb can be done by just tossing it into a ziplock freezer bag or glass freezer container.  If you are concerned about the chunks sticking together as a clump when frozen, lay them flat on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and THEN freeze.  When they are frozen, place into the freezer container and place back in the freezer.  I find that they don’t usually stick together but you can also freeze them back in quantities that you want to cook with.  If your favorite strawberry rhubarb pie calls for 2 cups of rhubarb, freeze it back in 2 cup quantities.  Plan ahead.  Pick out a few easy rhubarb recipes that you want to try and freeze it back in those quantities.

How to Freeze Rhubarb and 5 Easy Rhubarb Recipes

5 Easy Rhubarb Recipes

Now that you know how to freeze rhubarb, you can cook with it all year long. Rhubarb is incredibly tart and I usually prefer it in dessert recipes with plenty of sugar to balance it out.  However, there are a ton of savory rhubarb recipes on Pinterest if that is your preference.  I have seen it in Indian curry dishes, BBQ sauce, relish, and salads.  Below are a few easy rhubarb recipes that I have tried, or that are similar to ones that I grew up with in New England.  Get started freezing rhubarb this summer and don’t miss out on this amazing ingredient!

Apple Rhubarb Crisp

Apple Rhubarb Crisp

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Milkshake 

How to Freeze Rhubarb and 5 Easy Rhubarb Recipes

 

Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Cocktail

How to Freeze Rhubarb and 5 Easy Rhubarb Recipes

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

How to Freeze Rhubarb and 5 Easy Rhubarb Recipes

Rhubarb Custard Pie

How to Freeze Rhubarb and 5 Easy Rhubarb Recipes

About Diane

Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can't quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke!

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