The Best Way to Freeze Rhubarb

by iupilon

How do you freeze rhubarb? Freezing rhubarb is one of the best ways to store this vegetable. Rhubarb is a special vegetable in Alaska because it is a cold-weather vegetable that only needs a little sunlight to grow up to five feet in height. Rhubarb is nutritious and provides plenty of flavors, which is why people cook with lots of sugar until it becomes palatable. Fresh rhubarb is not the best-tasting vegetable, but it’s a sweet deal once it has been processed properly. In early spring, rhubarb becomes available in grocery stores as people habitually use it for pies and crumbles.

The green-stalked rhubarb has a tarter taste than the variety with red skin. The stalks are the superstar of the kitchen. Cut out the leaves and the roots as these are not edible. Among the most popular dishes made with rhubarb are strawberry pies, rhubarb chutney, sautéed pork with rhubarb, crisps, soufflés, etc.  

Do You Have to Blanch Rhubarb to Freeze It?

How to freeze rhubarb? Rhubarb can be frozen in a variety of ways, from fresh to cooked. You don’t have to blanch it before freezing, but if you want to blanch it to shorten the preparation time later on when you are ready to cook it, feel free to do so. If you have purchased a large crown of rhubarb already, you probably have enough of the vegetable for several weeks. If you don’t want to keep cooking it, you need to freeze it to prevent it from becoming too fibrous. The price of rhubarb drops after early spring, so many people might be thinking of buying more rhubarb then before freezing the rhubarb for long-term storage.

Here are the steps for blanching rhubarb for freezing:

  1. Bring water to a full boil for one minute. Add the rhubarb and remove it from the heat after a minute, so you don’t overcook it.
  2. Prepare a basin full of ice water. Submerge the blanched rhubarb here to stop the cooking process.
  3. Drain the rhubarb. You can place individual tips into bags or layers then on a tray if you want.
  4. Consume the rhubarb within six months.

Can Cooked Rhubarb Be Frozen?

Can you freeze rhubarb? Yes, you can use freezer rhubarb after it has been cooked. If you have been eating rhubarb for some time now, you probably already know that the leaves and the roots of this vegetable are not edible. The reason for this is that these parts of the plant contain oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is highly acidic, and it can act as a chelating agent once ingested. Consumption of oxalic acid can cause shock, nausea, vomiting, and other nasty symptoms. So don’t experiment with these parts of the rhubarb plant. Stick to the stems, and you should be fine. These portions of the rhubarb should be trimmed off and completely discarded. They can’t be processed either to be safe for consumption.

Below are steps for cooking rhubarb before freezing:

  1. Processing rhubarb for storage is easy. You have two choices: water with sugar or orange juice. You can only use freshly squeezed orange juice for cooking rhubarb. Commercially-prepared juices are not recommended as these have additives that may cause the rhubarb to taste differently after cooking.
  2. Rhubarb is naturally tart, and thus, you will have to add anywhere between fifteen to thirty grams of white sugar to cook it down properly. If you are cooking 200 grams of rhubarb, you need to add 60 grams of white sugar. Use the same ratio as you cook more and more rhubarb.
  3. There are instances when the tartness doesn’t go away immediately. If this is the problem, we recommend just adding more sugar. Add in increments of fifteen grams of sugar at a time until you get the proper taste.
  4. Simmer the rhubarb until the stalks become tender. Just before turning off the heat, feel free to add more sugar.
  5. Drain the rhubarb and freeze in freezer bags, sealed containers (like Tupperware), or trays.

Should I Thaw Frozen Rhubarb Before Baking?

If you freeze rhubarb to preserve it, you can use it in pies and other recipes without thawing. Cooked rhubarb, particularly, is already processed, so feel free to use it directly in any recipe of your choice. There is nothing wrong with using frozen rhubarb for pies and other recipes. If you want to defrost the rhubarb, still leave out the frozen rhubarb for several hours. If you are not comfortable with this, thaw it inside the refrigerator for a few hours. Since the stalks aren’t that thick, the stalks should defrost easily with little effort.

What Is the Best Way to Store Rhubarb?

The best way to store rhubarb is by freezing the stalks. If you want to store rhubarb for up to thirty days or even for months, freezing is the way to go. Now, if you only want to store rhubarb for a few more days fresh, make a rhubarb vase by adding water to a glass and submerging the stalks. Wrap the stalks with some plastic wrap, and you’re good to go for a couple of days.

However, if you have purchased a large crown of rhubarb and have more than enough rhubarb for several cooking sessions, you need to freeze them so they don’t spoil. As we have discussed above, you can either blanch or cook the rhubarb. Blanching is fast, and you can be done with the freezing in less than ten minutes.

The choice of storage depends on what you plan to do with the rhubarb. For example, if you want to use rhubarb for desserts, we recommend cooking down the rhubarb with sugar, so it’s ready for any dessert recipe later on. If you want to use the rhubarb for savory sauces and other recipes that aren’t desserts, then the blanching method is better.

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