Have you ever heard of Rhubarb desserts? Or, have you ever heard of the vegetable rhubarb? Rhubarb is a common plant found in the United Kingdom.
It is a very tasty and underutilized vegetable. It is also known as a pie plant that has a tart-like flavor and bright pink color. and is mostly used for cooking.
They are mostly grown in the greenhouse so are available for consumption throughout the year. They need a temperature of about 37 degrees Fahrenheit and rainfall.
They are available in the markets for consumption usually by the early springtime. the rhubarb season usually lasts from January to July.
The appearance of the rhubarb does not stay constant over this period. In January, when the season just starts, they are tender and pink in color.
As soon as April approaches, rhubarb turns dark red and its appearance is different from what it was before. In the US state of Washington, rhubarbs are harvested twice a year.
One in late April to May and the other in June and July. It is such a vegetable that is ready for consumption as soon as it is harvested.
But if you don’t want to eat rhubarb throughout the season, then to keep them intact, it is best to freeze them.
Some Lesser Known Facts About Rhubarb
- Rhubarb was originally used as a medicine for a very long in the past centuries. It was grown in China in the 16th century for using it as a medicine and ointment.
- Very recently it came to be known as something which can be eaten.
- It is not known by many but, the redder the stalks are, the sweeter the flavors are. Rhubarbs are a great alternative to cranberries.
- The leaves of the rhubarb plants are poisonous.
- Cooked rhubarb is best for freezing and later use. But you can freeze rhubarb raw or blanched too. One thing about rhubarbs is that it is very versatile.
- Rhubarb is also used in dessert items.
- Rhubarb goes well with pies, crumbles, smoothies, etc. But not many people are aware of the correct way of storing rhubarb.
This article will help you in all the ways possible if you are not aware of the correct way to freeze rhubarb.
How To Freeze Rhubarb?
There are a number of steps that you need to follow in order to freeze rhubarb perfectly.
- Rhubarb leaves contain a toxin known as Oxalic Acid which is strictly not for consumption. So, to start off, first, trim the ends and remove the leaves.
- Always make sure whenever you are buying rhubarb from the market that they are free of leaves or not. If they are not, you know what to do now.
- Thoroughly wash the rhubarb stalks and slice each of them with a knife into small pieces like you chop your fruits.
- Once the rhubarb is nicely chopped, take out your baking trays and place all of the chopped pieces in the tray nicely.
- Use a baking sheet.
- Put the tray into the freezer for about 2-3 hours until they are frozen completely.
- Now once they are frozen, you can’t keep them in that tray for long due to obvious space constraints.
- In this regard, you can use a ziplock bag and then store it again in the freezer.
Freezing rhubarb is easy, but the problem is most people make mistakes like not washing them properly which obviously results in not-so-good outcomes.
How To Use Frozen Rhubarb?
As mentioned above, frozen rhubarb is very versatile and can be used in many dishes and baked items.
Some of the dishes that can be made include Rhubarb sauce ice cream, brownies, jams and jellies, and many more.
Here we will share with you how you can make a super easy rhubarb dessert.
For this, you will need-
- 6 tablespoons of cold butter
- Fresh rhubarb finely chopped.
- Sugar about 1 cup
- 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
- Lemon zest
- Brown sugar 3/4th cup.
- ½ cup of flour
- ¼ cinnamon powder
- ½ cup of oats
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Grease the baking dish with butter.
- Mix the rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest well.
- In another bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
- Now add the oats to make the mixture crumbly.
- Place it in the baking dish and start baking it for 40-50 minutes.
- Once ready, serve it with some garnishing.
The process may seem a bit long at first, but trust me it is not. Here are a few easy and quick suggestions.
- Start by peeling off your rhubarb’s hard layer if they have woody stems.
- Wash them and chop them into small pieces. Do the same as you would do to freeze the rhubarbs.
- Keep the chopped rhubarbs in the fridge in a ziplock bag overnight.
- For the crispy topping, you can use either your hands or your food processor to mix the oats well.
Crispy Rhubarb Lemon Chicken Bake
For this dish, you would need items entirely different from the previous one. You would need:-
- BBQ Sauce
- Garlic Cloves
- Rhubarb stalks (not the leaves obviously)
- Maple Syrup
- Balsamic Dressing
- Onions ( Very Important)
- Olive oil
- Chopped vegetables of your choice
- Prepare the Rhubarb before you begin with the rest of the preparation.
- Clean the rhubarb stalks with water.
- Use a vegetable peeler to keep the shavings of the rhubarb for later.
- Add the marinated chicken to the pan with a little bit of oil and start cooking it.
- Once it is cooked turn off the gas instantly. This would help caramelize the chicken well.
- Once all that is done, it is time for the chicken to go into the oven for baking.
- Bake the chicken at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
- Remember the rhubarb shavings we talked about earlier? Season them while the chicken takes its own sweet time to bake.
- Add lemon
- Maple syrup
- Barbeque sauce
- Balsamic dressing.
Once the chicken is all baked, all the seasoning and use chopped vegetables to garnish. The best part about this dish is that it can stay in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezing Vegetables is not an easy task. You need to have a thorough idea about the type of vegetable you are storing and its moisture content.
For freezing the rhubarb, there are a few basic things you would need to keep in hand. It takes about 2-4 hours to completely freeze.
Equipment – The things required are-
- Baking sheet
- Baking tray
- Ziplock bags
- Cutting board
- Airtight containers
- Cut the leaves from the stalks. Wash them. Dry them and remove all the specks of dirt.
- Chop them into small pieces about 1 inch each.
- Put all of the chopped rhubarbs into a baking tray on a baking sheet and put them into the refrigerator.
- You need space for keeping the baking tray.
- Make sure you dedicate one full rack for this. Keep it in for 1-3 hours.
- Once done, transfer it to an airtight container. They could last for about 1 year.
Nutrition In Rhubarb
This contains about 1g of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and sugar each plus 1mg of sodium, vitamins, and calcium.
Talking about calories, Rhubarb may contain very little amount of calories. As fewer as 1kcal of calories.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Wash The Rhubarb Before Freezing?
Yes, definitely. Washing the rhubarb is very necessary and an important step before you move on to freezing them. First, remove the leaves and wash the stalks nicely. Let them dry and then start chopping them and finally, freezing them.
Can Rhubarb Be Frozen Without Blanching?
Blanched rhubarbs are preferable if you want the color to last long. Raw and fresh rhubarbs do not call for blanching. To blanch your rhubarb, boil water in a large pan or pot. Put the rhubarb pieces into boiling water. Wait for 1-2mins. Keep a bowl of ice water ready. Immediately put the rhubarb pieces into the bowl full of cold water. Keep them for a few minutes and then dry them out in a towel.
How Long Can You Freeze Rhubarb?
Frozen rhubarbs can last up to 1 year. If they are stored properly, like in an airtight or ziplock bag they will be just fine. If there are too many ice crystals in your fridge and you have rhubarb stored then it may be past its prime.
Freezing the rhubarb correctly is an important factor that decides how long they stay fresh. So the right way is always necessary to know.
Also, sometimes people just don’t know what to use the rhubarbs for, whereas in reality there are a thousand more recipes that you can try out with these.
I have shared how you can make a delicious oat dessert. Lastly, to freeze the rhubarbs correctly, the instructions are really important so make sure to follow them.