05. June 2020

Freeze Rhubarb the Easy Way

I'm loading my freezer with my newly harvested rhubarb! I often freeze rhubarb in individual pieces to make it more convenient. This is how.

En bricka med rabarberbitar.

I freeze rhubarb pieces individually on a tray. This is a great way to avoid larger clumps, and I can use as much as I like at any given moment.

 

Finally being able to harvest rhubarb is one of my favorite signs of summer in Sweden. The lilacs bloom in the beginning of June and this is the right time for rhubarb as well. This period is generally quite calm and I don't have that many vegetables to harvest yet. That's why I start picking and freezing my rhubarb now.

I freeze my rhubarb in little packages here at Oak Hill Cottage. Absolutely perfect when I want a portion-sized batch that I can use to make a crumble in winter.

It's a different story at home though. There, I often try to freeze large bags of around 6-8 lbs (ca 3-4 kg.) I use these bags for jam and rhubarb juice when I get the time to make some. Something I rarely have when the rhubarb is fresh. This time of the year is mainly occupied by school events before the summer break, and a lot of planting and preparations in the garden too of course. So, freezing rhubarb is a great way to save the workload until later when you have more time and energy.

 

En skärbräda med skivad rabarber.

I rinse the rhubarb before freezing it, but I don't peel it. I want to keep the beautiful red tones in the rhubarb.

 

How to Freeze Rhubarb:

  • harvest the rhubarb stalks
  • remove the leaf and the bottom part of the stalk
  • rinse the stalks
  • use a sharp knife to cut the stalks into smaller pieces
  • weigh the rhubarb and put it in large freezer bags

You don't need to peel the rhubarb before using it. And you don't need to parboil or prepare it in any other way either. You freeze it raw.

 

Freeze Rhubarb Individually

If you want to get just a small amount of rhubarb from the freezer at a time, make sure to freeze the rhubarb pieces individually. Follow the steps above, but put the pieces on a large tray with a baking sheet on top instead of freezing them in bags. You can put the individual pieces in bags/boxes as soon as they are completely frozen. This is a great way to just use a handful when you feel like it, instead of having to deal with an entire clump at once.

More about rhubarb: Forcing Rhubarb for an Early Harvest

 

Bricka med frusen rabarber.

This is how I freeze rhubarb, and what they look like after two hours in the freezer.

 

Rhubarb recipes

Rhubarb is the only sweet thing I can harvest in my garden right now, which makes me appreciate it even more. I use it to make jam, syrups for ice cream, rhubarb pies, marmalade and juice. Here are some of my favorite rhubarb recipes:

 

Fina brödpinnar med rabarber och kardemumma i en lila handduk.

Rhubarb and cardamom baguettes. Don't they look delicious? I freeze rhubarb pieces individually so that I can use them for these types of projects later.

 

Last but not least, I wanted to mention something about oxalic acid, which rhubarb contains. This acid can cause stomach pain for some people. If you know that you are sensitive, then you can try to grow the variety Elmsblitz, which is a low-growing variety that contains less oxalic acid than many other types.
/Sara Bäckmo

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