Can you Freeze Fresh Rhubarb? A Comprehensive Guide

Rhubarb, with its bright crimson stalks and tart flavor, has a short season, usually peaking between April and June. This perennial is a favorite in many spring and early summer dishes, but what if you have more rhubarb than you can use or want to enjoy its unique flavor year-round? Which brings us to the question at hand: can you freeze fresh rhubarb? The answer is a resounding yes!

Freezing fresh rhubarb is a convenient way to preserve its tangy flavor and bright color while extending its shelf life. This guide will walk you through the process of freezing rhubarb so you can enjoy this delicious plant any time of year.

Why Freeze Rhubarb?

There are several good reasons to freeze rhubarb. For one, rhubarb is a seasonal plant, and freezing it allows you to enjoy its unique flavor out of season. Also, if you’re growing rhubarb at home, chances are you’ll have more than you can use at once. Freezing is a fantastic way to prevent waste and preserve your harvest. Finally, having frozen rhubarb on hand makes it easy to add it to your favorite recipes at a moment’s notice.

How to Freeze Rhubarb: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Pick or Buy Rhubarb

When selecting rhubarb for freezing, look for fresh, firm stems with a bright, rich color. These characteristics indicate that the rhubarb is at its peak ripeness, which translates into better flavor after freezing. If you’re harvesting from your own garden, the best time is in the morning when the stalks are crispest.

Step 2: Wash and trim

Rinse the rhubarb stalks under cold running water to remove any dirt or grit. Trim off the leaves (which are poisonous and should never be eaten) and remove any tough ends from the stalks.

Step 3: Chop

Chop the rhubarb stalks into approximately 1-inch pieces. Cutting the rhubarb before freezing makes it easier to portion for recipes later.

Step 4: Blanch (optional)

Some food preservation experts recommend blanching rhubarb before freezing to preserve its color and flavor. To blanch, boil the chopped rhubarb for about 60 seconds, then quickly transfer it to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. When cool, drain well.

Step 5: Freeze on a baking sheet

Place the rhubarb pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freezing the pieces individually prevents them from sticking together and makes it easier to use the exact amount you need later.

Step 6: Transfer to freezer-safe containers

Once the rhubarb pieces are completely frozen, transfer them to freezer-safe bags or containers. Be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Don’t forget to date the bags for future reference!

Using frozen rhubarb

Freezing fresh rhubarb is an excellent way to preserve its flavor and texture for later use. By following proper preparation and packaging techniques, you can safely freeze rhubarb and enjoy it even when it’s not in season. Whether you freeze it as whole stalks or chopped pieces, proper labeling and airtight packaging will help maintain its quality in the freezer. Thawed rhubarb works best in cooked recipes, so enjoy its tangy goodness in pies, jams, and other delicious treats. With the convenience of frozen rhubarb, you can enjoy its unique flavor all year round.

So the next time you have a surplus of fresh rhubarb, don’t let it go to waste. Freeze it and enjoy its tart, fruity flavor all year long. Happy freezing!

FAQs

Can you freeze fresh rhubarb?

You can freeze rhubarb raw, blanched or fully cooked. Regardless of which stage you choose to freeze at, the rhubarb will break down more as it defrosts so is best used in dishes where you don’t need neat sticks of it.

What is the best way to freeze rhubarb?

Instructions

  1. Trim the rhubarb stalks. Remove and discard the leaves. …
  2. Slice the rhubarb into ½-inch thick pieces. Spread the pieces out in a single layer on a baking sheet or freezer-safe tray. …
  3. Transfer the frozen pieces to a freezer bag or container, seal tightly, and label. Store in the freezer for up to a year.

Can you freeze rhubarb without blanching it?

You can freeze fresh rhubarb raw, so there’s no need to blanch it first. And you can put it directly into recipes straight from the freezer too!

Can fresh cut rhubarb be frozen?

Prepare to Freeze and Store Rhubarb

Begin by cutting stalks into one-inch pieces; lay them flat on a parchment-lined baking pan. Simply freeze them until they are firm to the touch, which will take a few hours. Then, place them in freezer bags and store them in the freezer for up to a year.

How do you freeze rhubarb UK?

Instructions

  1. If your rhubarb is fresh from the garden, remove the leaves (and keep them away from children as they are poisonous!).
  2. Trim the ends and rinse your rhubarb down with cold water, removing all traces of dirt. …
  3. Arrange on a large baking sheet. …
  4. Freeze for 4 hours- overnight.

What can I do with a lot of rhubarb?

And because it’s so versatile, you can incorporate it into a variety of dishes to satisfy your exact craving.

  1. Make a Soda. …
  2. Mix It in Cocktails. …
  3. Make an Ice Cream Float. …
  4. Bake With Rhubarb. …
  5. Customize Your Ice Cream. …
  6. Pickle the Rhubarb. …
  7. Add It to a Salad. …
  8. Make a Jam.

Is rhubarb poisonous after freezing?

Rhubarb in your garden that has frozen to the point where the stalks become damaged or mushy should be discarded. Check the leaves, too. If the stalks are firm and upright and the leaves have little damage, the rhubarb is OK. Discard the damaged ones and enjoy the stalks that grow later.

How long will rhubarb keep in the fridge?

three weeks

The deeper the red color of the stalks, the more flavorful. Larger stalks are stringy and not as tender as the medium-sized stalks. For proper storage, trim and discard leaves. The stalks can be kept in the refrigerator, unwashed and wrapped, for up to three weeks.