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Rhubarb Juice and Freezing

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

I’m on a rhubarb bender this year.  I’ve made many recipes with rhubarb including barbecue sauce and a vinaigrette.  But in surfing the internet recipes I’m way behind in my explorations.  I haven’t tried making rhubarb Jello or rhubarb lemonade yet to mention only two!  Both of those require rhubarb juice so I was off to the in-laws to collect more.

I thought I’d picked a lot of rhubarb but later at home after I trimmed the ends it was only around a pound of rhubarb.  I diced it all and put it into a large saucepan and added water just to cover it.  I didn’t add any sugar or spices, preferring to add those as I used the juice in recipes later.

In a large soup pot, place diced rhubarb and cover with water

In a large soup pot, place diced rhubarb and cover with water

I brought the pot to a boil over high heat, then reduced it to medium low and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.  By then it was very soft and falling apart.  I was surprised it cooked so fast, I’d thought it would take longer to be ready to press the juices out.

Cook until the rhubarb falls apart and is nice and mushy

Cook until the rhubarb falls apart and is nice and mushy

After cooling the rhubarb mash for 30 minutes, I put it into a fine metal strainer to remove the pulp.  I gently pressed the pulp with a spoon to get all of the rhubarb goodness through the mesh.

Press juice through a fine metal strainer

Press juice through a fine metal strainer

I poured the juice into bottles for storage.  I used my storage system for pureed soups to freeze the juice in plastic bottles.

Store juice in labeled plastic bottles in the freezer

Store juice in labeled plastic bottles in the freezer

Then I went back to the in-laws, this time determined to pick a mountain of rhubarb.  It was mid-September and up North it freezes super early.  I thought I might as well use it while I could harvest it.  Nobody else was using it!

A portion of my mountain of rhubarb

A portion of my mountain of rhubarb

As I was cleaning and dicing the next batch I was thinking about making rhubarb Jello.  Most of the recipes I’d seen used strawberry or another flavor of actual Jello, and substituted some rhubarb juice for some of the cold water.  Strawberry and rhubarb are an ideal match, we’ve had them in several recipes such as coffee cake and muffins.  I thought it might be interesting to use regular gelatin and make a pure rhubarb gelatin.  I could also imagine crushed pineapple in it as a fruit salad with whipped topping.

Rhubarb Juice

Rhubarb Juice

My second rhubarb harvest produced about 10 cups of juice, much more satisfying than the 2 1/2 bottles the first harvest produced.  Totally worth the cleaning and chopping!  And really, it doesn’t take long to wash and chop all of that rhubarb.  Besides the 10 cups of juice, I froze packages of diced rhubarb for baking during the cold winter months.  I put them in 1 and 2 cup portions in zippered freezer bags, double bagged to prevent freezer burn.

I‘ve already been baking with yet more rhubarb from the garden, and will post the recipes soon.  Strawberry rhubarb baked oatmeal was amazing, I can’t wait to post that one!Tiara Logo

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3 thoughts on “Rhubarb Juice and Freezing

  1. I have eaten fresh raw rhubarb since I was a little kid. (I’m 70 now.) I want to freeze the juice for later consumption. The season is not that long for rhubarb in SE Wisconsin. It is best with salt, no sugar for me. I used to keep three beds from going to seed with the pocket knife and block of rabbit salt that I always kept in my pocket. (I always skinned it cause we had a male dog.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are a true fan of rhubarb! The juice is great added to any other juices such as orange or pineapple. No extra sugar needed. I even love a couple of glugs in my iced tea (unsweetened)! So refreshing any time of year if you freeze the juice.

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