When you learn how to freeze rhubarb, you never need be without this unusual fruity vegetable. Rhubarb is rarely found in stores so when you see it, be sure to snag extra for freezing. You’ll have better luck finding it in farmers markets or growing it yourself if you live in a cool climate.
There’s nothing better than strawberry rhubarb pie or warm rhubarb crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can enjoy these treats year round, once you follow these tips for how to freeze rhubarb raw.
How to Prepare Rhubarb for Freezing
Choose firm rhubarb with good color. Ensure that the rhubarb appears to be in great healthy shape before you begin.
Rhubarb stalks are the only part of the plant that should be eaten, as the leaves are toxic. To prepare the stalks for the freezer without blanching, follow these simple steps:
- Cut off the toxic leaves and discard. Cut off the tough ends and the tips if needed. If the skin seems tough, peel the stalks (it comes off very easily).
- Wash in cool water and dry. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
- To keep the pieces separated, place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze.
- When hardened, transfer into freezer bags 2/3 full, or use a Foodsaver vacuum sealer.
- Squeeze out the air as you seal, and label the bag with the date.
If packing the cut rhubarb into freezer bags without pre-freezing them, the pieces will likely stick together into a clump. In that case, thoroughly thaw it before combining into recipes. Minimize this problem by thoroughly drying the pieces before packing them.
How Long Will Frozen Rhubarb Last
Raw frozen rhubarb will keep in the freezer for up to a year. While there is no need to thaw it before adding to recipes, you can defrost in the fridge overnight or 3 hours on the counter. Use as directed in recipes.
Raw rhubarb is exceptionally tart, which is why it is usually stewed or baked with plenty of sugar. Rhubarb is delicious as a rhubarb cake and makes an excellent jam, either alone or in combination with strawberries or other fruits. It also tastes terrific in muffins and sweet quick breads.