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Rhubarb is available cut up and frozen or as long, fresh stalks, and it is also possible to grow it in your garden if you live in an area with cool summers -- temperatures less than 75 degrees F -- and cold winter temperatures of less than 40 degrees F. Rhubarb has a high water content and is fairly low-calorie. It has only 26 calories in one cup, and it contributes to your daily vitamin A and C and potassium intake. Should you find rhubarb taking over your yard or encounter a particularly cheap sale at the market, stick the extra rhubarb in your freezer. Pre-freezing preparation is minimal.
Wash and dry the rhubarb completely.
Cut off any wilted or otherwise unsightly, and pull off stringy parts. Remove all leaves.
Chop the rhubarb into smaller chunks, as you prefer. Cut rhubarb in containers is more convenient for storing.
Spread the pieces on a tray in one layer, or measure out specific amounts and place them in a freezer-safe container, with at least 1/2 to 1 inch of space between the fruit and the lid. For example, if you regularly make a pie that uses 1 cup of rhubarb, measure separate one-cup portions. Freezing the rhubarb in a portion means the pieces could stick together. Freezing them separately on a tray first keeps them loose, so you can take only what you need without thawing the entire container.
Place the tray or container in the freezer. Freeze the tray for two hours.
Place individually frozen pieces into a freezer-safe container or freezer bag; seal, and put it back in the freezer. Use within nine months to one year.
- Ohio State University Extension; Growing Rhubarb in the Home Garden; Marianne Riofrio
- University of Wisconsin Extension; Preserve Summer Time’s Best Flavors by Freezing Fresh Fruit; Barbara H. Ingham; 2000
- National Center for Home Food Preservation: Freezing: Rhubarb
- Recipe Tips.com: How to Freeze Rhubarb
- University of Illinois Extension: Rhubarb
- If you prefer, blanch the rhubarb in boiling water before freezing it. This will cook the rhubarb a little, though.
- Don’t add sugar to the rhubarb if dry-packing.
- Don’t eat rhubarb leaves. Get medical attention immediately if you do because the leaves are poisonous.
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