My Rhubarb Plant
I have a very healthy and thriving rhubarb plant growing in my backyard.
It was a transplant from my mum’s yard because she was just not into it anymore.
The place I planted it must be perfect because it is doing so well, every year.
The issue I have over and over is using up all of the fresh rhubarb.
It seems like every recipe I use only needs one or two stalks and then you’re stuck with 12 muffins or a cake!
So this year I made it my summer mission to freeze as little rhubarb as possible.
Is it doable?
A Little Bit About Rhubarb
Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, but it is used mostly as a fruit in baking and jams.
I have yet to try it in a savory dish, but maybe that is something I should try.
The large green leaves are thick and heavy and are so inviting to all the beautiful rays of sunlight.
The stalks are a bright red-pink and really stand out against the leaves.
The whole plant seems to be a great home for tiny black bugs, spiders, and sweet little sparrows…at least in my yard.
I love watching the huge sprouts push their way up through the earth in very early spring.
It is a sign that soon winter will be over.
I am always amazed at the hardiness of rhubarb.
It comes back every year no matter how cold the winter, and I don’t have to do anything special with it.
Nutritionally, rhubarb is packed.
It contains high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium as well as calcium and magnesium.
What a delicious way to get these nutrients in your system!
Flavour & How Rhubarb Can Be Used
The flavour of rhubarb is tart and sour – very tart and sour.
This is why in most recipes you will find other fruits and/or sugar added to make it easier to eat.
I made a blueberry and rhubarb jam a few years ago that was just amazing.
I added maple syrup as the sweetener, so that added an extra layer of deliciousness.
I use Pomona’s Pectin, so I can use less sugar. (This is not an ad! I just use it and love it!)
Sugar is needed to help other types of pectin set up, and you usually need quite a bit.
This is not the case with Pomona’s! Give it a try if you want to make jam but dislike the idea of all the sugar.
I’ve made a few things in the past:
- blueberry rhubarb jam,
- rhubarb ice cream,
- sugared rhubarb garnish,
- apple rhubarb crisp,
- many types of rhubarb muffins,
- a rhubarb simple syrup that I used to make rhubarb mojitos…
On my list of things I want to try:
- infused vodka,
- BBQ sauce,
- a pudding,
- chewy candy,
- fermented, and
- in fruit roll up form.
I am hoping to try all of these with this year’s patch of rhubarb.
We will see!
I am right now in the waiting phase of this recipe – day 2 of six weeks! I have a bit of a wait.
I wanted to share this recipe because it is so quick, it uses a lot of rhubarb, it’s easy, and I’m really excited for it.
To be fair, this isn’t really a recipe. I have a hard time sticking to them – to the annoyance of my recipe-loving wife!
But if you do need a recipe, here is the link to the one I used.
So here is the vague description of what I have done.
I bought 1L of vodka. It was supposed to be good quality…but I don’t know what that means in the vodka world, so I have what I have.
Oranges for the peel.
Bam! That’s it.
I put about 1 ¼ cups of rhubarb into 2, 1L mason jars.
The peels of 1 ½ large navel oranges divided in two (¾ in each jar). I peeled them off the orange and then cut them into chunks.
I used maybe about a 4” piece of ginger, chunked. (2” in each jar – maybe more. I do love the taste of ginger.)
Then I put half the vodka in each jar.
Now I put them in a dark place, turn the jars over and back upright once a day, and let them sit for 6 weeks.
The liquid has already turned a beautiful pink, so I am really excited for the end colour.
I will update this post when the time is up – whether it is good or not!
Other Uses For Rhubarb
I love rhubarb, and this is becoming more clear to me as I write this!
It is such a versatile plant that can be used in many recipes for many different outcomes.
Another use for rhubarb I wanted to make sure to share is that it is used as a natural dye.
The house my wife and I have came with an ornamental rhubarb, and luckily enough, it can be used as a dye too.
I have yet to try it, but from what I have learned so far, it is the roots and leaves that are used to create the dye.
The leaves give pale and soft yellows while the root gives a pale ocher.
The leaves can also be used as a mordant. The mordanting process is what helps the dye latch onto the textile and stay there through washing and wearing.
The plants around us are filled with such life and magic!
When we use them as food, they nourish our bodies and help keep us connected to the earth from which they grow.
When used as medicine, they help to support the parts of ourselves that are ailing. They release their magic and connect us to the spirit of the plant.
When we use them outside of our bodies, for building, creating, they share with us their versatility, strength, and beauty. This connects us to the purpose and will of the plant.
We are truly blessed to be surrounded by such an abundance of life, magic, and spirit each and every day.
I use the signature, “Yours in plant love” after each post, and this is exactly why!
I am truly feeling the love right now, and I hope that makes it through to you.
Yours in plant love,