Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How to Freeze Rhubarb {Dry or Wet Pack}

 Oh sweet rhubarb...how I love thee.
I had a dear neighbor give us a whole PILE of rhubarb and decided I would freeze it to use this winter. 
 I also made a delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler for dessert that night, too.
Topped with a dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt... it was heavenly!


To Freeze Rhubarb:

1. Choose firm, tender, well colored stalks of rhubarb.
2. Wash thoroughly with cold or lukewarm water.


 3. Rhubarb varieties vary. If yours has a tough outer skin, just peel it off starting at the top. You can tell if it has a skin... it peels easily.




 5. Next, remove the ends of the rhubarb and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.


 6. Blanch the rhubarb pieces in boiling water for 1 minute. 
Promptly put it into ice water to retain color and flavor. 
This is especially helpful if you will be storing the rhubarb for many months.




 7. You can dry or wet pack Rhubarb. Wet pack involves freezing it in a honey, fruit juice, or sugar solution....which is best for long term storage.

 FOR DRY PACK:
Ladle the rhubarb into freezer bags, squeezing out any air. You can use a vacuum sealer or a straw. Simply seal the bag, leaving space for the straw and then suck out remaining air. Seal tight.

FOR WET PACK:
Rhubarb can be packed in a solution of sugar and water to help preserve color and flavor.
You only need enough solution to cover the fruit: about 1 cup per quart. 
It is not added as a preservative, but rather prevents browning and prevents drying.
Peach, white grape, or apple juice are good alternatives to processed sugar.

I researched most of my information from this site, and thought their information on sugar syrups was very helpful... 

Sugar Syrups
 
Type of SyrupSugarWaterYield
Fruit juice (peach, apple or white grape)004 cups
Stevia (or if you prefer, Splenda) (2 cups)06 cups6 cups
Light sugar2 cups6 cups7 cups
Medium sugar3 cups6 cups7.2 cups
Heavy sugar4 cups6 cups7.4 cups

If you are using fruit juice, you don't need to prepare anything. Just use it straight out of the bottle!

To prepare sugar or stevia syrups, just add to the water slowly heating on the stove.
Stir it constantly until everything is dissolved and then remove from heat.
Let it cool before adding it to the fruit.
 9. Put rhubarb and solution in a large bowl together and mix completely.
10. Ladle into freezer bags and eliminate any air.


To use, just set on the counter for a couple of hours or in the refrigerator overnight.
You will want to drain the wet pack before use.

If you are CRAVING rhubarb...you have to try this Gluten Free Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler.
Oh, it is sooo good!



Enjoy!

~Julia

3 comments:

Michelle said...

I am so happy to see this post. We have a Rhubarb plant that is growing like crazy. I pin this because I will be using it a lot. Thanks so much.

Bevy @ Treasured Up and Pondered said...

Hmmm... interesting!!

I always put mine away (in the freezer),washed clean and dry, cut to size and right into the container or bag.

It seems to hold up fine...

However, with your mix and the blanching of it first; maybe it might ease up time on the other end? :)

Dori at The Red Feedsack said...

Ohhhhhh I love rhubarb. I think it is too hot to grow here in the South. I wonder if it would grow in the winter time??? I'll have to do some research on it. Seeing your pictures just made me salivate! - Dori -

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