Are you looking to learn how to freeze fresh rhubarb?
Whether you’ve picked up a fresh stalk of rhubarb from the store, or are growing some in your garden.
Scenarios occur in which we’re not going to consume our fresh rhubarb in time.
To prevent the rhubarb from going to waste, I recommend freezing it.
Freezing rhubarb is very simple and is able to be safely consumed up to six months after.
Here’s how to do it…
Tools & Equipment For Freezing Food
These are my tried and tested tools and equipment for freezing food.
Whether it’s fresh fruits or completely prepared meals these tools will make the process easier, and the food last longer and taste better!
Containers – We opt for glass containers as they are better for the environment, much higher quality and don’t stain like plastic, however they are an investment.
So if you’re short on money buy high-quality plastic containers in the meantime.
Just be sure that you buy your containers in a range of sizes as you’ll be using them to freeze and store a range of different foods.
Ziplock Bags – Invest in quality freezer bags and they’ll help keep out air, prevent frost and keep your food fresh for longer.
The majority of the high-quality ziplock bags come with a small area for you to write information about the food (i.e. what it is, when it was frozen and defrosting instructions) on the bag.
Ice Cube Trays – Ice cube trays can help you freeze more than just water. Instead, we use them for freezing small portions of food such as egg whites, tomato sauce, pesto etc.
Simply add the food to the tray, freeze and once frozen pop the food out and into a ziplock bag, then you can simply take one or two portions of food out and defrost as needed.
Foil Baking Containers – We use foil baking containers when we’re batch cooking frozen meals.
They are affordable, durable and come in a variety of sizes allowing you to portion out or put everything in one large container to be cooked at a later date.
If all that wasn’t enough, the majority of meals are safe to be cooked in the oven with the foil container. This reduces the amount of hassle, time and washing up you’ll have to do – winner!
How To Freeze Fresh Rhubarb
Begin by removing any leaves from your rhubarb. If you have store-bought rhubarb it’s likely this process will have already been done.
Removing rhubarb leaves is highly important as these are toxic.
There’s a number of ways you can freeze rhubarb, the method you choose is likely to depend on two factors;
The amount of time you have to prep your rhubarb for freezing today.
What you plan to do with your rhubarb in the future after being frozen.
I’ll explain the processes and the pros and cons of each throughout.
Once you have your rhubarb stalks, be sure that they are firm.
Trim away any parts that are stringy, and cut down the rhubarb if it’s too thick.
You can cut both along the length and width of the rhubarb.
Make sure you measure your rhubarb against the container or freezer bag you plan on storing it in to be sure it fits.
If you plan on blanching your rhubarb before freezing it, now is the time.
To blanch rhubarb simply boil a large pan of water.
Then place the rhubarb in the boiling water for one minute.
After one minute remove the rhubarb from the water and place it into a large bowl of ice water to cool.
Then, drain the rhubarb well and spread it across a clean towel to air dry.
Blanching rhubarb prior to freezing it will ensure the texture and the colour of the rhubarb remains consistent of its natural state.
Now, grab a baking tray and spread the rhubarb stalks across the tray so they are not touching.
Freeze the rhubarb for between 4 – 12 hours.
After this time remove the rhubarb from the freezer and place it into individual containers or a suitable freezer bag.
While flash freezing the rhubarb isn’t necessary it does prevent the rhubarb from sticking together. I’ve also found it helps improve the quality of the rhubarb when cooking from frozen.
Be sure to write the contents and the date the rhubarb was frozen on your freezer container for reference at a later date.
How To Defrost Rhubarb
In some cases, you can easily use rhubarb straight from the freezer in some recipes. Check the specific recipe for more details.
However, if you need to defrost rhubarb I recommend one of the following two methods;
To quickly defrost rhubarb leave it out on the kitchen counter at room temperature.
The time the rhubarb takes to defrost will depend on the freezer and room temperature.
I’ve found it to be anything from one hour to three hours.
Alternatively, consider putting your rhubarb in the fridge to defrost.
For this method, I recommend leaving the rhubarb in the fridge overnight / for 12 hours to fully defrost.
In either case, I recommend putting a clean towel or a plate under the rhubarb to prevent the water from damaging the contents of the fridge or the side of your kitchen cabinets.