Once rhubarb has been harvested, it is important to take proper care of it to ensure that it stays fresh and flavorful. Here’s how to store rhubarb to ensure it lasts for as long as possible..
Keeping Rhubarb Fresh
To keep rhubarb fresh, it is important to store it properly. Rhubarb can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, but it can also be frozen for longer storage.
To store rhubarb in the refrigerator, wrap it in a damp paper towel and place it in a plastic bag. Make sure the bag is sealed tightly to prevent moisture loss. Store the rhubarb in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator, where it will stay fresh for up to two weeks.
If you want to freeze rhubarb, start by washing and trimming the stalks. Cut the rhubarb into small pieces and blanch them in boiling water for one minute. After blanching, immediately transfer the rhubarb to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once the rhubarb is cool, drain it and pack it into freezer bags. Label the bags with the date and freeze the rhubarb for up to six months.
To ensure that rhubarb stays firm and tender, it is important to handle it gently. Avoid squeezing or pressing the stalks, as this can cause bruising and damage. When storing rhubarb in the refrigerator, make sure it is not overcrowded, as this can cause the stalks to become limp.
Preparation for Storage
To ensure that rhubarb stays fresh and flavorful for as long as possible, proper preparation is key. Here are some steps to follow when preparing rhubarb for storage:
- Start by washing the stalks thoroughly under cold running water. Be sure to remove any dirt or debris, as well as any leaves that may still be attached.
- Next, trim off the ends of the stalks using a sharp knife. This will help to remove any tough or stringy bits that can affect the texture and flavor of the rhubarb.
- If the stalks are particularly thick, it may be necessary to cut them into smaller pieces for easier storage. However, be sure to avoid cutting them too small, as this can cause them to dry out more quickly.
- Rhubarb contains oxalic acid, which can be toxic if consumed in large quantities. To minimize the risk of toxicity, it is important to avoid eating the leaves of the plant, as they contain higher concentrations of oxalic acid than the stalks.
- Once the rhubarb has been washed, trimmed, and cut (if necessary), it can be stored in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator. Be sure to use it within a week or two for best results.
How to Store Rhubarb in the Refrigerator
Rhubarb is a delicious and versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes. However, to ensure that it stays fresh and flavorful, it is important to store it properly. One of the best ways to store rhubarb is in the refrigerator.
When storing rhubarb in the refrigerator, it is important to keep it in the crisper drawer. This will help to maintain the proper humidity level and prevent the rhubarb from drying out. If the crisper drawer is full, rhubarb can also be stored in a plastic bag or wrapped in plastic wrap.
Before storing rhubarb in the refrigerator, it is important to wash and dry it thoroughly. Once it is dry, cut off any leaves and trim the ends. Rhubarb can be stored whole or cut into smaller pieces.
To further extend the shelf life of rhubarb in the refrigerator, it can also be wrapped in foil. This will help to keep it fresh for up to a week.
It is important to note that rhubarb should not be stored near celery in the refrigerator, as the two vegetables can interact and cause the rhubarb to spoil more quickly. By following these simple tips, you can store rhubarb in the refrigerator and enjoy its delicious taste for days to come.
Freezing rhubarb is a great way to preserve it for future use. Here are the steps to freeze rhubarb properly:
- Wash the rhubarb stalks thoroughly and trim the ends.
- Cut the stalks into small pieces of about 1 inch in length.
- Blanch the rhubarb by boiling it in water for 1-2 minutes and then immediately transferring it to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. This step helps to preserve the color and texture of the rhubarb.
- Drain the rhubarb and pat it dry with a paper towel.
- Transfer the rhubarb to a freezer-safe bag or container, and remove as much air as possible before sealing it.
- Label the bag or container with the date and freeze it.
Frozen rhubarb can be stored in the freezer for up to 12 months. When you are ready to use it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and use it as you would fresh rhubarb.
It is important to note that frozen rhubarb may become a bit mushy after thawing, so it is best used in recipes where its texture is not critical, such as in pies, crumbles, and sauces.
Additional Storage and Preserving Tips
Another way to store rhubarb is by dehydrating it. This method involves removing the moisture from the rhubarb, which can help preserve it for up to a year. To do this, slice the rhubarb into thin pieces and spread them out on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven at a low temperature (around 140-150°F) for several hours until the rhubarb is completely dry. Once dry, store the rhubarb in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Rhubarb can be sensitive to ethylene, a gas that is naturally produced by some fruits and vegetables and can cause produce to ripen and spoil faster. To prevent this, store rhubarb away from ethylene-producing fruits and vegetables, such as apples, bananas, and tomatoes.
Rhubarb also contains enzymes that can cause it to break down and spoil faster. To inhibit these enzymes, blanch the rhubarb before storing. To do this, bring a pot of water to a boil and briefly dip the rhubarb in the boiling water for about 30 seconds. Remove the rhubarb from the water and immediately place it in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, dry the rhubarb and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can fresh rhubarb be stored in the fridge?
Fresh rhubarb can be stored in the fridge for up to one week. It is best to store it in a plastic bag or container to prevent moisture loss and spoilage.
How can rhubarb be preserved for winter?
Rhubarb can be preserved for winter by freezing or canning. To freeze, cut the rhubarb into small pieces and place them in a freezer-safe container. To can, follow a trusted canning recipe and process the rhubarb according to the instructions.
What is the best way to store rhubarb after harvesting?
The best way to store rhubarb after harvesting is to keep it in a cool, dry place. Remove any leaves and wrap the stalks in a damp paper towel or cloth before storing them in a plastic bag or container.
How do you freeze rhubarb without blanching?
To freeze rhubarb without blanching, simply cut the stalks into small pieces and place them in a freezer-safe container. Seal the container tightly and freeze for up to six months.
What are some ways to store rhubarb pie?
Rhubarb pie can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. To keep it fresh, cover the pie with plastic wrap or foil. For longer storage, freeze the pie by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and then foil before placing it in the freezer.
What should you do with fresh-cut rhubarb?
Fresh-cut rhubarb can be used immediately in recipes or stored in the fridge for up to one week. To prevent moisture loss, wrap the rhubarb in a damp paper towel or cloth before storing it in a plastic bag or container.