I’ve been slow to warm up to the idea of gardening and my green thumb has been slow to develop as well but it’s to the point now where I can actually grow some things quite decently.
Rhubarb is one of my very favorite plants in my garden for two main reasons:
#1 it’s pretty much impossible to kill and will grow with no help at all
Seriously, a few years ago my husband accidentally tilled my rhubarb plant one spring and it still came back! Plus, the first few years I had the plant I was harvesting it all wrong and it still continued to produce, proving it’s a plant that doesn’t hold grudges.
If you want to feel good about your gardening abilities rhubarb is one of the top plants I would recommend to you.
#2 it is the first plant ready to harvest each year
I know I live in colder climates than a lot of you but up here things get really cold all winter and things only grow from May to September so the fact that I can actually be harvesting rhubarb at the end of May and beginning of June makes me so excited each year.
Now, the one thing about rhubarb is that it can get a little out of hand. And if you don’t have enough recipes to use it in it can sit there taking up a lot of space in your garden that you could be growing other useful things. Thankfully you now have this post at your fingertips so you will never be lacking for great rhubarb recipes again!
One thing I just learned this year is when and how to properly harvest rhubarb. All of this time I had been looking for the reddest, fattest stalks and cutting them off with kitchen shears. It turns out that is all wrong.
You’ll want to ensure your stalks are about 12 inches long (color and thickness doesn’t matter), and then just pull them out from the plant. This works so much better than cutting as you lose a lot less of the stalk.
Just remember that the rhubarb leaves are poisonous so you will want to make sure to cut those off. Thankfully the leaves will not harm your compost at all so you can just toss them into your compost pile after removing them. I always just take my kitchen shears out with me and cut the rhubarb stalks off right away and throw them into my compost bin.
One more thing to note: rhubarb freezes well. So, if you find yourself having an excess at a particular point you can just chop the stalks up into half inch pieces, dry them on a paper towel and then put them in the freezer. All of the recipes I am going to share can use fresh or frozen rhubarb.
Now that we’ve covered all of that, how about we move into the ways to use all this rhubarb you’ve been harvesting!
SIX DELICIOUS RHUBARB RECIPES
#1 RHUBARB SYRUP
This has been the main way I have used my rhubarb in the last few years. It is simple to make and uses a decent amount of syrup.
I’ve heard that you can use this syrup over ice cream but we love it mixed with a Sprite or lemon lime type of drink for a summery tasting rhubarb drink.
You can find a number of different recipes for this online but I like to keep it simple with this recipe.
#2 FRUIT CRISP
We really enjoy fruit crisp in our house and I have a recipe for The Perfect Fruit Crisp. You can add any kind of fruit to it and rhubarb is one of my favorites to add.
I really wanted to call this dessert Gruffalo Crumble (like The Gruffalo) but Rhubarb Crumble works too. This is delicious and I had to refrain from making it immediately after we devoured the first batch.