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Rhubarb

FACTS                                          Rhubarb                          

• Rhubarb originated in Asia over 2,000 years ago. It was initially cultivated for its medicinal qualities, it was not until the 18th century that rhubarb was grown for culinary purposes in Britain and America.

• Rhubarb is often commonly mistaken to be a fruit but rhubarb is actually a close relative of garden sorrel, and is therefore a member of the vegetable family with a unique taste that makes it a favorite in many pies and desserts.

• Rhubarb is rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber.

• Rhubarb is a perennial plant.

• Rhubarb is 95% water and contains a fair source of potassium, contributes minor amounts of vitamins, and is low in sodium.

• Rhubarb’s crisp sour stalks are rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber and calcium, although the calcium is combined with oxalic acid and so is not easily absorbed by the body.

• One cup diced Rhubarb contains about 26 calories

COOKING & HANDLING TIPS

• 1 lb. cooked rhubarb yields 3/4 cup.

• When buying Rhubarb choose fresh crisp stalks, and peel off any stringy covering before use.

• Stand the stalks in cold water for an hour or so to refresh them before cooking.

• Before use, discard any leaves and trim the ends.

• Completely peeling rhubarb is unnecessary.

• Rhubarb requires sweetening to minimize the extreme tartness. It can be served as a sauce over ice cream, combined with fresh strawberries, or made into pies, tarts, puddings, breads, jam, jellies, and refreshing beverages.

STORAGE TIPS

• Cut all of the leaves away from the Rhubarb stalks and the stalks will keep well in the refrigerator for two to three weeks in sealed plastic bags.

• To freeze rhubarb choose firm, tender, well-colored stalks with good flavor and few fibers. Wash, trim and cut into lengths to fit the package. Heating Rhubarb in boiling water for 1 minute and cooling promptly in cold water helps retain color and flavor.

• Dry Pack Method: Pack either raw or preheated Rhubarb tightly into containers without sugar. Leave head space (see table below). Seal and freeze.

• Syrup Pack Method: Pack either raw or preheated Rhubarb tightly into containers, cover with cold 40 percent syrup (see table below). Leave head space (see table below). Seal and freeze.

Head space to allow between packed food and closure:

Type of Pack
Container with Wide Top Opening
Container with Narrow Top Opening
Pint
Quart
Pint
Quart
Liquid Pack*
1/2 inch
1 inch
3/4 inch ***
1 1/2 inch
Dry Pack**
1/2 inch
1/2 inch
1/2 inch
1/2 inch

* Fruit packed in juice, sugar, syrup, or water; crushed fruit, or fruit juice.
** Fruit or vegetable packed without added sugar or liquid.
*** Head space for juice should be 1.5 inches.