Rhubarb Sauce

June means it’s the middle of rhubarb season here in Minnesota. My rhubarb was growing like crazy in April and May, but now has slowed down a bit. Still, I enjoy making rhubarb sauce, pie, slush and other yummy treats using both fresh and frozen rhubarb.

My rhubarb plants, a couple of years ago, when they were growing well (as they were earlier this year!)

Rhubarb sauce is so easy to make, and so versatile to use. This recipe came from my grandmother, who always brought rhubarb sauce camping. We’d put it on pancakes (instead of syrup). That’s still one of my favorite ways to enjoy it today, though I also like mixing it into my oatmeal all winter long, as well as putting it on vanilla ice cream, or just eating a small dish all by itself. Earlier this year my mom suggested putting it on cold cereal instead of bananas or other fruit, and surprisingly this works well too! Nice to have that option in winter when there aren’t many fresh fruits available.

Rhubarb sauce on pancakes with an egg makes for a great breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Here’s the recipe, and don’t blink, it’s that easy – only 3 ingredients!

RHUBARB SAUCE

  • 1 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 4 cups diced rhubarb (trimmed, washed and diced into 1/2″ pieces)

Put 1/2” water in saucepan with rhubarb.  Add sugar.  Cover and simmer 10-20 minutes (until tender). The rhubarb breaks apart as you stir it. Leave it as chunky as you wish, or cook it longer until it all falls apart when stirring.

A small container of rhubarb sauce ready for freezing

If I’m using frozen rhubarb, I don’t add much, if any, water because it make the sauce too thin. Sometimes I end up scooping out a bit of the liquid, adding little cornstarch to it, and then stirring it back in. A drop or two of red food coloring may be added if the color of your sauce is not very pink.

Sometimes I also add in a handful or two of dried cranberries or dried cherries. They reconstitute when you cook them and add a nice flavor and color. Get creative with adding things like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and more.

When picking rhubarb, be sure to grasp the stalk near the bottom and pull in the direction it’s growing. It should pull out of the ground with the white part at the bottom that grows in the ground. Once in a while a new stalk also comes out at the same time, but hopefully you only get the stalk you’re pulling. I make sure if the stalk breaks off to go back and find the bottom part and pull that too – otherwise it’s just wasted. Trim off the root end and leaf near the ends, wash and cut. Super easy!

Rhubarb plant today, with some new growth filling in – hope they grow quickly so I can pick soon!

What is your favorite way to use rhubarb?

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