This easy recipe for rhubarb sauce will become a standby for all you rhubarb lovers, and it may convert some of the uninitiated into the ever-growing rhubarb fan club. This rhubarb sauce is quick & easy, deliciously tart and sweet, and lets you enjoy an extra serving of veggies for dessert. Add rhubarb sauce to your roster of healthy treats!
WHY MAKE A RECIPE FOR RHUBARB SAUCE?
I’ve become a bit obsessed with rhubarb over the years. Recently I’ve been wondering whether I should rename this site Rhubarb and Elderberries.
Over time, our rhubarb plants have multiplied, and our harvests have gotten bigger and bigger. I’ve made plenty of rhubarb muffins, rhubarb baked oatmeal, and rhubarb lemonade, a best-seller at my first-grader’s lemonade stand last summer.
I also gobble up plenty of this low-sugar rhubarb sauce when the rhubarb is coming in.
I’m always looking for new ways to use our bountiful rhubarb, many of which you’ll find in my post about ways to use rhubarb. If you need more ideas, check out my Pinterest board devoted to all things rhubarb.
Why all the fuss about rhubarb? I hear you asking.
Well, to start off, rhubarb is a vegetable, so all these sweet treats are actually working a serving of veggies into your dessert. How cool is that?
I’m also one of those people who absolutely loves tart foods, so the sweet-tart combination in many of these concoctions hits the spot.
Rhubarb is also absurdly easy to grow, a fantastic perennial plant that comes back year after year with virtually no work at all, a natural for the permaculture garden. And it’s easy to get your first plant for free. Here’s how to grow rhubarb so you can always have plenty on hand for sauce, leather, crisps, and more!
WHAT TO DO WITH RHUBARB SAUCE?
This easy rhubarb sauce recipe is delicious on its own. You can also swirl it into yogurt (homemade yogurt is surprisingly simple to make, btw), put it on ice cream or waffles, or serve it alongside roast pork or turkey in place of apple sauce. Or create parfaits with yogurt and homemade granola.
This sauce is also the basis of a stunning homemade fruit leather, if you want to give that a try. (You do, trust me!) I usually make a huge batch of rhubarb sauce, turn most of it into leather, and nibble the leftover sauce while we wait for the leather to dry.
This addictive rhubarb sauce is
- The perfect blend of tart and sweet
- A sneaky way to get a serving of veggies
- Flexible, for whatever amount of rhubarb you have
STREAMLINED RECIPE FOR RHUBARB SAUCE
Most recipes use a very small amount of water and simmer the fruit. I’ve found that covering the rhubarb with boiled water and returning to a boil before cutting the heat is all you need to cook a huge pot of rhubarb.
This method accomplishes a few things:
- You save energy by using the stove less. I use an electric kettle, more efficient than heating a stock pot on the stovetop.
- You don’t have to tend the pot long or worry about the bottom burning while the top stays uncooked.
- You get the bonus of an amazing pink liquid that can be used to make delicious drinks.
The bright pink rhubarb “juice” you drain off before making your sauce is great sweetened and diluted with still or sparkling water served over ice. It’s also a fantastic addition to lemonade. Look at that color!
HOW TO MAKE RHUBARB SAUCE WITH DIFFERENT FLAVORS
Rhubarb sauce flavored with nothing more than the rhubarb itself is truly delicious. But you can also customize your rhubarb sauce, adding spices or other fruits according to your preferences. I usually swirl in some all-fruit jam to cut down on the sugar needed, but I like to keep the focus on the rhubarb flavor rather than adding spices.
Some flavor options to consider:
I recommend starting simple, using just rhubarb, water, and sweetener. But then give yourself the freedom to try out other flavors, adding a small amount of spice or other fruit and tasting.
Note that you can blend your sauce for a smooth puree, or skip blending for a delicious chunky compote.
CAN YOU USE FROZEN RHUBARB TO MAKE RHUBARB SAUCE?
Absolutely! Rhubarb starts to get tough when summer heats up, so you can cut far more than you need at once and freeze the cut chunks until you need them. As with many other frozen vegetables, frozen rhubarb will lose a lot of liquid when it thaws, so if you’re making this recipe with frozen rhubarb, you don’t need to add water.
Thaw frozen rhubarb before using to save a little energy and time, or just cook them from frozen.
You can also freeze extra rhubarb sauce if you make a big batch.
CHOOSING SWEETENER FOR THIS RHUBARB SAUCE RECIPE
Refined white sugar is the traditional sweetener for most rhubarb sauce, but I try to steer clear of it when possible. I’ve tried this sauce with stevia only, but the stevia flavor isn’t my favorite. I tend to add a bit of stevia and then use coconut sugar together with jam, but you could also use monk fruit, honey, or maple syrup if you’d rather.
*Remember, we only eat rhubarb stalks, as the leaves have toxic amounts of oxalic acid.**
Many different flavors of jam can work in this recipe. Strawberry, raspberry, or blackberry all work well. We often use a blend called "superfruit" that adds a nice color as well as flavor. If you don't have jam, no worries! Just go a little heavier on the sweetener and enjoy that pure rhubarb flavor! If you prefer a chunkier sauce, you can reserve some of cooked rhubarb before blending and add it back once the rest of rhubarb and sweetener have been blended well. Or skip the blending altogether for a tasty fruit compote. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a food processor or blender, but if the bowl is plastic, you should allow the rhubarb to cool somewhat. Add any non-liquid sweetener before it has cooled to ensure it dissolves
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 72Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 14gProtein: 1g
Many different flavors of jam can work in this recipe. Strawberry, raspberry, or blackberry all work well. We often use a blend called "superfruit" that adds a nice color as well as flavor.
If you don't have jam, no worries! Just go a little heavier on the sweetener and enjoy that pure rhubarb flavor!
If you prefer a chunkier sauce, you can reserve some of cooked rhubarb before blending and add it back once the rest of rhubarb and sweetener have been blended well. Or skip the blending altogether for a tasty fruit compote.
If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a food processor or blender, but if the bowl is plastic, you should allow the rhubarb to cool somewhat. Add any non-liquid sweetener before it has cooled to ensure it dissolves
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