Rhubarb Sauce

May 20, 2011 · 9 comments














I’m moving away from dairy topics today in favor of rhubarb. Rhubarb is a perennial stalk with a sour taste and very little nutritional value. It is, however, essentially the first fruit-like treat of the early spring, and it can be delicious. Rhubarb is classically paired with strawberries (for good reason), but it also gets a great flavor boost from citrus (lemon or orange) zest and/or juice. For us, strawberry season comes after the onset of rhubarb season, so I usually blend fresh rhubarb with last year’s frozen strawberries and/or raspberries.

Last time I looked, I almost choked when I saw the price per pound of rhubarb at the grocery store. It’s not that hard to grow, so if you plan on using more than a couple stalks in a pie every year, it’s worth dedicating a few square feet of your garden for your rhubarb fix. You should also be aware of the fact that there is nothing wrong or unripe about green rhubarb. It looks different but tastes the same and is sometimes cheaper.

Rhubarb has the best looking leaves that you won’t ever see in a grocery store. They’re actually mildly poisonous, so admire them, but don’t eat them.







I generally make a simple sauce out of rhubarb, strawberries and/or raspberries, orange zest + juice, honey, and a little water. My apologies for being so terrible about specific quantities in recipes, but really this is one of those experiments where pretty much everything is added “to taste.”

I started by chunking up about seven stalks of rhubarb.

I zested and juiced two oranges.

I threw the rhubarb pieces into the first pan I saw, which happened to be cast iron. This is NOT something I recommend. I failed to consider the fact that rhubarb has a lot of acid in it and in combination with orange and strawberries, it definitely interacted with the pan to give it a little of that “cast iron pan” taste. It was rather photogenic, but if I were to do it again, I’d stick with stainless steel.

I set the stove to medium and added a little water, just to get the cooking started.

When the rhubarb was fairly mushy, I added the orange zest/juice, some frozen strawberries, and honey to taste.

When everything was cooked until softened and sufficiently sweetened (about a half hour total), the sauce was done. Rhubarb sauce is great on plain yogurt, pancakes, or served warm over ice cream. Enjoy!








{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Karenelle May 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Just wanted to put 2 cents worth in on “very little nutritional value”. Rhubarb is actually very nutritious: really good source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Manganese, Calcium, Potassium, & Vitamin A and Lutein because it is a great source of beta carotene. It is high in fiber & low in glycemic load, meaning it is beneficial for diebetics if the sweetener additions are healthy. It’s roots have been used in herbal medicine for centuries, & it’s consumption is said to improve digestion, both in getting nutrients & in keeping regular.


Camille May 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Touché! I didn’t mean to offend any rhubarb enthusiasts. I can’t say I’ve studied it’s nutritional values recently, but I remember looking it up once thinking, “It has to have something good in it” and finding that the oxalic acid in it actually makes it harder for your body to absorb calcium. I’m not a nutritionist, though, so you’re probably right. I do know that it tastes good, and I don’t think there’s a single fruit or vegetable out there that is bad for you if eaten in moderation (or unmoderated if you’re talking about something like parsley).


Karenelle May 20, 2011 at 11:19 pm

No problem, I love it too-there are a billion ways to use it, it is soooo easy to grow, & easy to fix-just wanted you to know it’s good for ya too. Great sight, by the way.


Karenelle May 20, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Also, chicken manure makes it really grow well!!! In the fall, after last of harvesting. Most people don’t know that if it is kept from really blazing sun & watered well, it will keep on producing til frost. Just gotta cut the flower heads off.


kara May 26, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Bummer that rhubarb isn’t very nutritious. That was how I was trying to make myself feel good about feeding my kids rhubarb pie the other day :).


Camille May 27, 2011 at 6:12 pm

See Karenell’s comment above. Apparently it does have lots of good stuff in it. Plus I think there’s worse things to feed your kids.


catie June 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm

just made this!
can’t wait to try it on your homestead pancakes.


Camille June 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm



catie June 9, 2011 at 10:59 am

your homestead pancakes + your rhubarb sauce = fabulous!

i love the idea of making a sauce vs. a pie or crumble, because it can be used in so many different ways.
i froze the extra sauce so we can enjoy it over time, in all the ways you mentioned.
i used an enameled cast iron pan {le creuset} & it worked great.
thank you, camille!!


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