Did someone say Strawberry Rhubarb Pie?

It’s spring and your rhubarb plant is bursting. Learn how to harvest this common vegetable and make some scrumptious treats. Rhubarb is popular in baking, condiments, sauces, and even drinks. Enjoy rhubarb year-round by freezing, canning, or as preserves, like jams, jellies, and chutneys. 

About Rhubarb

  • Vegetable or Fruit?

    Rhubarb is a vegetable but is used in the culinary world as a fruit. It is one of the easiest foods to grow in the garden and is often the first plant to be harvested in the spring.

  • Colour and Availability 

    There are many varieties of rhubarb that range in colour from bright red to light green or even crimson which is like a pale red. Regardless of the colour, rhubarb has a very strong, tart flavour and as a result, must be cooked with sugar, to counteract that tartness.  

    Hothouse rhubarb, can be available year-round because it is grown in a  greenhouse. Whereas, homegrown rhubarb is only available from early spring until late summer with its peak between April and June.  


  • Harvest

    It is important to note, that the stalks of the rhubarb are edible, but their large green leaves are not. The leaves contain oxalic acid which is poisonous and can cause illness. Pick the rhubarb when the stalks reach 12 – 18 inches in height. Simply, grab the stock at the base of the plant, pull, and twist. If this does not work, cut the stock at the base. Cut off and discard the leaf. 

    Do not eat rhubarb that has been damaged by severe cold weather. The oxalic acid in the leaves travels down to the stalks of the rhubarb when exposed to extreme cold, such as in a frost.

  • Preserving

    Rhubarb can be preserved using different methods: 

    Freezing – This is the easiest method of preserving. Remember that if using frozen rhubarb in a recipe, do not completely thaw. Thawed rhubarb releases a lot of juice, making it mushy and watery. Instead, measure and add your rhubarb into your recipe when it is frozen or partially thawed.  

    Canning – This method can be used when making syrups, sauces, pickles, chutneys, jams and jellies.  

Keep Your Extra Rhubarb