We’re at a very flavourful time of year as rhubarb season is in the final stretch and berry season has just started. Strawberries and rhubarb are a classic pairing in desserts and preserves as the tart rhubarb takes on the sweetness of the berry that it’s mixed with. This season is a favourite of mine as strawberry rhubarb pie is a specialty of my mom’s. All of our family friends and neighbours knew to stop by Sherry’s house around this time of year!
Rhubarb’s thick, fleshy stalks are similar to celery, but much larger and have a pinkish-colour as well as green. Just be sure to only eat the stalks and avoid the leaves as they contain oxalic acid which irritates the inside of the mouth and, in some cases, can be fatal.
Rhubarb wilts quite quickly, so you should store it in the fridge and eat it within a couple days. Even though we’re nearing the end of rhubarb season, don’t worry; to enjoy it year round, you can freeze it!
Botanically, rhubarb is actually a vegetable (not a fruit!) but it’s treated as a fruit, despite the tart flavour. Rhubarb is a source of calcium, Vitamin C, and potassium. Common uses for rhubarb include pies and crumbles, jam, sauces, and even wine-making.
Baked desserts are probably the most common rhubarb use, so I wanted to try it in a way I never had before. I found a quick recipe for a simple but delicious rhubarb slush drink on allrecipes. The perfect cool refresher on a warm day. A couple variations I made included cutting WAY down on the white sugar, and using the same water the rhubarb was boiled in for step 2. This drink has a great flavour and is a fun way to enjoy your rhubarb!
- 6 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 (6 ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
- 1 (6 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
- 3 cups water
- 1 (2 liter) bottle lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage, chilled
- Place rhubarb in a large saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until tender. Drain and mash or puree in a blender.
- Stir together the rhubarb puree, sugar, orange juice concentrate, lemonade concentrate, gin and water. Freeze.
- Place scoops of the frozen mixture into serving glasses, and fill the rest of the glass with lemon-lime soda.
If you’re looking forward to some strawberry-rhubarb pies or jams, we’ve got good news: it’s officially strawberry season at Forsythe Family Farms 2009 Inc.!
Fresh-picked strawberries are available at the market at the farm as well as all of our farmers’ market locations. Pick Your Own strawberries will be available at Forsythe Family Farms 2009 Inc. very soon. Check in with our Facebook page and we’ll let you know as soon as they’re ready!