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Stewed rhubarb is a simple and delicious way to prepare rhubarb! It is the perfect start to so many amazing rhubarb recipes. Try this quick and easy rhubarb recipe with your favorite sweet breakfasts or desserts.
What is rhubarb?
Rhubarb is a leafy plant that is part of the Dock family. Unlike many other leafy plants, however, it’s actually the stem of rhubarb you eat rather than the leaves. In fact, the leaves have high levels of oxalic acid, and you shouldn’t eat them.
Rhubarb plants take a little time to get established, but once they do, it grows almost like a weed. The bright pink stems pushing through are, for some, a sign that spring has arrived.
Stewed Rhubarb Recipe Ingredients
- Orange Juice
- Cinnamon (optional)
How to prepare rhubarb for stewing
If you have any leaves still attached, make sure you remove these. Remember, the leaves are not edible.
Also, trim both ends of the rhubarb. If you have any tougher-looking strings that come away as you cut the ends, then peel these away, too. But don’t remove all of the outside layers of the rhubarb, as that’s where the bright, beautiful color comes from.
How to Cook Rhubarb
- Slice the rhubarb into chunks and place into saucepan.
- Add in sugar, orange juice and water (and cinnamon, if using).
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for around 5-10 minutes until it is starting to fall apart – the rhubarb should still just hold its shape.
- Allow to cool, then use or store.
Stewed Rhubarb Recipes Tips
- I recommend choosing pinker and medium-thin stems rather than thick stems. The thinner stems will generally be sweeter and more tender.
- Don’t remove all of the outside layers of the rhubarb, as that’s where the bright, beautiful color comes from.
- You may want to add a little more sugar if your rhubarb is more tart.
- I love to serve stewed rhubarb warm over ice cream, pancakes, or waffles.
If you love stewed rhubarb, you will absolutely love my stewed apple recipe.
Stewed Rhubarb FAQs
Rhubarb is a vegetable, although it is probably more often used alongside fruits like strawberries. Even when used alone, rhubarb is prepared more like a fruit.
Rhubarb has a tart flavor and is rarely eaten raw. Normally, rhubarb is made into sweet rhubarb sauce, rhubarb jam, and rhubarb chutney. You can eat rhubarb raw, but typically only the younger, tender stems that are a little sweeter. If you dip them in sugar, they make a nice gently sweet and tart snack.
You can freeze cooked rhubarb! Freeze it as a whole container, or divide it into smaller amounts. If you want to use a small amount at a time, then fill up ice cube trays with the stewed rhubarb and transfer the cubes to a freezer bag once frozen.
How to Shop for Rhubarb
You may find rhubarb sold in bunches with the leaves still attached, but more commonly in supermarkets, it is sold as just the stems themselves. You should look for stems that are relatively firm rather than flexible, and that are bright rather than dull. These are signs of fresh rhubarb.
Also, it depends on how you plan to use your rhubarb, but I recommend choosing more pink and medium-thin stems rather than thick stems. The thinner stems will generally be sweeter and more tender. Plus, I prefer more of a pink color than greener stems, as I think it looks better after cooking, but again it depends on how you use it. For some dishes, their appearance won’t matter.
- Rhubarb Dump Cake
- Rhubarb and Apple Crumble
- Rhubarb Dump Cake
- Rhubarb Muffins
- Learn How to Freeze Rhubarb to have it on hand year-round!
See our Cooking Conversions Chart for help converting measurements!
- Slice the rhubarb into chunks and add to a saucepan.2 cups rhubarb
- Add in sugar, orange juice and water (and cinnamon, if using).2 Tablespoons orange juice, 2 Tablespoons sugar, 2 Tablespoons water, 1 pinch cinnamon
- Bring to a boil then simmer for around 5-10 minutes until it is tender and starting to fall apart – the rhubarb should still just hold its shape.
- Allow to cool then use or store.