Rhubarb juice concentrate is easy to make and adds a unique, tart flavor to beverages, kitchen creations, and so much more!
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For a short time each year during the early months of the growing season, we are blessed to have access to a vegetable that’s unique, tart, and makes a wonderful edition to many a culinary delight. Rhubarb.
From May through June here on the hill you will find me harvesting, juicing, creating a rhubarb simple syrup, preserving, and freezing this delectable treat. Be sure to keep your eye out for upcoming articles on how to freeze rhubarb and make your own rhubarb simple syrup, so you too can take advantage of rhubarbs refreshingly tart flavors throughout the year.
BENEFITS OF RHUBARB
Rhubarb is a vegetable that many use as they would a fruit. The stalks are the only edible portion of the rhubarb plant and make a wonderful addition to jams, pies, compotes, drinks & beverages, although the roots have been used in Chinese medicine for millennium.
Rhubarb does double duty in our kitchen adventures. Not only does rhubarb add distinct flavor to my culinary efforts, it also makes for a healthy addition as well.
Here are a few of rhubarb’s benefits:
- VITAMIN K / BONE HEALTH – High in vitamin K, a whopping 27 mcg in just 1/2 cup of cooked rhubarb, an essential vitamin for maintaining bone health and blood clotting
- HIGH IN NUTRIENTS – Other nutrients found in rhubarb include calcium, vitamin A (aiding in premature aging and skin health), vitamin c, potassium, folate, manganese, and magnesium
- GOOD SOURCE OF FIBER – A diet rich in fiber can help to normalize & maintain bowel function and health, aids in lowering cholesterol levels, helps to control blood sugar levels, & helps to maintain a healthy weight
- AIDS IN HEART HEALTH – Rhubarb’s fiber and other nutrients can help in reducing the risk of developing heart disease
- IMPROVES DIGESTION – Rhubarb’s high fiber content can, let’s just say, keep things moving smoothly. Rhubarb also contains “sennosides”, a compound with can act as a natural laxative, as well as “tannins” which act as an anti-diarrheal
- ANTIOXIDANTS – Antioxidants may reduce the risk of many diseases
- CALCIUM – Rhubarb contains a healthy dose of calcium, however, it’s mainly in the form of calcium oxalate. Unfortunately, the body has a difficult time absorbing this form of calcium
RHUBARB JUICE CONCENTRATE DEFINED
Rhubarb juice concentrate is just that, the juice of rhubarb. There are, however, a couple of different rhubarb juice options, both of which we’ll go over below.
For me, there is one big difference between these two options. Sugar.
RHUBARB JUICE CONCENTRATE
Making a concentrated juice from rhubarb is done without the use of any kind of sweetener. Concentrate is just that. The fluid or juice that’s extracted from the rhubarb stalks. Sans sugar, honey, agave, or any form of sweetener.
Sharing Is Caring…
Keeping it simple from the start, I like to make the concentrate and then transform it into other uses as needed.
RHUBARB JUICE SIMPLE SYRUP
Rhubarb juice simple syrup is simply the juice concentrate with the addition of a sweetener and cooked for a bit. Traditionally, that sweetener is sugar.
Be sure to look for how I make my rhubarb juice simple syrup coming soon!
IS RHUBARB JUICE HEALTHY
Yup. In addition to the listed benefits above, rhubarb is low in calories, especially when making rhubarb juice sans sugars, abundant when grown yourself, and is versatile and economic to utilize.
When researching this very question, I could not come up with any risks associated with the use of rhubarb juice when it’s made into a concentrate. If you know any, I would love to hear about them below!
HOW TO MAKE RHUBARB JUICE CONCENTRATE
Interested in making your own rhubarb juice concentrate? It’s simply a matter of cooking your raw rhubarb stems down, mashing them, and straining to extract the juice. This uncomplicated recipe couldn’t be easier, takes only a few minutes, and will have you enjoying the juice in a multitude of ways.
NOTE: This is a juice concentrate and how much concentrate you end up with really depends on how much water you use. More water = less concentrated juice and less water = more concentrated juice. I enjoy this juice somewhat a bit more diluted as it can be a pretty strong tart flavor, especially when no sugar has been added.
Using the amounts listed below, I ended up with approximately 3 pints of concentrate. Your amounts may vary depending on the size of the stalks you harvest and the amount of water used.
Keep reading on for the many ways we love to enjoy ours 😊
HOW TO MAKE RHUBARB JUICE CONCENTRATE WITHOUT A JUICER
STEP 1 – Harvest your rhubarb stalks. I utilized approximately 10+ stalks of freshly harvested stems for this recipe. Prepare the stems by washing or rinsing and trimming the top leaves off.
STEP 2 – Cut your washed stems into about 1 inch lengths and place into a large stockpot. Add water. I ended up with about 9 cups of rhubarb and used 3 cups of water.
STEP 3 – Bring the water and rhubarb to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rhubarb is mushy.
STEP 4 – Allow the rhubarb to remain in the water and let set until cooled.
STEP 5 – Strain, saving the liquid, and leaving the rhubarb solids remaining in the pot.
STEP 6 – Using a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon, mash the cooked rhubarb to release all its juices.
STEP 7 – Strain the mashed rhubarb and juice through a fine mesh strainer (optionally lined with cheesecloth if you like) back into the reserved cooking liquid.
STEP 8 – Compost the remaining bits and pieces of rhubarb solids.
- 10 Stalks Fresh Rhubarb
- 3 C Water
Cut your washed stems into about 1 inch lengths and place into a large stockpot. Add water. I ended up with about 9 cups of rhubarb and used 3 cups of water.
Bring the water and rhubarb to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rhubarb is mushy.
Allow the rhubarb to remain in the water and let set until cooled.
Strain the rhubarb, saving the liquid, and leaving the rhubarb remaining in the pot.
Using a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon, mash the cooked rhubarb to release all its juices.
Strain the mashed rhubarb and juice through a fine mesh strainer (optionally lined with cheesecloth if you like) back into the reserved cooking liquid.
Compost the remaining bits and pieces of rhubarb solids.
Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze. This rhubarb juice concentrate can also be preserved by canning in a water bath canner and processing for 10 minutes.
CAN YOU MAKE RHUBARB JUICE CONCENTRATE USING A STEAM JUICER
YES! If you are one of the lucky ones and are the proud owner of a steam juicer, this rhubarb juice concentrate comes out exceptionally well using a steam juicer.
Steam juicing your rhubarb is much more efficient in extracting its juices than by the method I am using today, by up to over 30% more efficient. Hmmmmm. Do I see a steam juicer in my future?
UNIQUE WAYS TO USE RHUBARB JUICE CONCENTRATE
You now have a beautiful, blush colored rhubarb juice concentrate which can now be used in so many creative & delicious ways!
Here are a few of my favorites & a few I’ve yet to try but can’t wait to:
- SPRITZER OR SODA – Make a refreshing spritzer by adding soda water, or ginger ale, with rhubarb juice concentrate to taste. I have found a ratio of 1:1 works well. Serve with a wedge of lime for a delicious drink.
- TEA & LEMONADE – This juice is extremely refreshing and will be a welcomed thirst quencher on any summer day. Add rhubarb juice concentrate to your favorite sweet tea, herbal tea, or lemonade recipe for a refreshingly unique treat
- ADULT BEVERAGES – Think martini’s, margarita’s, mimosa’s, add to a sparkling wine, or other adult beverages of choice here. This juice goes very well with both vodka and gin recipes. The choices are only limited to your imagination! Not into adult beverages? Make mocktail’s using the same ingredients sans the liquor.
- SIMPLE SYRUP – Make a simple syrup (recipe to come soon) and use a multitude of ways. One of interest? Thicken this syrup and drizzle over my Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. You can thank me later 😊
- ADD TO BAKED GOODS – Rhubarb crumble and even rhubarb muffins will benefit from the addition of a little of this concentrate
- FROZEN TREATS – Freeze in molds and create popsicles and summertime treats
HOW TO STORE RHUBARB JUICE CONCENTRATE
I love it when we have options! When it comes to storing your freshly made rhubarb juice concentrate, we have options.
As stated, it will keep for about a week in the refrigerator when stored in an air-tight container. Want longer storage options?
This juice concentrate freeze’s wonderfully. Either in larger quantities or in ice cube trays, freeze, and place in your favorite freezer storage container or freezer bag.
No room in the freezer? This juice concentrate can be processed and canned using the water bath canning method. Be sure to take a look at my tutorial on Water Bath Canning for complete instructions when just starting out.
I hope you take advantage of rhubarb season and give this recipe a try. If you are like myself, finding ways to utilize the harvest, using no added sugars, is always a win here on the hill.
How will you enjoy your rhubarb juice concentrate?
Love, Light, & Laughter ~