–Dehydrating Your Surplus
Rhubarb is a natural spring-time treat. Its beautiful greenery brightens up the yard and it gives you an excuse to share something with your neighbors. We all know how delicious it can be in preserves or muffins, in sauces or other recipes…but with the tangy-tartness not many of us can eat much at once!
Dehydrate Your Extra Rhubarb
It’s a matter of slicing it and arranging it onto the Excalibur dehydrator tray. You do not have to do anything to it prior to dehydration. Make sure you start with clean, healthy, freshly-picked stalks. Remember that the leaves are poisonous and must be discarded onto your compost. The best way to keep them away from young children is by snipping them off of the stocks before even bringing them in to the kitchen counter. Little hands have a dangerous way of surfing the countertops for something that looks appetizing, so help protect your little ones by eliminating the temptation.
Although you really need to start with the freshest rhubarb possible, dehydrating it is a great way to preserve stalks picked earlier that are starting to bend (like celery).
Turn the temperature on your Excalibur to 125º. Because the water content is so high, expect extreme shrinkage. You might want to use paraflexx sheets (easier but not necessary on these). In our dry Montana weather, it takes about 8 hours to dehydrate; it can take you longer depending on your climate.
Ways to Use Dehydrated Rhubarb
You can really use it in all of the same summertime rhubarb recipes you love. Just remember that if you are baking with it that you will need to either reconstitute the rhubarb in water first, or to adjust the recipe’s liquids to reflect the addition of a dehydrated ingredient.
Put approximately ½ cup dehydrated rhubarb in a saucepan with 1 cup water and 1 cup apple juice. Stir over low-to-medium heat, adding either a starch (non-gmo cornstarch, tapioca starch, etc) or a pinch of flour that you have mixed separately into warm water, to prevent clumping.
It is so delicious with pork, that I rarely serve porkchops without this sauce served on the side.
Pulse dehydrated rhubarb in a coffee/herb grinder, and mix it in just like that into some homemade strawberry preserves. Baste onto your pork chops—delicious!
Kombucha & herbal tea flavoring:
This is how I have been drinking kombucha (fermented tea) all week. I have been adding the dehydrated rhubarb to the jar of kombucha and refrigerating it until I am ready to drink it. When I am ready to drink it, I strain all of the rhubarb (and the stringy bits associated with the fermenting culture) out. Very refreshing!
Making marshmallows at home has become extremely popular for lots of reasons. The ones from the store taste like cardboard, filled with terribly unhealthy ingredients, and cannot compare to the delight of a homemade confection. In fact, homemade marshmallow recipes abound and I need not clutter the blogosphere with my adaptations of other recipes (maybe if I can perfect it, I will). But this is what I do: I pulse the dehydrated rhubarb in my coffee/herb grinder, and mix with organic cane sugar for sprinkling on the finished marshmallow. It is wonderful!
I am sure you will come up with your own creative uses—my children like to eat it as a sour candy. I have been known to sneak a piece or two for the same reason, but it’ll nearly make your eyes water!
Leave a message below and tell us how you incorporate the dehydrated version of a summertime favorite!
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