Canning Stewed Rhubarb: Good Project for Beginning Food Preservation



As a canning instructor, I often get asked what is the best first time canning project should be for someone new to canning. My response is always “NOT STRAWBERRY JAM!” So many people get inspired early in the season by the beautiful quarts of strawberries for sale at the local farmer’s market, and set out to make a batch of strawberry jam, only to end up with an epic fail.

The fact is, making any kind of jam can be tricky business — it’s easy to burn, needs to have the right amount of pectin to set up, but not too much or it will be tough. Strawberry jam is even more difficult to get right because spring weather can really change the quality of the strawberries every year. Too much rain can result in lower pectin levels and lackluster flavor. Instead, I always recommend stewed rhubarb as an ideal first time canning project.

Rhubarb is a springtime treat popular in desserts and is traditionally made into sauce or pie, this led to it getting the nickname “pie plant.” In my home state of Michigan, fresh field or homegrown rhubarb is available late April through June. It can be mostly green or have a rosy to dark red color and have medium to thick stalks, and is a tasty source of calcium and potassium. Remember to cut off and compost, or discard, all rhubarb leaves when you harvest rhubarb. Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid which is harmful to eat.

With a patently unglamorous name like “stewed rhubarb” the real deal doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Stewed rhubarb is wonderfully versatile - it can be used to make a crisp or a pie, or as a topping for yogurt, or used as a sauce for pork roast or venison. All you can use strawberry jam for is for topping some toast or a pb&j for the most part. How much jam does a person really need, anyway? Being a Michigan native, I love to eat local foods - we rank #3 for rhubarb production in the U.S. One of our family favorites is rhubarb streusel muffins. A wonderful treat on a Sunday morning!

Stewed Rhubarb for Canning

Makes about 18 half-pints (two canner loads) of rhubarb

5/21/2020 7:18:33 PM

Barbara .....yes, you use the juice too in this recipe. To make stewed rhubarb into a pie, try an open face pie or one with streusel topping. Bake off the pie crust first. I love to use stewed rhubarb as a topping for vanilla yogurt or as a cooking sauce for pork roast. Its very versatile!

5/20/2020 8:35:52 AM

How do i use this for a pie? Any other recipes? Thx

5/20/2020 8:35:37 AM

Do you drain the stewed rhubarb, or use the juice, too? Thx

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters