Fermented Rhubarb

Posted by Colleen

Rhubarb is a quintessential spring vegetable, and we are lucky enough to have a large rhubarb plant already growing in the backyard of our new house.  It is perennial, which means it will come back year after year without you having to do much to it, and is often one of the first foods that can be eaten from the garden.  It is quite sour and is a flavor that often is an acquired taste.  I personally love it!

That said, I now have quite a bit of rhubarb on my hands, and when I was looking for ways to use it up, I came across several recipes for fermenting it.  I decided that I needed to try this, of course!  Most of the recipes call for slicing the ribs up fairly small, but I ran across one for ginger rhubarb pickles (from Pickle Me Too) that left them in long pieces.  I loved this idea, so that’s what I based this recipe for fermented rhubarb on.

I also wanted just a little bit of sweetness to it, so I also added a small about of raw honey, plus a few whole cloves and a whole star anise.  I didn’t add any ginger this time, but I’m sure it would be delicious.  When I was putting it all together it reminded me of the fermented cranberries that I made last year for the holidays.

Fermented Rhubarb Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 ribs of rhubarb
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt, or another non-iodized salt (such as kosher or sea salt)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 whole star anise

Directions:

Cut the rhubarb ribs into thirds and put into a clean, quart-sized Mason jar.  Add the honey, salt, and spices, then fill with cool water.  Swirl it around a bit to help the honey and salt dissolve.  Top the rhubarb with a weight to keep it submerged under the brine, and cover with a lid and airlock.  A Fermentools Starter Kit works great for this!  Put the jar in a dark and quiet corner of your kitchen for about seven days.  Taste it periodically, and once it’s to your liking, it’s finished!  It will keep in the refrigerator for many months.

If your fermented rhubarb is not sweet enough for you, as rhubarb can be quite tart, you can always add a bit more honey.  The fermentation process itself is likely to take away a good amount of the tartness on its own, however.

I hope you get a chance to make this beautiful fermented rhubarb and happy spring to you!

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Colleen has been foraging for wild food and fermenting for many years. She loves all types of fermenting, including making lacto-fermented veggies, kombucha, kefir, yogurt, and sourdough. She also has a special fondness for brewing hard cider and mead (honey wine). Along with her husband Joel, they grow much of their own food and herbs in a permaculture style garden. She makes and sells handmade herbal salves and lip balms in her Etsy shop, CocosHerbals, and writes about all of her adventures with food, gardening and homesteading at growforagecookferment.com.
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