If one thing can cheer me up, it’s rhubarb. Each Spring when the gorgeous pinky-red rhubarb stalks make their appearance in gardens, markets, and grocery stores all over, I feel excitement build inside me. Excitement for the abundance of fresh produce in the season to come, and excitement for the tart and fresh rhubarb flavour in all it’s glory.
Usually I get a bit overzealous and end up with a fridge drawer full of rhubarb. If you’re like me, rhubarb sauce is a quick way to make something out of those tasty stalks. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with all that sauce, so here are 5 simple ways to transform your sauce into something special.
To make your Rhubarb Sauce:
- Combine 5-6 cups chopped rhubarb with 1/2 cup cane sugar in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir regularly for 10-15 minutes, until the rhubarb has mostly broken down and formed a thick sauce.
- Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt to the sauce.
- Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. Makes about 4 cups of sauce.
1. Rhubarb Chia Seed Jam
The addition of chia seeds helps to thicken and gel the sauce, creating a jam-like consistency without heaps of sugar and all the effort of canning. The same ratio of ingredients can be used to create chia seed jam with other fruits too – it’s revolutionary in my opinion!
- In a small bowl mix 1 cup of rhubarb sauce with 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 1 tablespoon of cane sugar or honey (optional). Warm the honey slightly if you’re using it.
- Spoon your Rhubarb Chia Seed Jam into a medium-sized jam jar or other airtight, glass container. Allow to set in the fridge for 8 hours before using. Keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
2. Rhubarb Yoghurt
One of my favourite uses for rhubarb sauce is to flavour plain yoghurt. Simple and delicious!
- Add a few heaped spoonfuls of rhubarb sauce to about 1/2 cup of plain yoghurt. Mix together until nice and creamy. Top with your fave granola – or even better, your very own homemade granola. Best enjoyed fresh!
3. Rhubarb and Chia Seed Pudding Parfait
I have a lot of love for the humble chia seed lately, so it makes another appearance in this variation. Layers of rhubarb sauce and chia pudding can make an easy, fulfilling breakfast or healthy dessert.
- In a small bowl or container mix 1 cup of milk (coconut milk is the standard, but almond milk or dairy milk also work) with 1/4 cup of chia seeds and 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup. Allow pudding to gel for 8 hours in the refrigerator.
- When ready to serve, split the pudding between 2-3 bowls and spread a layer of rhubarb sauce over top. For a fancier look split only half of the chia pudding between the bowls, add a rhubarb layer, and then spoon the rest of the chia pudding over top. Garnish with fresh fruit slices and/or seasonal berries.
4. Rhubarb BBQ Sauce
Homemade BBQ sauce is the best – no preservatives or artificial flavourings to worry about – and it tastes better too! Rhubarb adds a nice sour/sweet flavour to this homemade BBQ sauce. It’s perfect as a dip or sandwich/burger spread too.
- Saute half an onion (diced) with a teaspoon of mild tasting oil (not olive oil) in a small saucepan. Saute until onions start to turn golden.
- Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and cook a further 2 minutes.
- Turn heat to low. Add 1 cup rhubarb sauce, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar, 1 clove garlic (minced or grated), and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer sauce for 15 minutes.
- Allow sauce to cool a bit, then blend with your favourite blending device (I used a Magic Bullet). It should come together as a silky, orange-hued sauce. Store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
5. Fruity Rhubarb Vinaigrette
I love to make my own salad dressings. They’re a quick way to make any salad gourmet. Rhubarb adds a tart and fruity flavour to a simple vinaigrette dressing. It’s best drizzled over fresh greens, simply garnished with chives, cucumber, and maybe a bit of parmesan cheese.
- Add the following ingredients to your favourite blending device: 2 heaping tablespoons rhubarb sauce, 2 tablespoons mild tasting oil, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon cane sugar, 1 teaspoon water, and a pinch of salt.
- Blend until fully emulsified. Add water 1 teaspoon at a time if you want a thinner consistency.
- You will likely have enough dressing for two large salads. Reserve any extra dressing in the fridge in an airtight container.
Well there you have it! Five easy uses for rhubarb sauce, and one easy way to use up any extra rhubarb you have hanging around. I’ll also be posting a recipe for vegan strawberry-rhubarb oat squares later this week – so save a bit of rhubarb for that one too.