Rhubarb {harvesting, baking and freezing}

The rhubarb patch is overflowing, which means it’s time to start filling the freezer with homemade rhubarb goodies again.

For the past few years I have been making all of my breads, pies and goodies while we harvest them from the garden instead of freezing the cut veggies or fruits with great intentions of baking them later. I never did end up baking with them later, so we would end up with a freezer full of frozen fruit and veggies unused. I know shame on me. So a few years ago I decided to make all of our baked goodies or freezer meals once something in the garden was being harvested. So now I spend a few days cooking and baking like crazy once something is harvested and in the end I end up with a freezer full of meals and goodies. Last year I think I ended up with over 40 loaves of breads, lots of cakes, muffins, sweet treats and numerous amounts of freezer meals.

Each year I discover new recipes to try and learn better freezing methods through trial and error. I also seem to get better and faster at baking and cooking all of our goodies. I have learned that cooking in large quantities and spending 1/2 a day cooking it all at once actually saves me a ton of time in the long run.

I wait til I have a good amount to harvest, then pick all that I can, wash it and cut it up. Sometimes I have so much that I cannot cook or bake it all in one day so I simply place my cut up veggies or fruits in the fridge for the next day. Then depending on how much I have cut up, I pick out the recipes that work best together, like having the same oven temp or the same ingredients being used. Then I start mixing and baking, and in a few short hours I end up with an insane amount of freshly baked goodies. But the best part, is that you only have to clean-up once! For me, cleaning up is the most time consuming parts and my least favorite to do. But if you get it all done in one day, then you only have clean up once.

Rhubarb was never one of my favorites but with some newer recipes that I have found over the past few years it is becoming one. I use allrecipes.com most of the time while cooking or baking. I like how the recipes are rated, have pictures, and are pretty simple to make. I like to cook and bake, but don’t want to spend a lot of money buying ingredients that I don’t already have right in my cabinets. I also have a few cookbooks that focus mainly on cooking and baking things harvested from your garden.

My favorite rhubarb recipes:

How I freeze my baked goodies:

I like to bake my crisps straight in canning jars or bake them into a large pan and then transfer the crisp into canning jars once cooled. This way it is easier for my hubby to bring to work and they also act as a ice pack in his lunch box. Of course you can bake the crisps in a pan and then place the whole pan into the freezer once cooled. Just make sure that you wrap the cooled pan in plastic wrap right onto of the crisp and cover pan again with some aluminum foil.

I like to freeze my cakes and breads wrapped in plastic wrap. If you want to wrap them in wax paper, just make sure you place them into a freezer bag afterwards. Last year I wrapped close to 20 loaves of breads only in wax paper and they all became dried out and had a freezer burnt taste… so lesson learned.

When it comes to pies, I bake my pies in a pie pan and once cooled I wrap them in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil on top of that. I also have found that some recipes can be assembled ahead of time, frozen and then baked later. Rhubarb pie is one of those. So all I have to do is grab a frozen pie, let it thaw for a bit and then bake per directions.

Don’t forget to label! I have to admit I don’t always do this, but if it is a new recipe, an uncooked pie or covered in aluminum I do. This way I also know what recipes work and which ones don’t.

At the end of the season, you will be so thankful you took the time to bake first and freeze. It is a great feeling to have a freezer full of meals and baked goodies. Not to mention a great way to save money, eat healthy and have some great baked goods when you need something in a jiff.

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Comments

  1. Jessica at Me Sew Crazy says:

    I am droooooooooooooooooooooooling!!! Looks so yummy!

  2. Yummmm, I LOVE rhubarb! My husband has always insisted he hated it until a client from work brought me a HUGE amount of rhubarb from her garden that she couldn't use up on her own. All of a sudden I was making rhubarb-everything (muffins, bread, pies, I think I made that rhubarb crunch recipe, too, or something like it), and Jeff finally admitted that what he didn't like wasn't rhubarb . . . it was just how his mom had cooked rhubarb ;-) All your recipes look so delicious!

    Rachel @ Maybe Matilda

  3. I'm making rhubarb-orange jelly right this minute. Smells delicious, and it will make my morning toast happy all winter long! That coffee cake looks divine.

  4. Michelle says:

    Looks so yummy! Don't forget about rhubarb soda (also good with tequila for a rhubarbarita!). Check it out at….http://mainelyhome.blogspot.com/2010/06/its-national-leave-work-early-day.html

    And also, makes a great reduction for pork.http://mainelyhome.blogspot.com/2010/06/do-over-dinner-roast-pork-tenderloin.html

  5. My Love is..... says:

    Great post! thanx for sharing!

  6. yum! I love rhubarb – our favorite pie recipe is rhubarb custard – have you tried it??? So delicous!

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  10. Robin Locke says:

    I’ll be knocking at your door one of these days for some of that Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch…….lol…. it looks so yummy! Went by the other day and saw you sitting on your porch… :)

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