Fresh rhubarb stalks become limp fairly quickly. The shelf life thus depends on how you store and handle them.
Here is how long it lasts when raw, cooked or preserved.
Shelf Life of Fresh Rhubarb (In the Fridge)
When well refrigerated, these stalks keep well for 2-3 weeks.
Rhubarb has ethylene, which hastens ripeness. As such, when refrigerating, avoid placing them near other fruits and vegetables.
In addition, the best way to store them is to loosely wrap the stalks in either foil or plastic wrap.
Avoid cramping them tightly in airtight bags. Cramping the stalks prevents ethylene from escaping, hence causes them to soften and become limp.
Moreover, you can freshen the stalks by placing in water, after a few days.
How Long Does Raw Rhubarb Last? (In the Freezer)
Well frozen raw rhubarb lasts for 1 year.
Rhubarb keeps well in the freezer. Before freezing, chop the stalks into smaller pieces for easier storage. There are plenty of freezing methods you can try:
- Flash freeze the pieces – spread the pieces in a baking sheet and freeze for a few hours. Transfer into freezer bags and store.
- Blanch the pieces for 3 minutes in boiling water. Dip in icy water and pat dry. Pack the pieces into Ziploc bags and freeze.
- Pack the raw pieces in sugar syrup. This is important in preserving color, flavor and structure. Mix the pieces and syrup well before storing in bags.
- Use dry sugar pack. This entails coating the pieces in sugar, before freezing. It works the same as sugar syrup.
Whichever freezing method is appealing, you can enjoy this seasonal vegetable all year round.
Shelf Life of Homemade Rhubarb Sauce (In the Fridge or Freezer)
Store in airtight jars and use within 1 week. Alternatively, freeze either in Ziploc bags or ice cube trays for up to 1 year.
Rhubarb sauce deteriorates faster than raw stalks. As such, refrigerate once it has cooled.
How Long Does Rhubarb Compote Last? (In the Fridge or Freezer)
Refrigerate and consume within 1 week.
For long-term storage, freeze in single portions up to 1 year. It freezes well as the sugar preserves its color and flavor.
Compote is made by cooking rhubarb slices in sugar syrup. Allow the mixture to boil for almost 10 minutes, until the slices are soft. For extra zest, add grated ginger and lemon juice. Serve over ice cream or frozen yoghurt.
How Long Does Cooked Rhubarb Pie Last? (In the Fridge or Freezer)
In the fridge, it keeps fresh for 5 days. For longer shelf life, freeze in heavy-duty bags for up to 8 months.
Wrap in foil before refrigerating.
Shelf Life of Rhubarb Crisp (At Room Temperature or Fridge)
Store freshly baked one in the counter for 2 days. Wrap in plastic wrap. In case of leftovers, refrigerate and use within 4 days.
How Long Does Freshly Made Rhubarb Juice Last?
Refrigerate for up to 4 days. Alternatively, flash-freeze in ice cube molds and freeze for up to 1 year.
Rhubarb is not only for pies, you can transform these tart stalks into sharp tasting juice. Simply stew slices in water until soft. Strain the contents, mashing the solids well to extract most of the juice.
When plain, this juice is extremely tart. Sweeten with sugar, dilute with water or use in cocktails.
How Long Do Rhubarb Seeds Last?
Rhubarb seeds keep well for 2 years.
For optimal usage, dry fresh rhubarb seeds, either in the sun or oven. Store in airtight bags in the pantry – away from direct heat and moisture.
Shelf Life of Rhubarb Jam
Unopened jam keep well in the pantry for up to 6 months. Once opened, refrigerate and consume within 3 months.
Making preserves such as jam is effective for prolonging the shelf life. You can easily make jam at home.
A simple rhubarb jam is made from stewing the stalks in water, sugar and flavors which balance out the tartness. Simmer for around 50 minutes and pour into sterilized jars while still hot. Seal and leave to process before storage.
How Long Does Canned Rhubarb Last? (Unopened and Opened)
Unopened cans keep well in the pantry for up to 2 years. On the other hand, contents of opened cans deteriorate quickly – consume within 1 week.
Canning is great for prolonging the shelf life of foods. Rhubarb is ideal for canning in sugar syrup. Canned rhubarb gives off a sweet-tangy taste and pairs well with sweet and savory treats.
How to Spot Spoiled Rhubarb
It is easy to spot spoiled rhubarb. Here’s how:
- Limp, shriveled, mushy stalks
- When exposed to harsh, cold temperature, the stalks become blackened.
- Off odor
As you can see, you can use rhubarb in so many ways. Prolong its shelf life by trying out the above storage tips. Let me know how it goes!