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Sweet Fermented Rhubarb

How to make sweet fermented rhubarb using yeast-based beverages like kombucha, ginger bug or apple cider vinegar

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Fermented rhubarb is a delicious way to preserve the first fruit of spring. It can be left whole or pureed into a pretty pink sauce. See the section above for some serving suggestions.

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup of filtered water, or enough to cover
  • 1/4 cup of yeast-based starter culture (see above for options)
  • 2 cups of rhubarb, diced (approximately 6 stalks)
  • 1-inch of ginger (optional, for flavor)

Instructions

  1. Mix the filtered water and sugar in a glass jar. Stir until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add in the culture.
  2. Dice the rhubarb into serving-sized pieces. I like the added flavor of ginger, but it’s optional. There’s no need to peel the ginger, just wash the skin and slice it in half. It will provide plenty of flavor.
  3. Add the rhubarb and ginger to the jar, then top with enough filtered water to keep the fruit submerged, while leaving at least 1-inch of headroom at the top of the jar.
  4. Leave the jar to sit out on the counter to ferment for 2-3 days. Yeast-based cultures generally do best with exposure to air, so cover the jar with a piece of cloth held in place with a rubber band or jar ring.
  5. After 3 days the rhubarb will have developed a mild, sweet flavor. At this point, you can either leave it whole or puree it into a sauce. It may start sparkling, however, that will mellow out after a few days in the fridge.
  6. Store fermented rhubarb for up to 2 months in the refrigerator, or freeze it in straight-sided mason jars for winter eating.

Notes

  • The leftover fermenting liquid can be reused for at least two more batches of rhubarb. It also makes a delicious cordial that is perfect when mixed with sparkling water.
  • I generally don’t use sugar in recipes, however, this ferment relies on sucrose to feed the culture. If you are looking for a salt-brined fermented rhubarb, check out this recipe from Katie at Tracebridge Sourdough.

Keywords: vegan, gluten free, 5 ingredients or less, diary free, nut free, soy free, beverage, probiotic, spring, summer