An abundance of rhubarb is never a bad thing. You can make pies, cobblers and crisps with it, ferment it into a tasty shrub or add it to tangy bbq sauce in lieu of tomatoes. You can even slice it a freeze it if you really get overloaded and just can't make enough rhubarb treats in a week. One of my favorite ways to get my rhubarb fix this time of year is to make it into rhubarb preserves. No strawberry to overshadow it, just straight-up rhubarb sweetened with honey and brightened up with a hint of lemon. This super easy recipe can be made in a larger batch and frozen as well, so you can enjoy rhubarb later in the year when it is all over.
My favorite thing about this fruit spread is probably its beautiful pink color. Of course, it tastes delicious, too, but the color is something to behold. You will have to make this in real life to see it, as a picture just doesn't do it justice.
The honey adds a great flavor and sweetness to balance out the tart and bitter qualities of the rhubarb. To keep some of the nutritional value of honey intact, I add it in two stages. First, the honey is added during cooking to thicken the preserves and second, it is added after cooking to round out the sweetness and maintain the nutrients of raw honey. Use good quality, raw and local honey for this recipe, as the flavor it imparts is just as important as its sweetness in this recipe. Stop by your farmers market or health food store for the best honey.
I love this spread on sourdough toast with butter, as the "J" in a PB&J, swirled into full-fat yogurt, or paired with a creamy cheese like chevre or brie to go with crackers. Play around with different combinations to see how you like it best, you can't go wrong.
Honey-Sweetened Rhubarb Preserves
Makes 1 1/2 pints
6 cups sliced rhubarb
1/2 cup honey (can sub maple syrup)
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
Combine rhubarb and 1/2 cup honey in a medium pot over medium heat. Heat until the rhubarb begins to release its juices and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low.
Let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly, until the rhubarb has cooked down and the mixture has thickened to preserve consistency.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup honey, lemon juice and sea salt. Adjust sweetness to your preference if needed.
Let cool for 10-15 minutes and transfer to glass jars. Keep refrigerated until ready to use; this will keep for several weeks in the fridge. Once fully cooled in the fridge, you can transfer to the freezer for longer-term storage, where it will keep for several months.
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Brine & Broth
I am a gut health-focused nutritionist and online health coach based in Southwest Wisconsin. My recipes and philosophies center around traditional, nutrient-dense foods that support robust gut health.