Rhubarb juice, sans blending or squeezing
Is it just me, or is blending way too much effort for juice? As great as fresh juice is, if I need to get out any appliances my eyes glaze over a little. So when I spotted this recipe on Scandi Foodie, my eyes lit up. Rhubarb? Juice with no blending or squeezing? Delicious chunks of sweetened, slightly tenderised rhubarb that you can use afterwards?!
In my version I used honey rather than raw cane sugar to sweeten, which was delicious, but the result is a little bit cloudier (if that bothers you, just use raw sugar).
Initially, I went on a serious red-rhubarb stalking (buahaha) mission. If you’re a serious rhubarb connoisseur, you’ll know that the red part of the stalk isn’t just pretty, it’s also where the amazing berry-like flavours of rhubarb come from. To test this recipe though I just used the pinky-green bits of my precious stash, but stuck two reddy stalk bits in too. If you’re wondering what colour the juice actually is, it’s the bottom pinky colour. Not sure what happened with the light but I liked this photo too much to use another one! The second time I made it just with the bottom red parts and it was a bit more red, but still not quite this red. So it depends on your rhubarb.
The rhubarb pieces are much less aggressively sour once prepared this way, and still a little crunchy but much more tender. I like the fact that they aren’t cooked to death either, which makes them a little healthier (maybe?) and easier too, especially in summer when turning on the oven makes me want to shrug.
makes as much or as little as you like
Place some chopped rhubarb, lemon slices (optional but recommended), and lemon peel (optional, only the yellow bits – shave with a peeler) in a seal-able jar (whatever size you have). Pour just-boiled water over the rhubarb to cover the rhubarb (it’ll float up a little), and almost fill the jar. Pop the lid on, wrap the jar in a tea towel or a wooly jumper, and let sit for 12 hours or so.
After the 12 hours, open up the juice and dollop in some honey or raw/blond sugar to taste (start with less, since you can add more later…also honey is sweeter than sugar, so use less). Pop the lid back on and shake*, then let sit for another 12 hours. After that it’s ready to use, and you can store it in the fridge. You can either strain it or leave the rhubarb bits in and just keep the lid mostly-on to just get the juice out. If it’s too sweet, you can add lemon juice and/or water to tone it down. The rhubarb pieces work great on breakfast cereal or in crumbles or cooked a little more with vanilla sugar…go wild.
*My jar actually leaks (fyi: don’t get your jars at Countdown), so I had to do a violent twist-back-and-forth dance…rather entertaining.
Radio NZ recipes – just discovered this page and am loving it, although would love to see more photos. They also have a series of interesting talks about food chemistry, which is where I learnt that honey (which has fructose) is sweeter than sugar (sucrose), so you can use less of it for the same sweetness. Bit sad that the government has frozen Radio NZ’s funding :(