Gotta love spring! After the cold dark of winter, nothing beats May’s long days and mellow temperatures. And I am celebrating with a tart, seasonal Rhubarb Lemonade!
If there is one downside to spring, it’s that there isn’t a lot to harvest (at least in the north). But what you find can be amazing. Woodsy morels, garlicky ramps and tart rhubarb… Mmmm!
I planted a few rhubarb plants about three years ago. I should have done it years before! Rhubarb produces quickly (harvest starting the second year) and with little assistance (I mulch, and harvest, that’s it!).
Of course, inspiring rhubarb recipes are everywhere: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp in Under an Hour, Star Studded Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Just be sure to eat ONLY the rhubarb stems because other parts of the plant have poisonous levels of oxalic acid.
Making Rhubarb Lemonade is super easy. Boil sugar, water and rhubarb to make a syrup, strain and cool, add lemon juice & water, then serve!
The other main component of this Rhubarb Lemonade is (of course!) fresh lemon juice. Did you know that lemons freeze well? Whenever I use part of a bag—or even half of a lemon, the extras go in my freezer. You can even pre-slice lemon remains, to have “instant” lemon slices in the freezer!
If you haven’t realized yet, part of the theme of this post is EASY! Because the past few weeks have been intense. End of classes (final exams, semester projects) for me & two of my kids, out of state graduation for one daughter, first internship for another, and lots of special events. My apologies to everyone I’m neglecting–I’ll fix that soon!
When you are desperately busy, there is nothing like pampering yourself with a special treat—something indulgent but not difficult! With rhubarb from the garden, and lemons from the freezer… rhubarb lemonade is just what we needed!
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups sliced rhubarb (about 3 large stalks)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 - 1 1/2 quarts water (or fizzy water)
- To make syrup, mix water and sugar in a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until dissolved. Add sliced rhubarb and simmer on low until rhubarb is soft and pulpy, about 30 minutes.
- Strain syrup and reserve pulp if desired (to add to yogurt, oatmeal or muffins). Cool syrup.
- To prepare a pitcher of rhubarb lemonade, mix syrup (makes about 1 cup), ½ cup lemon juice (from 3-4 lemons) and 1 – 1½ quarts water (to taste).
- Actual calorie count is lower since some of the pulp (and sugar) isn’t used.
- The leftover rhubarb pulp is delicious mixed into yogurt. I recommend unsweetened Greek yogurt since the rhubarb mash is already sweet.