Rhubarb has been used both for culinary and medicinal purposes for a while. Thanks to its ideal flavor harmony in many recipes, this ingredient has gained wide popularity, especially in England and America.
Still, it is not easy to buy it from grocery stores. That’s why we need a rhubarb substitute in case you could not find it in any store. So, what can replace Rhubarb’s flavor? Let’s take a look at the list below to get your answer!
What Is Rhubarb?
It was originally known as a vegetable. Due to sugar’s widespread popularity in England, rhubarb then played as fruit and became a favorite addition to pies and other desserts. In 1947, it became a fruit in law as an American court made the distinction.
Its shape looks like celery, mainly because they both have crisp stalks. Since the leaves are toxic, we can only use the stalk part. Rhubarb with sugar makes the best combination where the sweetness balances the sour and bitter flavor.
Have you known how to choose good rhubarb? From pale green to deep red stalks, you should go for the dark-red one. These are sweeter with a more intense savor. Like many other fruits, Rhubarb contains many healthy substances such as vitamins A, vitamin K, antioxidants, and minerals.
It benefits your body from outside to inside, from the skin to bones. Some studies show that eating rhubarb can reduce cholesterol levels, improve digestion, brighten your skin and strengthen your bones.
How To Choose Substitutes For Rhubarb In Particular Recipes
Many people don’t really enjoy the sour-bitter flavor. In case you’re such a person, you need to find rhubarb alternatives. The replacement depends on your purposes.
What dishes would you use rhubarb substitute for? If the answer is for making jam, you should notice the texture of it after cooking. Quince would be the most suitable replacement when it comes to jam.
Whatever the recipe is, ensure that your alternative decision will give out the most rhubarb similar foods. The way you process ingredients is important, too. It affects the final flavor.
Rhubarb, or its substitute, could be stewed, roasted, sauteed, pureed, or even raw. Finding out the proper option will wake up the meal’s flavor.
Top 6 Recommended Rhubarb Substitutes
The question is, what can I substitute for rhubarb? Let’s have a look at these rhubarb equivalents:
1. Strawberries With Lemon
Everyone knows strawberries for sure. You might not realize that it surprisingly tastes like rhubarb. That’s why you often see these two factors in many desserts.
Only strawberries are not enough to replace rhubarb since they still lack the sour flavor, but squeezing a lemon into them will work. This combination brings out a fresh flavor suitable for serving as a quick snack, a smoothie, or simply cooked into jam, sauce or even syrup.
Some examples where strawberries can work as a dessert include pies, muffins, cakes, or tarts. You should try making strawberry rhubarb tartlets for once to see how amazing these ingredients are put together.
Strawberry rhubarb pie is also a good one. Be careful. You don’t want to be mistaken for this pie with strawberry rutabaga pie as they almost have similar names.
Unlike strawberries, cranberries get the whole package flavor of rhubarb without adding any other ingredients. They’re not only sweet and juicy but also include a taste of tart that makes them even more like rhubarb. You could say that its flavors are the most matching duplicate.
No matter what dishes you’re cooking, cranberries can still work well. You can add them into muffins instead of rhubarb, even with them roasted. Roasted cranberries would also wonderfully go along with garden salad, or using the raw ones is fine. Sauces or chutneys are not bad choices.
You possibly try a rhubarb Indian recipe in making chutney but using cranberries instead. It is more convenient to freeze cranberry sauce or chutney for later uses. Also, many people enjoy eating rhubarb cranberry tart or the same cranberry bars just like rhubarb as a quick snack.
Compared to strawberries or cranberries, quinces are much less well-known than the others. To describe its taste, let’s say it is a cross between apples and pears. The small fruit with yellow peel delivers a flavor the same as rhubarb.
That similarity is much clearer when adding some lemon juice or lime. You can use quinces as a syrup to drizzle over your cakes, jelly, or jam for baking, or simply just a topping for your morning yogurt.
Whatever it is used for, its tart flavor will definitely make up the fresh flavor of your dishes, just like rhubarb does. Sometimes, this substitute is even a better option in baking than rhubarb jam.
4. Tart Apples
Choosing tart apples as a rhubarb replacement is a bit different in texture and flavor. The advice is to pick out apples that are not too ripe or sweet to get the right tang of rhubarb.
Also, combining it with some red-colored fruit will bring out the same quality in color and sharpness as rhubarb. Tart apples could alternate rhubarb in making jam or baking. Still, adding it to cakes or muffins would be more preferred.
We could assume that raspberries are the best Rhubarb alternatives. Why so? As we all know, cranberries are a substitute for rhubarb. Still, they are almost unavailable in the summertime, and raspberries can make place of cranberries during that time.
Raspberries can’t come with the same flavor as rhubarb due to their lack of sour, but it will work well with whatever you’re going to make with rhubarb. It just needs a squeeze of lime to balance the sweetness and carry out a tart taste for the dishes.
6. Sour Cherries
These fruits are a bit unlike the above. They need sugar to be a great substitute. Then they could turn into whatever you need for rhubarb, from raw to roasted, sauce to jelly, cakes, muffins or tarts. One interesting thing is you can pickle sour cherries like rhubarb.
In the rhubarb pickle recipe, you need to chop it into small parts. Many instructions on the internet only tell the recipe in cups, making us confused that 1 pound rhubarb equals how many cups of chopped one?
Or 1 lb rhubarb equals how many cups of sour cherries to apply in the formula correctly? The answer is about 3 to 4 cups each. The actual answer depends on your real ingredients.