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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Rhubarb

Rhubarb’s unique tang is hard to beat in pies and jams.

Finding a stand-in for this vegetable can be a head-scratcher.

We’ve all been there, ready to bake, only to find the rhubarb bin empty.

No sweat, we’ve got you covered with five killer swaps.

These alternatives might surprise you in the best way possible. Think apples, berries, and even cherries.

They’ll slide into your recipes smoother than butter on warm toast.

Creating that perfect balance of sweet and tart doesn’t always need rhubarb.

Stick with us, and you’ll never miss a beat in the kitchen again.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a unique and tart vegetable often used in desserts, jams, and savory dishes.

However, if you are unable to find fresh rhubarb or prefer alternative flavors, there are several substitutes available.

In this guide, we will compare the top 5 substitutes for rhubarb, discussing their key characteristics and suggesting proper ratios to help you achieve similar results in your recipes.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Strawberries With LemonSweet and tangy combination; resembles the flavor profile of rhubarb when cookedUse an equal amount of strawberries with lemon as a substitute for rhubarb
CranberriesTart and slightly sour berries; can mimic the tanginess of rhubarb in recipesUse an equal amount of cranberries as a substitute for rhubarb
QuincesFragrant and tart fruit; provides a similar texture and acidity to rhubarbUse an equal amount of quinces as a substitute for rhubarb
Tart ApplesCrisp and slightly sour apples; offer a comparable texture and tartness to rhubarbUse an equal amount of tart apples as a substitute for rhubarb
RaspberriesSweet and slightly tart berries; can contribute to a similar flavor profile when combined with other fruitsUse an equal amount of raspberries as a substitute for rhubarb

Now let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Strawberries With Lemon

strawberries with lemon

This method is perfect if you are looking for a sweet taste but without the required amount of sugar.

First and foremost, you will need to choose your strawberries carefully.

They must be ripe, as this will affect the overall flavor.

You’ll also need to use lemon juice, not just lemon zest or peel.

This will give you a sweet and sour flavor perfect for desserts.

As the strawberry already contains sugar, you won’t need to add any more.

If you are not sure how much juice to use, you should taste the mixture as you add it slowly.

  • Key Characteristics: Combining strawberries with a splash of lemon juice can create a sweet and tangy flavor combination that resembles the taste profile of rhubarb when cooked.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of strawberries with lemon as a substitute for rhubarb. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements and desired level of tartness.

2 – Cranberries

cranberries

Cranberries are an excellent alternative to rhubarb.

They have a tart flavor that can be easily complemented with sugar.

In addition, cranberry juice contains significantly more vitamin C than lemon juice or grapefruit juice, which can provide you with numerous health benefits.

As for the taste, it is easy to understand why cranberries are so popular.

They have a sour and tangy flavor that tastes great with meat and rice.

Cranberries also have extremely beneficial properties.

They are packed full of antioxidants that can help your body in several different ways.

For instance, they may be useful for helping to prevent urinary tract infections.

  • Key Characteristics: Cranberries are tart and slightly sour berries that can mimic the tanginess of rhubarb in recipes. They work well in desserts, sauces, and jams.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of cranberries as a substitute for rhubarb. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements and desired level of tartness.

3 – Quinces

quinces

According to research, quinces may be an excellent substitute for rhubarb, containing several antioxidants.

Quince is the fruit that grows on trees belonging to the genus Cydonia.

It’s commonly used in cooking as it has a strong flavor and pleasant aroma.

It can often replace apples and pears in various recipes.

This fruit tastes like apples and pears, but it has a sweeter taste.

It is often used in desserts such as pies, compotes, and jams.

  • Key Characteristics: Quinces are fragrant and tart fruits that provide a similar texture and acidity to rhubarb when cooked. They can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of quinces as a substitute for rhubarb. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements and desired level of tartness.

4 – Tart Apples

tart apples

First and foremost, you should remember that cooking apples are not the best option in this case.

Instead, choose an apple variety that is tart.

The sourness of the apples will provide a perfect balance to the overall dish.

You can even use one or two Granny Smiths as they have a particularly strong flavor.

As for the number of apples, this will depend entirely on your personal preferences.

Using tart apples goes hand in hand with reducing the number of sugars included in the recipe.

This is because apple juice itself already contains a large amount of sugar.

  • Key Characteristics: Tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Bramley, have a crisp and slightly sour flavor that offers a comparable texture and tartness to rhubarb. They work well in pies, crumbles, and compotes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of tart apples as a substitute for rhubarb. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements and desired level of tartness.

5 – Raspberries

raspberries

Raspberries are a tasty fruit that can easily substitute the tartness of rhubarb.

They have a strong, sweet flavor packed full of vitamins and minerals.

If you plan to use raspberries as an alternative to rhubarb, then it’s best to do so in jams or tarts.

However, you could also use them to make raspberry rhubarb juice.

The key to this recipe is to remember that raspberries are even sweeter than apples, so you should be careful not to add too much sugar.

You will need to taste the dish to get the ideal sweetness level.

  • Key Characteristics: Raspberries are sweet and slightly tart berries that can contribute to a similar flavor profile when combined with other fruits. They work well in desserts, sauces, and drinks.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of raspberries as a substitute for rhubarb. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements and desired level of tartness.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Rhubarb

Looking to replace rhubarb in your recipes? Your search ends here! Explore our carefully curated list of the 5 best substitutes for rhubarb, ensuring your dishes maintain that delicious balance and flavor profile you love.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • Strawberries With Lemon
  • Cranberries
  • Quinces
  • Tart Apples
  • Raspberries

Instructions
 

  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for rhubarb
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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