How to Ferment Rhurbarb (+ Probiotic Rhubarb Lemonade Recipe)

2018 Holiday Sale on herbal courses!

Rhubarb pie in the summer

Rhubarb pie made by my mother

Nothing better in the winter

Than rhubarb pie after dinner!

There you go. Now you, too, can sing this song to yourself repeatedly when rhubarb comes into season.

You’re welcome.

However, today, I am not going to talk about rhubarb pie or give you a recipe for one. (Though I might sing about it still.) Rhubarb pie is delicious, but let’s face it. There’s already a gazillion and one recipes for it out there and you don’t need mine too.

What you do need, however, is fermented rhubarb. If that makes you want to gag, you should first read about the awesomeness of fermentation. If you’re still with me, then you need to try this. Honestly, fermented rhubarb doesn’t taste terribly different from regular rhubarb. Besides that, it’s easy to make and it’s good for you. So there. 🙂

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Fermented rhubarb is easy, healthy, and tasty too. Not convinced? Try this easy fermented rhubarb lemonade recipe!

Fermented Rhubarb

  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 2 Tbsp whey (leftover from cheese or yogurt-making)
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt (I use this one)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Enough water to fill the jar within 1″ of the top

Simply mix all ingredients together and put in the fermenting vessel of your choice, leaving about 1″ headspace if you’re fermenting in a jar. Use a weight to ensure that the rhubarb stays beneath the brine. Install an airlock or properly burp your jars each day to allow for the venting of CO2 that builds up during the fermentation process. Allow to sit on the counter at room temperature for 4-7 days, then move to cold storage.

I use a Fermentools kit any time I ferment. It’s one of the least expensive kits out there, and you don’t need special jars or crocks because they fit on top of any wide mouth mason jar. It takes the guesswork out of fermenting for me. Less mistakes= money saved in the long run.

And of course, I promised you a Rhubarb Lemonade recipe too. This is super simple, and should use about half of the fermented rhubarb you just made, leaving you the other half to experiment with or eat straight from the jar. 🙂

A delicious way to get your daily probiotics- fermented rhubarb lemonade!

Probiotic Rhubarb Lemonade

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups chopped fermented rhubarb & its juices
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
  • More water to make a quart
  1. Mix sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat and stir until sugar dissolves to make a simple syrup. Let cool and chill.
  2. Mix simple syrup and rhubarb in a quart sized mason jar or other container. Add cold water to make a quart total.

And that’s it! You’ve got the good juices from the fermented rhubarb in your lemonade, so you’re getting a dose of probiotics with each sip. I haven’t tried this with a “double brew” technique as you would with kombucha, but if you’re feeling adventurous, give it a go.

Try it? Like it? Let me know how it went for you!


13 thoughts on “How to Ferment Rhurbarb (+ Probiotic Rhubarb Lemonade Recipe)

    1. Abi Post author

      Michelle, I think you could use frozen. There are two concerns- one is just that it might be mushy, which isn’t necessarily a problem. Two is that the freezing might kill off some of the good bacteria needed to kick-start a ferment. However, I consulted with a couple fermenting friends and they seem to think that the whey would be enough to still get it to properly ferment. So the short answer is you could try it, and I think it will work, but I can’t promise that 100%. 🙂

      1. Michelle

        Thanks for checking into that! I think I’ll just use my frozen rhubarb for strawberry rhubarb crumble and try fermenting rhubarb next year when in season. 🙂 I’ve never fermented before so I’d think it’d be better to try it with fresh and be successful rather than not and get discouraged. Thank you!!

  1. Alisa

    I’ve never made my own cheese or yogurt (yet), so I don’t have whey on hand. Can I find this at a good natural foods store?

    1. Abi Post author

      Hi Alisa! You can actually just buy plain, whole milk yogurt and make sure it says “with live and active cultures.” Strain it through some cheesecloth, and the liquid left in the bowl is whey. Then you will have a thick, creamy yogurt leftover to enjoy. 🙂

  2. Viktoria

    I’m assuming I add water on top of the rhubarb and other ingredients to within an inch of the top. Right?

  3. Billy

    I hope the idea of fermented rhubarb doesn’t make anyone gag! Fermenting is really a great way to add a nice sourness or tartness to many vegetables you or your kids may not like. I really want to try fermenting rhubarb, I haven’t tried it yet. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  4. Pingback: 9 Ways to Preserve and Use Rhubarb | Rootsy Network

    1. Abi Post author

      You’re welcome to try, though I’ve heard some people say that ferments won’t work quite as well with honey as with sugar.


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