THE RECIPE BOX - Freeze herbs and rhubarb for a treat during the winter months

THE RECIPE BOX - Freeze herbs and rhubarb for a treat during the winter months

LINCOLN – What’s in your garden?

This year, my husband and I completely skipped planting a vegetable garden, and I do miss picking veggies from my own backyard. It’s fresh, it’s convenient, and a matter of personal pride when you cook what you grow.

But, I’ll follow that up with this, “I do not miss the hours of work to keep it watered, weeded and fed.” So having said that, my plan is to visit the local farmer’s market and not miss out altogether on the summer treats.

The one thing I did keep up this summer with is my herb garden – which is more of a therapeutic hobby than anything else. I enjoy the aromas, the flowers and the bees that come to visit. This year, the basil is so green and full. I’ve learned from past years that if you wait too long to use it up, all of a sudden one night in September the air will turn to fall temperatures and the basil gets ruined.

The basil gets used in my pesto recipe, which is great. I like to freeze batches in reclosable bags or plastic containers. This year, my daughter-in-law Stephanie made a ton of pesto and dropped it into ice cube trays to freeze. The little one-serving blocks will serve as a reminder of summer on some cold future day. You can add it to pasta or to drop into a soup or sauce for added flavor.

Another favorite of summer is rhubarb. It is a tart and delicious, and I learned recently that it freezes very well. We had a large bag given to us, and outside of a strawberry rhubarb pie or custard, I was not sure what to do with it. To freeze the rhubarb, I trimmed the stalks and placed them in a freezer bag; simple enough.

This week’s recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch came knocking on my door late last Monday evening. Stephanie had also been cooking up ideas to use up rhubarb, and offered some of this recipe for us to try. It is a lot less calories than a pie and it was delicious. She found the recipe online at, and it boasted that the sugar content was much lower than most other recipes like this.

There’s something about that blend of sweet (from the strawberries) and tart (from the rhubarb) that hits all the marks. Of course, we did add the vanilla ice cream which smoothed it all out and added more sugar!

Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch


4 cups chopped fresh rhubarb

1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

1 Tbsp. honey

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup butter

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Vanilla ice cream, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, stir together the rhubarb, strawberries and honey. Transfer to a shallow baking dish. In same bowl stir together the oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix in the butter until crumbly, then spread over the top of fruit.

Bake for 40 minutes in the oven, until the rhubarb is tender and the topping is toasted. Serve warm.

This is a low sugar strawberrry rhubarb crunch that blends the sweet and tart in a great way.