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Friday, April 24, 2020

Rhubarb Season is Here! Using the Pinch of Baking Soda Trick to Reduce Sugar When Cooking With Tart Fruit



Several years ago, I posted (here) about using baking soda to neutralize acids in fruit when making fruit pies or sauces. Doing so means that I can use less sugar in these fruity dishes and desserts. 

It's now rhubarb season in my area. This week, I made 2 batches of rhubarb sauce and 1 rhubarb pie. All 3 times, I used a bit of rhubarb (about 1/4 teaspoon soda for a quart of rhubarb), then reduced the sugar in those recipes by about 1/3 cup.

1/4 teaspoon baking soda per 1 quart of tart fruit to reduce sugar by 1/3 cup

If you're trying to conserve on sugar in homemade fruity recipes, such as pies, crisps, cobblers, sauces, and syrups, tiny amount of baking soda will spare quite a lot of sugar over the course of a season. 

In addition to using baking soda with rhubarb, I also use it in desserts, sauces, and syrups made with berries, tart apples, and sour cherries.

5 comments:

  1. Interesting! While I don't grow, cook with, or eat rhubarb (may have tried it once as a kid), I find tidbits like this interesting. Growing up, my mom always used baking soda in her spaghetti sauce, but no sugar, and I do the same. Same principle, I guess. Cuts the acid a bit and we like the way it tastes. Oftentimes, other people's tomato sauce tastes a bit strange to me without the baking soda effect.

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  2. Good idea! We are carefully nurturing our rhubarb. We have had unusually cold temperatures this spring and need to protect the rhubarb from freezing. Enjoy your tasty treats!

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  3. Oops, that was me, Kris.

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  4. Hi Cat,
    I'll have to try the baking soda in tomato sauce. I usually use a bi of sugar to cut the acid, but neutralizing the acid might taste better. Thanks for the tip.

    Also, the baking soda thing works with fruits other than rhubarb. I use it in apple pie, blackberry cobbler, and plum pie.

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  5. Hi Kris,
    I hope your rhubarb has survived well in this unseasonably cold spring. I can relate - we had some warm-ish weather, then it turned cool and slowed everything. I worry for the blossoms on our fruit trees when we have springs like this.

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