Stay Connected

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.


  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.

  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!

  3. Oops, that was me, Kris.

  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.

  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.


Thank you for joining the discussion today. Here at creative savv, we strive to maintain a respectful community centered around frugal living. Creative savv would like to continue to be a welcoming and safe place for discussion, and as such reserves the right to remove comments that are inappropriate for the conversation.


Be a voice that helps someone else on their frugal living journey

Are you interested in writing for creative savv?
What's your frugal story?

Do you have a favorite frugal recipe, special insight, DIY project, or tips that could make frugal living more do-able for someone else?

Creative savv is seeking new voices.


share this post