Thursday, October 6, 2011

Freezing Swiss Chard

 I grew swiss chard for the first time this year, and it was terribly easy.
The plant is resistant to all kinds of bugs and disease and can handle really cold weather.
It belongs to the cruciferous family and is packed full of nutrition.
 It is an excellent source of vitamins C, E, and K, carotenes, chlorophyll, and fiber and one of the most powerful cancer fighting foods.  
It is also an excellent source of several minerals including 
potassium, magnesium, iron, and manganese. 

To make a long story short...it is good for you:).



I have been using swiss chard in smoothies, combined with fresh fruit and berries.
You can also use it in place of spinach.
 So any recipe that calls for spinach, you can replace with chard leaves.
I plan to mostly use it for smoothies this winter, but may try it in a quiche or as a side dish with a little olive oil and garlic.

To Freeze:

Prepare a sink of cold water. Rinse chard by lifting leaves in and out...leaving sand and soil behind. Then separate the stems from the leaves.

 Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil. You can chop the chard leaves into about 1 inch strips if you like, or leave them whole. 
Drop about one pound of whole leaves in boiling water, cover and blanch for 2 minutes (blanch stems for 3 minutes).

Remove chard from water and immerse in an ice water bath for 2 minutes. Drain. A salad spinner works great!

 Pack in zip-closure freezer bags or freezer containers, leaving no headspace. Label, date and freeze for up to one year. I separate the leaves into their own containers, rather than putting stems and leaves together.
Source: HERE

Have a great day!

~Julia

*Bonnie left a comment and I thought I would share...she has some great ideas for swiss chard!

Hi Julia,

I was excited to see you post on chard. I have been growing the Bright lights variety for years and it's a family favorite.

We freeze it, use it in quiche, fritattas, omelets, pasta, and our favorite way to use it...sauteed with a little balsamic vinegar finish.
Your photos are beautiful. I'm pinning. 

Thanks Bonnie!
 You can visit Bonnie at her beautiful blog, City Home/Country Home.

8 comments:

Bonnie said...

Hi Julia,

I was excited to see you post on chard. I have been growing the Bright lights variety for years and it's a family favorite.

We freeze it, use it in quiche, fritattas, omelets, pasta, and our favorite way to use it...sauteed with a little balsamic vinegar finish.
Your photos are beautiful. I'm pinning.

Shirley Blue Gate Farm said...

Just recently found your blog and am so happy to be able to visit and see what you have posted. I have been growing chard for years, just for the color in my garden. I don't enjoy cooking, but you have inspired me to try and make up some recipes with the chard this season.

Blessings,

Shirley@Blue Gate Farm

Amanda said...

oh yes.
i've tolded myself several times over the course of several years that I'm going to plant this stuff.

I'm terrible at fall planting. we accidentally had some turnip greens coming up in our compst bin.

should I risk it?

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

Julia, we're big smoothie fans and usually have one every day! But I've never put chard in one. About how many leaves do you use? And is there any combination you found that wasn't very good that I should avoid? I should mention that we put peanut butter in a lot of our smoothies, too, so I'm wondering if that would be a match with the chard? (Probably not, but you never know!). Thanks for the tips!

heather @ new house, new home, new life said...

Glad to see that I can freeze swiss chard. I have a lot of Bright Lights in the garden and can't keep up to it with just my husband and myself to eat it. I'll be chopping and boiling and freezing next week. Thanks for the tips.

heather @ new house, new home, new life said...

Glad to see that I can freeze swiss chard. I have a lot of Bright Lights in the garden and can't keep up to it with just my husband and myself to eat it. I'll be chopping and boiling and freezing next week. Thanks for the tips.

Sweetproserpina said...

Thank you so much! I was wondering if I could freeze swiss chard and use it for smoothies..Yay! What do you do with the stalks?

Btw, I just ran across your blog and it is lovely and sweet. I'm looking forward to having a peep around, keep up the great work :)

Anonymous said...

Love Swiss Chard too. It is so easy to grow but the deer like it too so I had to put row covers over mine to save it. Funny thing, they don't touch the Kale. Love that too. Going to freeze both this year. Thanks for the tips.

Blogging tips