One of my favorite leafy greens is Swiss chard. I like to enjoy it all year round, soI like freezing Swiss chard. It preserves the vegetable so I can enjoy it.
My obsession with Swiss chard starts with the flavor of it--spinach-like, but a little sweeter. I love the way it looks in the garden, too. I grow 'Five Color Silverbeet' and the orange, magenta, yellow, and white stalks look amazing in the garden.
I also love how easy it is to grow. The plants that I sowed from seed way back in early May are still going strong. If you just keep harvesting the outer stalks, and not the entire plant, new stalks will keep forming at the center of the plant. It doesn't bolt in summer's heat, which is a bonus for those who love leafy greens. It also withstands frost fairly well, which means that I'm often harvesting chard well into November.
But we've got a ton of it growing out in the garden now, and at this point it's growing faster than we can eat it. I hate to let it go to waste, which is why I have started freezing the Swiss chard.
How to Freeze Swiss Chard
Here are some helpful tips to preserve Swiss chard:
- Wash the chard well.
- Separate the stalks from the leaves. I do this mainly because it makes it more convenient when you're cooking the chard later, since the stalks take longer to cook than the leaves (and, sometimes you only want to use one or the other in a recipe, not both.)
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, and fill a bowl with ice water.
- Put the Swiss chard in the pot.
- Blanch Swiss chard stalks for two minutes, leaves for one minute. Place them in the ice water immediately after blanching to stop the cooking process.
- Drain the Swiss chard well and shake the excess water from the. Put the stalks and leaves in separate freezer bags or other freezer-safe containers. FoodSaver or another vacuum technology is also good to get the air out. Another idea is to zip the top of the bag closed except for enough space to insert a straw. Then suck the air out as best as you can. Press the straw closed so it can be removed without letting more air inside. That will help maintain quality and prevent freezer burn.
- Freeze for six months--you can go up to 12 months.
This is an easy way to make sure I am able to use all of the delicious Swiss chard growing in my garden whenever I want. It freezes long enough so I can have it until the next growing season.