What is the best way to freeze swiss chard and tomatias?
Hardiness Zone: 5a
Kirk from Ellsworth, ME
I am so grateful for these posts! We planted only one package of Swiss chard, about 16 feet along the back of one of our grow boxes in early April (in northern Utah). It came up fast and very thick in multiple colors of green, yellow, pink and red. We have shared it with neighbors, eaten many many batches, and STILL have what looks to be sixty or so pounds doing just fine in the garden. It is so delicious, just found a wonderful soup recipe using it last night, which we loved. It may freeze for the first time tonight (September 29th) and I HOPED to find a recipe to freeze it. Thanks so much for your very helpful website ~ believe I will try ALL these ways to see which turns out the best for us.
Here, we had a number of days above 100 degrees F. during the past summer and as long as the soil stayed moist the chard stayed beautiful. Our sprinklers were turned off accidentally for around ten days and part of the Swiss chard wilted. We quickly got the system on again, and within a couple of hours the stems straightened up and all the plants were perky once more. The more we cut the more it grows. It is really the 'SUPER STAR' in our vegetable garden. The spinach bolted in early summer, the chard never did!
So, thanks again everyone!
Thank you for all the info on freezing swiss chard. We too have an over abundance. I think the neighbor is even getting tired of eating it. I hate to waste any food, especially something I have grown and nurtured myself. Thanks again, I'm heading out to the patch now.
I pulled my chard up by the roots yesterday AM and put it in the garage to prevent freezing (our first of the season). I got to it tonight. Slightly wilted. I trimmed of the roots, sorted out the old stalks and the tender young shouts and set the stalks in buckets of cold water to firm up.
Next is to wash and drain, cut out the main rib (set aside), rough cut cross ways, blanch 2 minutes after return to boil in a basket in a large pot with a lid, dunk and swirl basket in a sink of cold water, drain and pack into labeled freezer bags then layered flat in the freezer. After frozen they join the greens filing cabinet at the bottom of the freezer. Ribs are cut into 2" sections and blanched 2 minutes and packed in a similar way.
Why do you remove the red stem and what do you do with it after you have set it aside?
I have just harvested a bumper crop of Swiss chard. How should I prepare it for freezing?
By Susan D from Sturbridge, MA
Be sure to use fresh, crisp chard. First, rinse the leaves in plain cold water in a colander and bowl. Cut off stems and damaged areas. Bring a pot 2/3 full of water to a boil. Blanch greens for 3 minutes by covering pot. Cool greens immediately in ice water bath for 3 minutes. Drain them thoroughly for a minute. Place in a ziploc bag, removing as much air as you can with a straw. Enjoy!
How do you do prepare swiss chard for the freezer?
Sandy from Canada, Alberta
Just blanch it for about 1 min till it shrinks, bag it or put it in a container and freeze. Isn't it the best? Better than spinach I think. It's great in salads also. (09/01/2006)
I wash, then cover with water and add a good chunk of fatback or bacon, Cook till tender. Allow to cool and package in freezer bags the amount suitable for a meal and freeze. When it is time to eat, I put the chard in a microwave bowl and heat and it is ready to serve.
We have just eaten some chard that was frozen as picked. Simply washed under running water, thick end of chard stem trimmed and then packaged and frozen. Taken out of freezer and thrown into boiling water to cook. took approx 2 mins to defrost and cook. Tasted great and no texture loss. We froze it approx 3 months ago. Try it - got to be worth giving it a go. (09/03/2006)
By marie (UK)
Parboil for five minutes. or Precook, seasoned or unseasoned, then freeze in Ziplock Freezer Bags. It's one of my most favorite foods and EASY to grow YEAR 'ROUND. I hope to grow more this year. God bless you. (09/04/2006)