How to Freeze Swiss Chard?

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You may be wondering how to freeze Swiss chard. There are several ways to freeze this vegetable. First, you can chop it up into larger leaves. Another way is to cut it into strips. You can then store these strips in the fridge or freeze them for future use.

Before freezing your chard, you should first blanch it. You can do this in the sink or a colander in a large bowl of cool water. Just be sure to rinse it thoroughly and gently. Next, separate the leaves from the stems. This process should take approximately 3 minutes.

Swiss Chard

What is Swiss Chard?

A leafy green vegetable related to spinach and beets, Swiss chard is also known as swiss chard. The most distinguishing characteristic of chard is the color of its stalks. Swiss chard has white stalks that contrast with its dark green leaves, while Rainbow chard has colored stalks that range from dark red to bright yellow and orange. Raw Swiss chard leaves have a soft texture and a bitter flavor. After being cooked, the harshness disappears and is replaced by a mild, sweet flavor akin to spinach. Vitamins A, C, and K, magnesium, and potassium are all abundant in Swiss chard.

How to Freeze Swiss Chard?

Swiss chard’s shelf life can be increased by understanding the right storage techniques. Freezing is the greatest method for long-term storage. To freeze Swiss chard, use the following actions:

Clean and divide the greens. Clean the fresh greens with cold running water before separating the Swiss chard leaves from the stalk with a sharp paring knife or your hands.

Bleach your chard. Swiss chard’s flavor is preserved and the enzymes that lead to browning during extended storage are stopped by blanching it before freezing. To blanch your chard, prepare a big basin of ice water and a big saucepan of boiling water. Using tongs or slotted spoon, the chard leaves should be placed in boiling water. Remove the leaves from the boiling water after a minute. To stop the cooking, submerge the boiled leaves in a cold bath. (Depending on how much chard you’re freezing, you might need to do many small batches.)

Swiss chard should be drained and dried. To drain the water from the blanched greens, place them in a strainer. With your hands, squeeze the chard to get rid of any extra water. Further pat drying aids in avoiding freezer burn.

Vegetables can be frozen for later use. Put the stems and leaves in separate freezer-safe bags that are sealed. To avoid the development of ice crystals that cause freezer burn, remove any air from the bag. Freezer bags of Swiss chard will keep for at least a year (if you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can use a straw to suck out the extra air from the bag.)

What is the Difference Between Kale and Chard?

Like any other leafy green, chard is comparable to spinach in taste and preparation, but it’s also worthwhile to contrast chard with kale. The leaves of the two vegetables have comparable qualities: they are crinkled, crisp, and dark green. Both benefit from the stems being removed. However, kale stems should be thrown away, while chard stems can be cooked till soft.

There is a noticeable variation in flavour. Not everyone enjoys the strong, earthy, slightly bitter flavor of kale, whereas chard is much milder and more widely available. Many families find that chard is more easily accepted when trying to eat healthier, despite their best efforts to persuade everyone to consume kale.

What Flavor does Swiss Chard have?

Most varieties of Swiss chard are earthy and wonderfully bitter when eaten raw, much like spinach. While not as bitter as kale, Swiss chard loses some of its sharpness as it simmers, giving the leaves a softer, sweeter flavor and a more tender consistency. On the other hand, the ruby and rhubarb varieties have a slightly stronger flavor than the others. The stalk, on the other hand, has a distinctive flavor that is more earthy than beets and a texture that is akin to celery. You may decide to separate the leaves from the stem and cook them separately because the flavors of the leaves and the stalk are different.

More substantial than the leaves is this stem. As a result, cooking will take longer. However, all varieties can be used in recipes that call for greens. Depending on how it is prepared, chard has a taste akin to spinach. Particularly Swiss chard has a bitter taste. The harshness is lessened by cooking, bringing forth the earthy, sweet, almost beet-like flavor. The chard’s glossy green leaves are delicate and tart when eaten raw. The harshness disappears after cooking, leaving a mellow, sweet flavor reminiscent of spinach.

How Should I Prepare Chard?

Older chard leaves are more complicated and should be cooked, whereas younger chard leaves can be eaten raw in salads. As with collard greens and kale, the stems and ribs from the middle of the leaves should be removed because they can be tough and fibrous. Some individuals prefer to prepare the stems individually, much like how asparagus is prepared. One of the best ways to cook chard is to sauté it. Additionally, it can be prepared using dry heat methods like grilling or roasting or moist heat methods like steaming.

Chard must be meticulously cleaned before use since the leaves might trap dirt. The very bottom of the stem and any damaged areas should also be cut off. To separate the leaf from the stem, fold it in half and cut it just below the stem. Then, you can prepare the leaves and stems using your favorite recipes.

Reference: Quality of Swiss chard produced by conventional and organic methods

Is Swiss Chard a Beet or Not?

Actually, chard is a beet that has been genetically modified to produce huge, juicy stems and leaves instead of large roots. Ancient Sicilians who enjoyed beet greens invented the plant. The two plants, Beta vulgaris for chard and Beta vulgaris for spinach beet or leaf beet, share the same biological name, albeit chard is Beta vulgaris v. cicla. The common beet is grown for its fleshy root, whereas the chard is grown for its leaves.

How is Chard Prepared?

Treatments for stems and leaves are varied. Since the beginning, chard stems have been a source of controversy. The crisp, roomy stems, which can be roasted, steamed, or stir-fried on their own, were the original reason it was cultivated. Nowadays, a lot of people think the leaves should be the main attraction and the stems should be thrown away. A great compromise that uses less food is to add the stems to the saucepan or skillet a few minutes early and the chopped leaves later.

Boil and Blanch

Like all leaves, chard leaves are constructed of open cells that collapse when cooked. After being wrung out, a huge pile of leafy greens will cook down to a quarter of its original size. Chard is a useful addition since it stays moist and supple after being blanched. Prior to adding the leafy sections, boil the sliced stems for one minute in a pot. Bring back to a boil and simmer the leaves for one more minute, or until tender (leaves will darken a shade). Drain and rinse with cold water that is running. A ready-to-use component for everything from sandwiches to spaghetti, lasagna, frittatas, and even scrambled eggs are obtained by pressing the leaves out.

Blanch the entire leaf, stems, and all, and dry it properly before using it as grape leaves if you want to present it beautifully. Cooked grains can be wrapped around fish or chicken fillets that have been rubbed with herbs and baked in a covered dish.

Grill, Roast, or Saute

Chard doesn’t require blanching; a quick sauté in a hot skillet with delicious olive oil or a small amount in a stir-fry will do. Like the well-known kale chips, you can even roast it in the oven by mixing it with a little oil and baking it for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Some grill enthusiasts even use oil and a little heat to cook their food in the same way.

Soups

You can omit the blanching stage and simply add the chard to the soup after it has finished cooking. The chard adds a lot of vegetables to the spaghetti sauce, so add a couple of handfuls. Since beans and greens go together well, once a pot of beans is cooking, add chard for a straightforward peasant stew that can be transformed into anything from chili to curry. Baby chard can be chopped into slaw or served raw in salads since it is soft.

Practically Every Recipe that Requests Cooked Greens

Due to its Mediterranean origins, Swiss chard will go well with strong flavors. The minerally vegetal properties of the huge green leaves are resisted by garlic, chiles, olives, and tomatoes. Of course, chard pairs wonderfully with flavors from any cuisine that prepares greens, including Indian spices, Asian soy/sweet and sour flavors, and spicy flavors from south of the border.

Where can I Find Chard?

When they are available, rainbow chard bunches are easy to spot among the other greens in a vegetable market. Chard is widely available in supermarkets, especially in the summer when the crop is at its best. It will be more expensive than lettuce or spinach and will be grouped with specialty greens like kale. In addition to grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and gardens, chard is a straightforward vegetable to grow. In some regions, like the Pacific Northwest, it can be planted twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Choose a chard that has firm stalks that are vividly colored and have beautiful green leaves. Those bunches that have wilting leaves or are turning yellow should be avoided.

Conclusion

If you don’t plan to use all of the Swiss chard in your recipe right away, you can easily store it in the fridge. You can keep it for up to five days if you cut it into smaller pieces. You can store it in a plastic bag with a lid or in a vented storage container. You can find vented storage containers at most grocery stores or online. If you don’t have a container, you can also use a damp paper towel. Generally, fresh Swiss chard keeps for up to a week in the fridge.

Before storing Swiss chard in the fridge, you should always check its appearance and texture. Look for vibrant colors and firm stems. Avoid storing chard that is starting to turn brown or yellow. This type of chard will be hard to eat and will have an unpleasant odor.