When it comes to dining, there are several methods for preserving meals that you wish to consume later in the day or week. Certain foods may be stored on the counter or in the pantry without refrigeration, while others must be refrigerated to remain in good condition.
If you want to consume the food later, you should frequently consider freezing it to stop the decomposition process completely.
Yet, determining which sorts of food must be preserved in which way is seldom as simple as it seems. Certain goods that you may believe need refrigeration should not be refrigerated, while others do not fare well in the freezer. As an example, consider potatoes.
Since potatoes are a vegetable, you would believe they should be stored in the fridge like other vegetables, but it is typically advised that you only store potatoes in the fridge when they are part of a cuisine.
With so many various methods to store and preserve food, deciding what to do with your food may be difficult. Certain foods are quite difficult to determine how to keep them and what you would have to do if you wanted to ensure optimal storage.
The swiss chard is an excellent illustration of this.
- What Is Swiss Chard?
- Freezing Your Swiss Chard
- What Is Blanching?
- What is the best way to freeze fresh Swiss chard?
- Can you freeze Swiss chard without blanching it first?
- Does Swiss chard freeze easily?
- How do you freeze greens without blanching?
- Will Swiss chard survive a hard freeze?
- How long does frozen Swiss chard last?
- What happens if you freeze without blanching?
- How do you store or preserve Swiss chard?
- Do you leave the stems on Swiss chard?
- What can I do with an abundance of Swiss chard?
What Is Swiss Chard?
Swiss chard is not a well-known name in the United States; rather, this leafy green is significantly more widespread in the Mediterranean area where it originated.
Naturally, it is used in many Mediterranean meals, so if you appreciate that style of cuisine, you may find yourself buying a lot of this plant.
This would then cause you to want to make sure that you maintain it correctly so that you don’t have to waste time and money trying to get it again if it goes bad.
Swiss chard is quite similar to spinach, but not identical. In fact, swiss chard is known as spinach in South Africa.
The good thing about swiss chard is that, although it may not be as common in other areas of the globe, it is really rather simple to cultivate.
If you want to produce swiss chard and utilize it from your own garden, it is all too easy to wind up with more leafy greens than you know what to do with, making it all the more important to understand how to properly freeze them when you know they won’t keep long in the fridge.
Sadly, swiss chard has a terrible reputation for spoiling quickly, even when purchased underripe to give it a little more time.
Normally, while looking for this leafy green, check for sturdy stalks and deep green leaves to ensure that you aren’t buying swiss chard that was collected when it was too young.
When stored in the refrigerator, swiss chard can last anywhere from a few days to a week before it starts to wilt. When determining how long it will stay in your fridge, remember that younger, smaller leaves wilt quicker than full-grown ones.
Given that swiss chard does not keep well in the fridge and will wilt within a day if left out on the counter, the only option to keep it for an extended period of time is to place it in the freezer.
This may be different for you since you may not know how to securely freeze leafy greens without destroying them. Blanch the swiss chard before freezing it.
Freezing Your Swiss Chard
When you intend to blanch swiss chard, freezing it is an easy and uncomplicated method. If you’ve never blanched veggies before freezing them before, you may feel a little out of your element, but rest assured that it’s a simple operation that will be worth it when you can preserve your swiss chard in fine condition for up to a year at a time.
You won’t need nearly as many ingredients to freeze and prepare swiss chard. Of course, you’ll need a freezer-safe and airtight bag to store the swiss chard in, as well as many bags if you’re sectioning it off into portion sizes.
You will need to prepare a kettle of water big enough to contain the stalks in, as well as a basin of ice comparable in size to the swiss chard.
The first step is to prepare the swiss chard for cooking, just as you would any other vegetable. You should inspect it quickly for symptoms of wilt or disease, and then thoroughly wash it to ensure that there is no dirt on it.
You may also wish to separate the stalks of the swiss chard from the leaves to make things simpler for yourself while cooking it, but this is entirely optional.
Stalks take longer to cook than leaves, and some recipes call for only the leaves or only the stalks and not the other parts of the swiss chard, so it is often recommended to split them up, but if you are only concerned with freezing and storage, you won’t want to worry about it all that much and can start preparing a pot of water.
Fill a saucepan with boiling water that is at least big enough to accommodate the stalks. From here, you’ll want to put the pot of water on the burner and bring it to a boil.
You may start prepping your second pot while you wait for the first to boil. You’re going to fill the pot with a good quantity of ice this time. If your kitchen is really hot, you may want to wait until the chard has finished cooking before making the ice.
In terms of cooking the swiss chard, after the water has reached a boil, put the swiss chard in the water and allow it to cook for a few minutes. To avoid overcooking the chard, merely heat it for two minutes for the stalks and one minute for the leaves.
When this time has gone, take up the swiss chard and place it immediately on the ice to finish the blanching process. Let it to sit on the ice for a few minutes to verify that the cooking process has fully stopped and that you are ready to begin the last stages of prepping the swiss chard for freezing.
After you are satisfied that the cooking process has come to an end, drain the swiss chard well, brushing off any and all extra water. You may now start bagging the swiss chard for freezing.
You should separate the leaves and stems and keep them in separate containers or bags. You may use airtight freezer bags or an airtight freezer safe container; the details are less important than ensuring that the storage technique is both freezer safe and airtight.
Just store the frozen swiss chard bags in the freezer. Depending on the variety, you should anticipate the swiss chard to survive anywhere from six months to a year before going bad and being freezer burnt.
Always remember to label the container you’re placing in the freezer with a date so you know how long it’s been.
What Is Blanching?
Blanching helps to maintain the quality of different vegetables and fruits before storing them in the freezer for extended periods of time. Blanching correctly guarantees that the meal retains its flavour, texture, and look far better than it would otherwise.
Blanching will effectively prepare the food such that it functions similarly to leftovers in the freezer, being less susceptible to the harsh environment while remaining functionally fresh and new food.
By briefly boiling the item in question, you may just barely begin to beginning the cooking process.
The reason you place the meal on ice afterward is because the cooking process for vegetables and fruits does not end when you remove them from the heat. Instead, the warm water within the fruit or vegetable will continue to cook it from the inside out, resulting in an undesired amount of cooking when freezing anything to keep a fresh flavour.
Putting it on ice helps to force that cooking process to a halt, allowing you to securely freeze your favorite veggies.
What is the best way to freeze fresh Swiss chard?
Place one pound of entire leaves in a pot of boiling water, cover, and blanch for 2 minutes (blanch stems for 3 minutes). Take the chard from the water and soak it in an ice bath for 2 minutes. Drain. Leave no headroom in zip-top freezer bags or freezer containers.
Can you freeze Swiss chard without blanching it first?
Yeah, however it depends on how soon you want to utilize it. There is no need to blanch frozen chard if you expect to use it within a few weeks. Nevertheless, unblanched chard kept in the freezer for too long can become brown due to enzyme activity, altering the texture, taste, and color.
Does Swiss chard freeze easily?
If you’re sick of salads or just can’t stomach another dish of sautéed spinach, we have good news: leafy greens are one of the simplest foods to preserve. Delicate lettuce cannot be preserved, while hardier greens such as Swiss chard and kale are ideal for freezing.
How do you freeze greens without blanching?
Wash the leaves well and chop them into little pieces before freezing. Following that, put the leaves in a dish and store it in the freezer on a low-temperature setting.
After the timer goes off, rapidly remove the greens from the freezer and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Will Swiss chard survive a hard freeze?
Is Swiss chard cold-tolerant? Sure, it can withstand mild frosts. It is not as freeze hardy as collards and kale, but it will surely survive the first early frosts of the season if the temperature is not too low and stays below freezing for just a few minutes in the early morning.
How long does frozen Swiss chard last?
Just before usage, thoroughly rinse with water. Cooked Swiss chard may be stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It may also be frozen for up to 12 months.
What happens if you freeze without blanching?
Blanching helps vegetables preserve their beautiful colors and nutrients while also inhibiting the enzymes that would otherwise cause deterioration. When you freeze vegetables without first blanching them, the color fades or dulls, and the tastes and textures become off.
How do you store or preserve Swiss chard?
How to Keep Chard
Remove any leaves that are blemished or wilting from the cluster.
Cover the chard stems in a slightly moist paper towel or cloth.
Put the chard in a perforated plastic bag or an open plastic bag. Place in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
May 20, 2022
Do you leave the stems on Swiss chard?
What Parts of Chard Can You Eat? Can you eat the stems of chard? Swiss chard, including the leaves and stems, is completely edible. The stems need a bit more boiling time than the leaves since they contain more cellulose that has to soften for a longer period of time.
What can I do with an abundance of Swiss chard?
Chard is delicious in soups, stews, casseroles, frittatas, and quiches, and it may be steamed or sautéed. Young leaves are edible uncooked in salads. Chard’s leaves are always green, but the stems may be any color.