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Preserving Swiss Chard?

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Preserving Swiss Chard?

Post  llama momma on 8/7/2012, 9:30 am

Briefly searched the forum and I didn't find a way to preserve swiss chard. Four plantings is too much for the 2 of us. Anyone have a nifty easy way to save this wonderful nutritious stuff? Thanks !!
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Re: Preserving Swiss Chard?

Post  camprn on 8/7/2012, 9:33 am

llama momma wrote:Briefly searched the forum and I didn't find a way to preserve swiss chard. Four plantings is too much for the 2 of us. Anyone have a nifty easy way to save this wonderful nutritious stuff? Thanks !!
I blanch it and freeze it like spinach. I may try simply steaming/microwaving it and freezing it this year. The stems take a bit longer to blanch so toss those in a minute before the leaf.

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Re: Preserving Swiss Chard?

Post  llama momma on 8/7/2012, 9:42 am

Thank you! Would you blanch for 2-3 minutes? I'm so new at this, I've blanched carrots for 2-3 minutes and thats the extent of my blanching experience. Embarassed
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Re: Preserving Swiss Chard?

Post  elliephant on 8/7/2012, 9:51 am

I chop up the leaves, pulse them in the blender with just a slash or two of water as needed and make ice cubes with the mixture (remove from tray when frozen and put in freezer bag). Then I can toss a few cubes into anything I want (especially tomato-based sauces) without the kids realizing they are eating something so nutritious.

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Re: Preserving Swiss Chard?

Post  llama momma on 8/7/2012, 10:20 am

Fantastic! Thanks a bunch.
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Re: Preserving Swiss Chard?

Post  littlesapphire on 8/7/2012, 10:41 am

I've had an overabunance of many leafy greens so far, usually stuff I didn't realize I could even eat until after planting them, like broccoli leaves and daikon radish leaves. So what I've done with all of those, and will probably work for chard as well, is simply steam them until they're fully wilted, let them cool, then squeeze out the liquid and put them in freezer bags in the freezer. Then when I make a recipe calling for frozen spinach, I use the other greens instead!
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Re: Preserving Swiss Chard?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/7/2012, 11:13 am

I didn't know you could eat broccoli leaves. Excellent!

I like my greens almost raw so I gather all the stems together in a bunch, like when you buy them in the grocery store, and then dunk them in to boiling water for a few seconds, maybe 10 or 15 depending on the thickness of the leaf. Take them out, let them drain & cool in the sink strainer, then put them into a grocery bag and roll it up in a log and stick it in the freezer. That way I can pull out the log and chiffonade or chop off the amount I need and put the rest back into the freezer.

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Re: Preserving Swiss Chard?

Post  Mamachibi on 8/7/2012, 11:15 am

I toss it in the dehydrator for a couple hours until it's crispy, then store it in a canning jar (I don't can it, once it's dehydrated it's safe to store.) It's ready for tossing into soups and stews all winter!
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Re: Preserving Swiss Chard?

Post  rowena___. on 8/7/2012, 11:16 am

they are also DELICIOUS sprinkled with some oil and salt and roasted to a crisp.
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Re: Preserving Swiss Chard?

Post  llama momma on 8/7/2012, 12:50 pm

Every idea is perfect, great! I will try them all, thank you everyone Very Happy
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Re: Preserving Swiss Chard?

Post  FamilyGardening on 8/7/2012, 3:03 pm

we are dehydrating for the first time this year and loving it!

hubby bought me one for 25 bucks to try it out....and its works great!

before i didnt know what to do with extra greens...and our small freezer can only hold so much and i have not bought a pressure canner just yet Embarassed .....going to soon.....

what i love about dehydrating is its great for small batch's of stuff Very Happy and its so much nicer to dry herbs this way instead of them hanging in the house....

we have been dehydrating and then putting it thru a small mixing type blender and then storing them in a jar.....im going to add it to soups, stew and sauces to get that extra boost of nutrition and the children wont know a thing Very Happy

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Re: Preserving Swiss Chard?

Post  ilvalleygal on 8/7/2012, 4:10 pm

FamilyGardening wrote:

we have been dehydrating and then putting it thru a small mixing type blender and then storing them in a jar.....im going to add it to soups, stew and sauces to get that extra boost of nutrition and the children wont know a thing Very Happy

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rose

The more surface you expose to air, the quicker things will lose flavor. I try to store things as close to whole as I can from the dehydrator. It does involve crunching some leaves to make it all fit. Later in the year I grind just what I want in a coffee mill before tossing into soups, etc.

The difference is like dried parsley from the store and dried parsley from your pantry.

Talk about sneaking nutrition -- I also dehydrate summer squash slices and turnips. Then later I grind them into powder and use them along with some bread crumbs and eggs Rolling Eyes in meatballs.

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Re: Preserving Swiss Chard?

Post  FamilyGardening on 8/8/2012, 1:07 am

ilvalleygal thanks for the tip....i didnt know they could loose flavor the more the are ground up and stored.... Shocked
do you peel your summer squash before dehydrating it?

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Re: Preserving Swiss Chard?

Post  rowena___. on 8/8/2012, 9:56 am

i grind things to a powder all the time, because they take less room to store. but then again, i use them up pretty quickly so i have never noticed any loss of flavor. as far as nutrition--it gets concentrated when the item is dehydrated--in fact, so does flavor. that is why you need less than half the volume of dried herbs as compared to fresh herbs when cooking.
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