Can you freeze chard? Freezing any type of green chard is tricky as it may wilt or turn brown after thawing. Since Swiss chard is only available during the summer season, it makes sense to buy these vegetables in bulk and then freeze them for later use.
The good news is that Swiss chard is a hardy green, making it suitable for freezing. Of course, before freezing, you have to prepare the greens well to prolong their original color and flavor. When preparing the chard for freezing, you can either blanch or freeze the greens.
Table of Contents
Preparing the chard before freezing
Start by picking the greenest bunches of chard at your local supermarket (or garden!). Then wash the chard under running water, removing any impurities you find. After rinsing the chard clean, cut off the base of the stalk with a sharp knife. While cutting, separate the stems from the leaves, as it’s best to freeze them separately. After you’ve trimmed the chard, you can begin preparing it for blanching or blast freezing.
How to freeze Swiss card?
Blanching Swiss chard for freezing
Prepare a pot of water and bring it to a high boil. Then prepare a large bowl of ice water nearby. Place the chard in a colander and submerge the colander in the boiling water. Allow the chard to blanch for 30 seconds or until it turns light green. Never let the chard cook all the way through, as the greens will turn to mush once thawed. Place the blanched chard in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. After blanching, you can pack the chard for freezing.
To pack the chard for freezing, shake off the excess water and pat the chard dry with a paper towel. Prepare two small resealable plastic bags, one for the chard stalks and one for the chopped leaves. Place the chard stalks and chard leaves in the designated container and squeeze out the excess air before sealing the bag. Write down the storage date and stick the chard sticks flat in the freezer.
REad Also: Can you freeze jackfruit?
Freezing the Swiss chard for freezing
To flash freeze the chopped chard, prepare a large bowl of ice water. Wait until the water is extremely cold or almost frozen. Submerge the chard in the ice water and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Prepare a baking pan lined with wax paper and drain the chard. Pat dry with a paper towel and separate the chard stalks from the leaves. Place the chard on the baking pan and place the chard in the freezer. Let the chard leaves freeze for at least 1 hour. While you wait for the chard to freeze, prepare two resealable plastic bags, one for the stalks and one for the leaves.
Remove the baking pan from the freezer and start bagging the veggies for long-term freezing. Place the chard stalks and leaves in their rightful container and squeeze out the excess air before sealing. Write down the storage date, then tape them flat in the freezer.
Shelf life, thawing and cooking recommendations
Swiss chard can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. It can last 12 months or a year in the freezer if the temperature is kept constant at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. However, we recommend using up the supply in a month or less for optimal flavor and texture. Thawing Swiss chard or any type of frozen vegetable should be done slowly. Just take a packet of frozen chard out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge overnight.
If you’re using the greens for stir-fries or stews, defrosting isn’t necessary at all. Simply add the frozen chard directly to the dish you are cooking. The heat from the oven thaws the vegetables while thoroughly cooking them at the same time.
Can you freeze chard? You might think that green vegetables like Swiss chard would be difficult to freeze, but you’d be surprised at how well these vegetables freeze. The key to successful freezing is proper preparation. Be careful not to cook the veggies all the way through when blanching, so they don’t get mushy or slimy after thawing! Just keep all these storage tips in mind so you can freeze and thaw chard properly.