How to Blanch Swiss Chard for Freezing
This vegetables grows throughout the summer and fall season so you can generally enjoy it fresh from the garden for quite a lengthy growing season. It can be harvested throughout the summer months by picking the larger leaves for individual meals and allowing the smaller leaves to continue growing till the final harvest. Using this method you can have quite a large harvest of this nutritious leafy vegetable. The main crop in late fall is still very bountiful and can be blanched and put in the freezer for meals throughout the winter.
When storing vegetables for the freezer it is important to blanch vegetables as this will help them maintain their optimum nutrition, colour, and flavour.
Blanching locks all that wonderful goodness inside and helps to preserve it there till that food reaches your table. Whether your vegetables come to you from the garden or from the grocery store they require appropriate care and cooking to insure their flavour and health benefits reach your plate.
The fall harvest is bountiful and a busy time in our home. We have a variety of fruits and vegetables to preserve with each coming due in their own time. Swiss Chard is a plant that tends to keep producing for quite a lengthy period of time so we begin snipping the leaves on our Chard for individual meals practically as soon as the plant begins to mature.
The plants continue to produce in abundance and our main harvest of Swiss Chard is generally in late September or early October. It is one of the last vegetables to be harvested from our garden and peaks at about the same time as beets which are a root vegetable so able to withstand frost better than the chard.
If you are growing Swiss Chard you will quickly learn that it can be quite an abundant crop. Generally two to three short rows gives us plenty of this dark green leafy vegetable in the freezer to last us through the winter months and well into mid summer the following year.
Below you will find step by step instructions for blanching Swiss Chard. I still use just a large pot and ice water in the sink to prepare my vegetables for the freezer but a blanching pot definitely does make the job a lot easier. It is on my wish list.
Stems and Leaves Should be Blanched Separately
Pests are promptly disposed of sorry slug no second chance for you
Now We are Ready for the Next Step: Blanching
Quickly Cool Your Blanched Vegetables in Ice Water
Fill your sink with cold water and ice cubes ready to put your vegetable in when they are finished blanching. As soon as the two minutes blanching time is up submerse your Swiss Chard so it cools quickly. If vegetables remain hot the vegetables will continue cooking while till they cool and thus have a tendency to overcook.