Freezing Chard/kale?

nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)April 8, 2013

I use a foodsaver for freezing, and have tons of chard and kale! I'll let some grow, but I need to get rid of some to make room for green beans soon in that bed. The remaining chard and kale will stay in the shade of the green beans.
Any good ways to freeze this for later use? Does it get mushy if you blanch it and freeze it? Nancy

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canfan

Blanch then dip in ice water to cool.. drain well then freeze. I make up "packets" that fit nicely into a quart freezer bag.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:32PM
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mrswaz(Z5A NE WI)

After you blanch the chard and kale, lay them out on kitchen towels to get as dry as possible before packing them into freezer bags.

I like to use blanched chard and kale in soups, stews and things like enchilada fillings, where the texture doesn't matter anyway. I don't think I've ever tried eating it straight up after it's been frozen.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 11:09AM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

canfan andmrswaz, that's basically what I was planning on. "hiding it in other dishes.
AAkkk, went out to the garden and the kale seems to be bolting! If I catch it tomorrow, will it still be good, or will it turn bitter? We had rain(yay), then so much wind I could step outside(boo), now it's going to get pretty warm for a few days!
Thanks to you both! Nancy

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 8:28PM
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NilaJones(7b)

Blanching for 3 minutes will take out any bitterness :).

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 10:44PM
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mrswaz(Z5A NE WI)

I think you'll be fine an extra day or so- but I would let one of those kale plants go ahead and bolt, and then harvest the seeds.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 11:55AM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Thanks! Nancy

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 5:14PM
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muddynurse(5b)

Nancy-

I usually have a HUGE amount of swiss chard every year....in fact the 10 foot row I planted last year is now growing and producing swiss chard! All I did was put a basic hoop house on the bed about a month ago, I never pulled the roots out in the fall. We actually had some fresh chard grilled last night. Not to bad for getting about 100 inches of snow this winter.

This is what I do- I blanch that chard for a few minutes, then to the ice water, then to a colander. I spin it dry in a salad spinner, or place it on a doubled paper towel and press a doubled paper towel on in....sometimes I do both if the chards really juicy. I package it in ziplock bags for small amounts, its just my husband and I, or sometimes food saver it. I fond that when I food saver it it really realllllly has to be dry or I run into problems with too much juice and the bag dosent seal.blah blah....when it time to eat it, I heat a small amount of butter in a pan, with some smashed and chopped garlic on high heat, throw the chard in with some salt and pepper and let her go for a few minutes. Only let the garlic and butter go for a minute or so before you put the chard in, and dont burn it! Sometimes I thaw the chard out, if I have the foresight to plan supper out.....but I frequently have throw it in frozen and have no problems.

I hope this helps!! Good luck!! Im off to pick some chard now! yum!!!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 12:47PM
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