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Can You Freeze Chard?

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By Ross Young

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Chard is a delicious, healthy green that is best picked and enjoyed fresh. It’s a popular grow-at-home veggie, too, so you might be wondering what’s the best way to preserve it so that you can enjoy it out of season. Can you, for instance, freeze chard? 

Chard can be frozen for up to 6 months. You will need to blanch it to ensure it retains its nutrients, flavours, and texture before bagging it up and sealing it. For the best tasting chard, freeze it when it is still super fresh, ideally within days of being picked. 

Does Chard Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Chard? No

How to Freeze Chard

Chard is an exception to the rule that leafy greens don’t freeze overly well. You just need to make sure you blanch it before bagging it up.

Below are the steps you need to follow to successfully freeze chard that you’ve picked from your garden: 

  1. Prepare
    Pick your chard and add it to a colander. You will need to rinse it under cold water for a few seconds and remove any dirt. 
  2. Blanch
    Next, prepare a pan of boiling water and an ice bath simultaneously. Both the hot and cold water need to be in sufficiently sized containers so the chard leaves can be laid within. Add the chard to the boiling water for around sixty seconds. Then, pick it out immediately and transfer it to the ice bath. 
  3. Dry
    Place the chard on paper towels and dab it dry. Make sure you’ve removed all surface water before you proceed to the next step.
  4. Add to Freezer-Safe Bags
    Place the chard in suitably sized freezer-safe bags. Then, push as much air out of the bag as possible and seal. 
  5. Label and Freeze
    Write today’s date, as well as the use-by date on the bags and place the chard in the freezer. Remember, you can freeze chard for around six months.

3 Tips for Freezing Chard

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing chard to have the best results:

Fresh is Best
When you’re picking chard from the garden (or supermarket), make sure it’s super fresh before freezing. If your chard has been sitting in the fridge for a few days before you freeze it, it won’t respond well to the freezing process. 

Remove or Leave the Stems
You might be wondering what to do with the chard stems before you freeze them. The good news is that you can decide! However, bear in mind that chard stems are fairly chunky, so if you’re looking to maximise space in your freezer, you should probably remove them. 

Not All Leafy Greens Freeze Well
Remember that most leafy greens don’t freeze particularly well, and chard is the exception as opposed to the rule. The likes of lettuce, for instance, shouldn’t be frozen, so be sure to check that your chosen green is suitable for freezing before diving into the freezing process.

How Long Can You Freeze Chard?

You can freeze chard for around six months. Providing you have blanched it and sealed it tight, it will freeze perfectly with very few issues.

Fresh chard should be used within a couple of days of picking (or buying), so freezing it is without a doubt the best way to preserve it for any length of time. 

You Can Freeze Chard for up to 6 Months

How Do You Defrost Chard?

You don’t need to defrost chard before cooking it or adding it to a recipe. Instead, you can remove whatever you need from the freezer and put it straight to work.

However, if you want to defrost chard, remove the bag from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the fridge. This should take 4-5 hours until it has defrosted completely, and you can then use it in a salad or in any other way that you see fit.

Can You Refreeze Chard?

You should only freeze chard once. When your chard has thawed, you should eat it within a day to ensure its taste and texture is just as it should be. If you’re worried about wasting chard after taking too much out of the freezer, consider freezing it in smaller portion sizes.

Ultimately, this won’t affect your method of freezing and will make your life much easier when it comes to taking out whatever you need at any given time.

Does Chard Freeze Well?

Unlike other leafy greens, chard freezes well. But it’s important that you only freeze chard that has been freshly picked or bought, and it also needs to be blanched before you bag it up.

Providing you follow the steps introduced above, you will face very few problems when freezing chard. 

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing chard, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Chard Without Blanching?

Whenever blanching is mentioned, the first question people ask is whether it’s possible to freeze the item in question without blanching. Yes, you can freeze chard without blanching it but it will turn to mush far quicker and the flavour will not be retained for as long.

Blanching may take a few extra minutes and a few extra pots but it’s well worth the effort in the long run if you want to freeze chard successfully.

Can You Freeze Swiss Chard and Rainbow Chard?

The method above will work well for both Swiss and Rainbow varieties of chard. You may find that you lose some of the vibrant colours from rainbow chard once it has defrosted but it will still taste just as good.

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