Do you love swiss chard or rainbow chard in your smoothies? Wish you could find chard to put in your smoothies during the winter? If so, freeze it while it is plentiful.
Above is a huge bowl of chard from my garden. Right now it is flourishing. I can only eat 4-6 leaves in one smoothie, but I sure don’t want it to go to waste, so I learned how to freeze it.
First thing to do is the strip the leaves off of the stems. You can eat the stems, but I think they are little bitter plus they do not break down as well for the balls. I usually put gloves on and tear the leaves off or hold the leaf upside down and slide the other hand down the stem to remove the leaves.
My sink is half full with the leaves. Wash them thoroughly. Even if they look clean you may find dirt and bugs.
After it is washed place the leaves into a pot of boiling water. I did about 4 batches of boiled chard with this large bowl of leaves. Do not over fill the pot.
Once the leaves are placed in the boiling water, set a timer for 3 minutes and let softly boil for those 3 minutes. While they are boiling fill a large bowl of cold water, add a few ice cubes to make the water cold.
When the 3 minutes are up, fish the leaves out of the water. I used a strainer and a spaghetti spoon to scoop all out. Immediately place the leaves into the cold water. Swish around to cool the leaves to stop the cooking. This should be enough cooking to remove the oxalic acid from the leaves.
Once the leaves are cool drain and put in a lettuce spinner.
Spinning the leaves will take some of the water out.
Grab a small handful of leaves and squeeze. Squeeze some more. Your goal is to get as much of the water out as possible from the leaves. Form into a little ball or bale. One note, by the time I was done with this batch, my hands hurt. If you find an easier way to squish all the water out, let me know below in the comments.
You may be surprised how many leaves turn into a small ball. Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Let freeze about 2 hours and then drop into a zip lock bag, and freeze.
Pull one ball out of the freezer zip lock bag the next time you are making a smoothie, and add. You will need a high-powered blender for it to blend well. If you don’t have one, let it soften for about a half hour before placing in the blender with your other ingredients.
Note, you may want to experiment with the size of the chard balls. If it is too large, you will find it too strong in the smoothie for our taste.
I am looking forward to chard into my smoothies well into fall.
Have you tried freezing any leafy greens this summer? Tell me how it went for you.