Tag Archives: rainbow chard

Dehyrating Greens – Rainbow Chard

My dehydrator has been on overdrive due to a surge in my end of season preservation. This year instead of freezing my greens I decided to dehydrate them. Not only will this save on space but also requires less energy since they do not have to be kept frozen.
I’m so smitten with Rainbow Chard. I think it is absolutely stunning and I have major plans of making this chenopod a feature in next year’s edible landscaping! 
Earlier in the week I started harvesting my Rainbow Chard. I first de-stemmed it, then cut the greens into strips. I submerged it in a sink of cold water and swished it around a good bit to remove any extra dirt hidden in the curly leaves, then placed it into gallon ziplocks. I ended up with 2 very full bags.
Whether you are freezing or dehydrating greens you first need to blanch them (with either boiling water or steam) until wilted. This stops the enzymes from breaking down the nutrients as well as retards the loss of color, taste and texture. I chose steam to retain the maximum amount of vitamins. Using tongs I carefully rotated the chard to insure even wilting. 
Once the greens were wilted I placed them on my dehydrator trays keeping them no more than a quarter-inch thick.
I set the heat dial to the recommended setting and left for a photo shoot with my brother’s band. (I’ll be sure to share that on my photography blog…eventually!) When I returned four hours later this is what I found.
Perfectly crisp and crunchy chard!
Over a large bowl I crumbled the greens by hand, then scooped them into my grinder to powder them. I could have used a mortar and pestle as well but this was way faster and I had over 500 picture to start going through!
Four trays of greens yields a measly inch or so in powdered form. Guess it’s a good thing it is so potent! I plan to add the powdered chard to soups, stews and curries. I’m sure it will also be good sprinkled on baked potatoes as well as an excellent vitamin boost when added to smoothies!
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Gotta Eat Your Greens

I’ve been smitten with Rainbow Chard for quite some time. I believe it may be my favorite green to eat and grow, next to kale and bok choy of course! What is that you say? You’re not on the up and up with your daily dose of greens!! Fear not friends, Epicurious has you covered! Not only have they provided a visual cooking guide, but tons of savory recipes to enjoy as well!
A few days ago I noticed my friend, Heather, upload a picture of her first CSA share. She was questioning the identity of one of her veggies, which happened to be baby bok choy. The thread then led to a discussion about spinach bread. It just so happened I was smack dab in the middle of baking bread and inspiration took hold! I’m always on the lookout for new ways to use chard so why not add it to my bread!
Rainbow Chard Buttermilk Bread
inspired by Heather
1 1/3 C buttermilk
3 Tbsp softened butter or oil
1 1/2 Tsp lemon juice
2 Tsp salt
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 C whole wheat flour
3 C bread flour
2 Tsp active dry yeast
4 cloves garlic
colander full of chard leaves, stalks and veins removed
grated cheese (I used cheddar)
warm water
olive oil
Place yeast in a small glass or bowl and add enough warm water to allow it to proof. Make sure the water is not too hot or you will kill your yeast. Set aside for about 10 minutes. You will know if your yeast is still active when it beings to foam and rise.
In a large bowl mix butter, brown sugar, buttermilk and lemon juice, set aside. In a medium bowl blend together both flours and salt. Once your yeast has proofed add it to the wet ingredients and mix. Slowly add dry to wet, mixing until a sticky dough forms. Kneed dough on a well floured surface approximately 10 minutes and place in a greased bowl, cover with a cloth, and set it in a warm spot to rise.
Just before my dough finished rising I ventured into my garden and picked approximately 10 large leaves of rainbow chard. With stalks and ribs removed wash the leaves and saute them with garlic and olive oil. Once the leaves have wilted remove them from the heat.
Divide dough into two equal portions. I placed one section into a greased bread pan to be baked for my morning toast, the other I rolled flat.
Spread the sautéed greens and garlic onto the dough and top it off with a bit of freshly grated cheese. I used cheddar because that is what I had on hand.
Carefully roll your dough, sealing the greens inside, and pinch ends closed. Place with seam side down into a greased loaf pan.
Bake at 375 for 23-27 minutes or until loaves are golden brown.
Allow to cool, slice and try not to consume the entire loaf! Trust me, that is not an easy task! I found it very difficult to walk away from this warm, fresh from the oven bread!
Thanks again Heather, for the delicious inspiration! She mentioned making her bread with pizza dough, mozzarella and spinach. I will definitely have to try that next! I think I may also add a bit of pepper flakes for a bit of heat, once Pennsylvania drops out of the triple digits that is!

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Sunday’s Harvest

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What’s Growing On?

Oh just a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Here’s a quick overview of what was planted the beginning of the May.

Beets
Bok Choy

Rainbow Chard

Peas

Broccoli
Radishes
Onions

Corn

Pole Beans

We’ve received quite a bit of rain over the past few days, which has allowed my garden to really take off! I can’t wait to show you how much my plants have grown!!

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Makin’ Babies

As far as the garden is concerned that is! hehe

Once again, I’m a bit behind in posting, but that is just how I roll, yo. I started my seeds the end of March using one of those Jiffy Peat Pod starter things.

Yeah, never again. All I ended up growing was mold. Awesome. I even followed the directions being mindful to avoid direct light, propping the lid open, making sure to not over water or allowing the disks to dry out.
After 2 painful weeks of my trying to ward of the ever-growing wispy white fuzz I was finally successful! The key to my triumph, not following the directions but instead following my green thumb instincts!
Peas
Beets
Bok Choy
Rainbow Chard
Fry Peppers and Green Onions
Romanesco Broccoli
Spaghetti Squash
Since these pictures were taken I’ve had quite a bit of growth, as well as the addition of more sprouting seedlings. I’ll be back soon to share more of my garden’s progression and planting.

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