Dehydrating Swiss Chard

I have a garden full of Swiss chard more than I can possibly eat at the moment so I decided to dehydrate some and thought I’d share how I did this. From what I could find out from the Internet and from some books I have, it’s best to blanch the Swiss Chard before dehydrating it. The times vary from one site to the next from around three minutes to just dipping the leaves in briefly. Since I have oxalate kidney stones boiling the swiss chard helps to remove some of the oxalate in the leaves so I timed the blanching for three minutes. I can understand why another source said to briefly dip the chard into the boiling water as the stuff kind of turns to mush and is hard to spread out. The chard doesn’t take that long to dry about four hours depending on your machine and humidity.

swiss chard
Deveining the leaves.

Pot of boiling water
Pot of boiling water ready for blanching.

blanched chard
Blanched chard, it reminds me of cooked spinach.

Excalibur dehydrator
Excalibur dehydrator.

american harvest nesco dehydrator
Nesco American Harvest dehydrator. This dehydrator is a great little dehydrator, its cheaper than the Excalibur and dries well. The drawbacks are that you have to rotate the trays more often than the Excalibur and the trays are more fussy to clean. It is quieter than the Excalibur, much quieter.

chard on Excalibur drying tray
Swiss chard on Excalibur tray. This tray takes more to fill it up than the Nesco dehydrator.

chard on american harvest tray
American Harvest tray. These trays are stackable from four to eight trays.

chard in excalibur dehydrator
Trays in Excalibur.

dried chard
Dried Swiss chard.

food saver with vacumm attachment
Food Saver with vacuum attachment for canning jar.

chard in bottle
Dried chard in vacuum sealed bottle. It should last for about a year and I’ll be using it for soups and stews.

Karen

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