How To Make Fermented Swiss Chard Stems

When the chard stalks turn thick, it is time to remove them from the leaves and turn them into something delicious. That’s why, today, we’re going to teach you how to make fermented Swiss chard stems. We know many people use the green chard leaves and discard the stems but we think chard stems should be treated as a vegetable. So, instead of throwing them away, you should ferment them.

Tips For Making Fermented Swiss Chard Stems

Fermenting your own veggies at home is probably the easiest thing you can do in the kitchen. However, we like to offer you extra tips for all our fermenting recipes to be sure you achieve the best possible results with all our fermenting recipes.

The Swiss chard stems do not require too much attention but there are a few things you should know. We listed them below.

What Type Of Chard Stems You Can Ferment

You can ferment pretty much any type of chard you want. White-stemmed chard works perfectly fine but rainbow chard is just as amazing.

Use Non-chlorinated Water

Chlorinated water can prevent a successful fermentation. That’s why it is better to use filtered water, not tap water for all your fermenting recipes. You can use a filter to get rid of the chlorine or you can simply leave the water in a bowl or pot overnight. Chlorine evaporates in 12-24 hours.

Use A Plate To Catch Overflow

If you don’t use our Easy Fermenter Lid, place the mason jar on a small plate during the fermentation process to catch the overflow that can occur during fermentation.

Check Daily For Fermentation Sings

Since Swiss chard stems don’t take long to ferment so it is important to check on the jar daily. If you see bubbles on top or you sense a sour smell (similar to the smell of sauerkraut but milder), it means the chard stems started to ferment. Place the lid back on and allow 24 more hours. After 24 hours repeat check again, taste the chard stems to see if they are sour enough for your liking. If not continue the process.

Add More Water Whenever Necessary

The jar needs to stay full of water at all times during the fermentation process. Add more filtered water if necessary so the chard stems can be fully submerged.

Store The Fermented Chard In The Fridge

When the chard stems are done fermenting, transfer the mason jar to the fridge to slow down fermentation.

How Much Does Fermented Chard Stems Last?

Generally speaking, the fermented chard stems can keep in the fridge for 6 months or even more. However, fermented chard is best eaten within 3 months. 

How Much Should You Ferment Chard Stems

As with any other fruit or veggie you ferment, there is no definitive answer. Some recommend a couple of days is more than enough. Others recommend 2 to 5 days. Some people say the stem chards have to be fermented for up to 7 days.

The truth is you can ferment Swiss chard stems for as much as you see fit. That’s why it’s recommended to check on the chard stems daily. You can even do a tasting test to be sure the chard stems reached your preferred taste and texture.

The chard stems pieces at the top may darken during the process. This doesn’t mean they are not good or safe to eat and the flavor won’t be affected either.

What To Do With Fermented Swiss Chard Stems

You should treat the fermented Swiss chard stems like you would treat any other pickled veggie. They are a healthy and natural ingredient that can add a lovely savory taste to a variety of dishes.

We love our fermented chard stems:

  • in sandwiches as a substitute for fresh veggies or other pickled veggies;
  • in salads;
  • in soups;
  • in casseroles;
  • over scrambled eggs (finely chopped).

    Fermented Swiss Chard Stems Recipe

    Making fermented chard stems is a very simple process that requires only two ingredients – the stems and some filtered water. The process is also very simple as you can see from the steps listed below.


    • 1 bunch Swiss chard
    • 2 cups of filtered water


      • Glass mason jar (it doesn’t have to be sterilized, just thoroughly cleaned)
      • Easy Fermenter Lid


        • Wash the chard thoroughly.
        • Cut the leafy parts off and reserve them for use in another recipe or chop a few leaves and place them on top of the stalks in the jar.
        • Slice the stems into equal pieces (1/2-1inch width).
        • Put the chard stem pieces into the mason jar.
        • Fill the jar with filtered water all the way to the top.
        • Place the Easy Fermenter Lid on or loosely screw a regular lid.
        • Leave the jar at room temperature for 24 hours.
        • After 24 hours, check for signs of fermentation. If there are no signs, place the lid back on and wait for an additional 24 hours. Check every 24 hours until you are satisfied with the fermentation.
        • Add more filtered water if necessary – the chard stems need to be fully submerged in water at all times.
        • Transfer the jar of fermented chard stems to the refrigerator.

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