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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '15, 02:49 
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Hi everyone. I'm certain that someone is going to find this silly, but I'm cutting the Chards, rinsing & putting on the plate. They taste good, but shortly after eating, these things burn my throat as if I was gargling with straight peroxide! What am I doing wrong? Wife complains as well, so its not just me! :?

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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '15, 04:11 
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I was surprised to find that swiss chard has nearly as much oxalic acid as spinach, so this is the cause.

Not sure if growing conditions could affect the levels but I know growing spinach in a filtered light (double walled greenhouse, in winter) seems to make it less acid to my taste.... so I would venture a wild guess and say if it was grown in hot, harsh conditions it might be stronger than usual???


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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '15, 05:06 
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I guess we'll find out. I'm going to install a 30% shade cloth to cool it down a bit. Thanks!

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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '15, 05:23 
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Back in the old days when I grew a lot of chard in the dirt, older plants eaten raw would always burn the throat, but were OK when cooked.

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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '15, 05:31 
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According to what I've found cooking will destroy the oxalic acid and using the smaller inner leaves which are apparently lower in oxalic acid also helps. I don't eat a lot of them and I've never experienced this but I usually have them in something like scrambled eggs so they are cooked.


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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '15, 06:20 
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I've never eaten swiss chard raw...

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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '15, 13:40 
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smatthew wrote:
I've never eaten swiss chard raw...


Me to; never thought of it as a sort of salad vegie. If its just an acid thing how about soaking it water with sodium bicarb after slicing then rinsing and see how you go.
Never done it so you would be a guinea pig if you try it; or to give it a flash title culinary researcher. :)


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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '15, 14:24 
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We found it easier to just to avoid older plants, and plant some new chard plants.
It can be a pretty strong throat burn, and it doesn't happen straight away, so there is no warning for whether or not it will happen, until wham! it's burning.

It did tend to happen as the weather was getting hot- the end of the ideal chard growing season here.

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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '15, 15:03 
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I'm in the process of removing my older chard plants because their root systems are quite large and with the fish not eating they are taking all the nutrients from any new seedlings I've planted.

I pulled 3 or 4 out today and still have a few more to go but it got too cold and I'll finish it tomorrow.

A couple have been in my system from day one and are just over 2-1/2 years old and we have been eating from them up until yesterday and never had any problems with bitterness but it's always been cooked, never eaten raw.

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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '15, 15:07 
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I don't think your supposed to smoke swiss chard..

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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '15, 16:53 
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It isn't bitter- it tastes perfectly normal, the burn comes on after eating it - only when raw.

Try some raw and let us know.

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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '15, 18:16 
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That's my case exactly. It tastes normal, and after eating it I get the burn. One thing though, I had a 50% shade cloth over the plants when I first planted them a few months ago (no burn). I'm going to cook the existing plants, and I'm going to install a light shade cloth again before planting new seeds. I'll try the sodium bicarbonate experiment as well (I do like them raw).

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PostPosted: Sep 4th, '15, 01:06 
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Well Sleepe's experiment looks promising. I left a bunch of chards (both new and older leaves) soaking in water with a tbsp of baking soda last night, and the throat burn is almost nonexistent. I left about half left for tonight, to see if leaving them longer wil neutralize the acid even more. Next experiment will be adding 2tbsp baking soda!

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