The Skinny on Swiss Chard

3The Skinny on Swiss ChardWhen I think of swiss chard, I think of a mix between spinach, lettuce, beets and lots and lots of fiber.  I’ve tried to like eating swiss chard plain, but I just can’t seem to get past the bitter, hearty leaves.  So today, I thought I’d give an overview on this exceptionally healthy green and give you some delicious ways to enjoy chard, other than just plain raw.

What is swiss chard?

Chard, which is also called Swiss Chard, Silverbeet, Spinach Beet, Crab Beet, Perpetual Spinach, Seakale Beet and Mangold is a thick, leafy vegetable with a white, yellow or red stalk known primarily for its edible roots and hearty leaves.  Chard has a bit of a bitter taste to it, so if you’re not partial to a bitey flavor, you may opt to saute or steam the leaves to take away some of that bitterness.

As far as vegetables go, swiss chard ranks as one of the highest in vitamin K.  One cup of chard is equal to 306.3% of your daily value, helping to maintain good bone health.  And, vitamin K1 helps to prevent the activation of the cells that break down bone.

Chard is also high in vitamin A, for its concentrated beta-carotene content and accounting for 109.9% of your daily value and only 35 calories per cup.  Along with being high in vitamins K and A, chard also gets high marks in magnesium, vitamin C, potassium, iron, vitamin E, manganese, fiber and riboflavin.

Preparing swiss chard

Be sure to thoroughly wash the chard leaves in a cool bowl of water, gently rubbing the leaves to get off any excess soil or sand.  Trim the ends of the stalks as high as desired.  You may even want to shear off a bit of the fibers if you find the stalk to be too hearty for your tastes.

Do not cook chard in an aluminum pot because the oxalates combine with the metal and cause the pot to discolor.  Quick boiling to release the oxalic acids is recommended.  It also takes away some of the bitterness.

Recipe ideas for cooking with swiss chard

This recipe comes from cooks.com where you can find tons of yummy recipes for cooking with chard.

Swiss Chard or Spinach Pie

2 1/4 lbs. Swiss chard or 2 1/2 lbs. spinach
6 eggs
2 1/2 or 3 dry onions, sliced, sauteed in 1/4 c. olive oil until soft
2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 1/2 lb. feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. dill (optional)
1 lb. filo
3 squares butter, melted
1/4 c. olive oil
2The Skinny on Swiss ChardMix oil and melted butter together after butter has cooled.Clean and wash Swiss chard or spinach, drain, dry completely. Chop Swiss chard or spinach, green onions, put in large mixing bowl with the sauteed onions. Add crumbled cheese, Parmesan, add slightly beaten eggs to mixture, white pepper and dill. Mix well.

Grease an 11 1/2 x 17 1/2 inch baking pan with butter and oil mixture. Add 6 pastry sheets on bottom of greased pan, spread each with the oil and butter mixture, sprinkle with the Swiss chard or spinach mixture alternating the pastry sheets and spinach or Swiss chard mixture. Cover with 6 individually buttered sheets. Pour the remaining butter and oil on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool and cut in squares

This next recipe comes from digginfood.com.  I have been dying to try making potstickers and this is the perfect recipe:

Crispy Potstickers with Garlicky Greens

1 large bunch of Swiss chard, spinach, or kale
2 large cloves of garlic minced
1/3 cup finely chopped, mildly spicy red pepper (such as Anaheim)
2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
1 package of frozen pot stickers (I like Ohana House Organic Vegetarian Gyoza)
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 teaspoons vegetable oil

1The Skinny on Swiss ChardInstructions:
Heat the olive oil in a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, chop the greens into 1 inch pieces and rinse well in a colander. When the oil shimmers add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the peppers and cook until they begin to soften. Stir in the greens (with water still clinging to its leaves) and cook until it wilts and turns bright green, about 3 minutes. Divide the greens between two deep soup bowls.

Pour the broth into a small sauce pan and bring it to a simmer. Wipe out the skillet, then heat the vegetable oil over medium. Place the pot stickers into the skillet, flat side down and cook, turning occasionally until they are evenly browned, about 8 minutes total. Divide the dumplings between the bowls and pour one cup of broth into each bowl. Serve immediately.

Share your swiss chard recipes with us!

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