You might also know it as: Swiss chard, silverbeet, spinach beet, leaf beet, crab beet, bright lights, seakale beet, perpetual spinach, and mangold
Taste: tender, sweet, beet-like flavor
Varieties: Rainbow chard has red, purple, yellow and white stalks. Red chard has thin, red stalks with a reddish line into the leaves and is a little stronger in flavor. Fordhook Giant has white, thick, but tender stalks and dark green leaves.
How to buy: Best time to buy is summer. Select chard with crisp stalks.
How to eat: Use Swiss chard like spinach. Wilt, sautée, braise, steam, add to soups, casseroles, pasta, or sauté for a quick side dish. Use raw in a winter salads, or blanch and dress with olive oil, lemon and salt. Chard has a heavier texture (and earthier taste) than spinach, requiring longer cooking.
How to store: Refrigerate the chard for three to five days at most in a towel. Do not wash it until you are ready to consume it.
Closely related to beets, this leafy green is rich in betaine – this compound is known to safely lower levels of homocysteine thereby reducing the risk of death from heart disease.1 It is also rich in potassium, a mineral that can help normalize blood pressure.
- Collaboration, H. S. (2002). Homocysteine and risk of ischemic heart disease and stroke. JAMA, 288(16), 2015-2022.