The Amazement of Swiss Chard
Did you know that Swiss chard is known for being one of the most nutritious vegetables in the world? Now that’s definitely a good reason to think about adding Swiss chard to your diet.
Growing up, we had a lot of different types of leafy green vegetables in our family garden including mustard, collard and turnip greens, and a variety of different types of lettuces. I can remember eating salads that included everything that came from our garden (the soft butter lettuce, the tomatoes, the onions, the cucumbers, the radishes, a couple of different kinds of parsley, fresh dill, rosemary, garlic, different types of mints).
However, I have to admit that I don’t remember seeing Swiss chard growing in our garden. Since becoming a chef, my culinary palate has really expanded and Swiss chard is now something that I grow in my own garden. It’s super easy to grow.
I picked a nice bunch of Swiss chard from my Fall garden and mixed it with a small bunch of rainbow chard.
The best Swiss chard I have ever seen growing was in my friend Cory Russell’s garden. Fresh From the Gardens featured Cory’s Fall Garden in one of our gardening videos. If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely check it out. It includes some really good gardening tips.
Tip: You can also substitute azomite for the micro nutrient mix mentioned in the video. Axomite includes natural trace minerals for your soil. It’s not something you’ll probably easily find but if you google where to purchase azomite in your location, you should get a list of locations.
Here’s a link for Texas locations to purchase axomite and to Garden Variety Organics which is where I purchased a bag of azomite. I am experimenting with the gardening method mentioned in my video and having great success. My dad also uses something similar in his garden.
If you head out to Garden Variety Organics in Waxahachie, TX, make sure you use your GPS!
You’re probably wondering how to prepare Swiss chard so I’ve included a few recipe links below. I’ve tried Swiss chard a lot of different ways, and one my favorite ways to eat Swiss chard is to caramelize onions, toss the Swiss chard with the onions and finish it with a dash of sherry vinegar or red wine is also good. It really does make a great side dish and pairs well with baked fish.
What to Look For:
You’ll typically find three types of chard in your grocer or farmer’s market. Look for crisp, vibrant green leaves with no yellow or brown marks.
- Rainbow chard has colorful red, pink, yellow, or white stalks
- Fordhook Giant is identifiable by crinkly leaves and thick, white, tender stalks
- Ruby Red (or Rhubarb) chard has thin, red stalks and slightly stronger flavors
How to Store:
Rinse Swiss chard mildly and store in moistened paper towels in a plastic bag (with a few pinholes to allow air to circulate) in the refrigerator for two or three days.
Swiss Chard Recipes:
Health Benefits of Swiss Chard
Just one cup of Swiss chard provides over 700% of our daily needs for vitamin K and over 200% of daily vitamin A. Swiss chard contains high levels nitrates, which have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise and enhance athletic performance.