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Swiss Chard: Healthy and Delicious!

I discovered Swiss chard a few years ago, and it has become one of my favorite vegetables. I plant it in the fall, and with a relatively mild winter it is likely to continue growing till the following summer. I pick the leaves, and they keep developing for more harvests. 

I originally planted Swiss chard for its decorative value. It grows on stalks up to two feet tall and has vibrant-colored leaves and stems.A selection of the Swiss chard varieties growing in my garden.Only later did I learn you can eat it! I tasted it and was thrilled to discover its delicious flavor.

The easiest way to eat it is raw. Stack the leaves and cut in pieces until one reaches the stems. Add the leaves to other greens for a colorful salad. Another simple way to prepare it is to boil the chopped leaves (without stems) for about three minutes and then toss with mediterranean dressing. I also love Swiss chard soup, my favorite concoction beginning with chicken bouillon, Italian sausage, onions and little red potatoes. Chopped chard leaves are added toward the end, as it only takes a few minutes for them to cook. There are many other great ways to prepare Swiss chard. If you like spinach, you will like chard; and you can substitute swiss chard for spinach in recipes. 

As beautiful and delicious as it is, Swiss chard's best qualities are the amazing nutrients it contains. It is one of the healthiest vegetables in the world. Its vibrant colors hint at its antioxidant phytonutrients. This vegetable may sound like the "snake oil" once sold by peddlers, but it is genuine. It is an excellent source of vitamins C, E, K and A and is also loaded with minerals. It promotes cardiovascular and nervous system health, and it has anti-inflammatory properties. High in fiber, it also supports removal of toxic chemicals from the body. It promotes strong bones, and it helps to regulate blood sugar. All of this, and a cup of chopped chard contains only 35 calories.

So, have you eaten your Swiss chard today?


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Reader Comments (19)

I think it's beautiful, so I enjoy it in ornamental arrangements! I also use it as a substitute for spinach. I have to admit I don't find it particularly flavorful, though. But it is one beautiful (and healthy) vegetable!

November 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ PlantPostings

Dear Deb, it is awesome that you grow Swiss Chard yourself! I knew that it is considered a very healthy vegetable, but wasn't aware of all the detailed info that you provide in your post. I have to admit that I am not too keen on the taste, so I need good recipes to prepare it. Your post got me in the mood to try out a new recipe and cook with it. One thing that Swiss Chard has definitely has going for it are its good looks ;-)!
Wishing you a lovely rest of the weekend!

November 14, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterchristina

I've never eaten chard, but I do love spinach! I'll have to give it a try.

November 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChristi {Jealous Hands}

This year was my first year to add edibles to my landscape and found it to be great fun. I started with containers and I'm hoping to expand beyond that next year...Your encouragement is greatly appreciated.

November 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie@Seattle Trekker

I keep meaning to grow it, you have made me determined to do so next year!

November 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPauline

that's a regular on our menu.
But from the supermarket.
And it looks so pretty in the garden!

November 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

The soup sounds wonderful! I grew Swiss chard my first year in this house, mainly for its decorative value, but I should try it again, even if it's my intent to give over most of my vegetable beds to herbs and flowers for cutting.

November 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

I've liked Swiss Chard since I was a kid and remember my Grandmother growing it and cooking it for us. I've only recently begun eating it again, after our local farm started growing it. I've never had it raw though. It is a beautiful plant. I wish the rest of my family liked it, and then I'd grow it myself and be able to have it more often!

November 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterIndie

One of my favourite vegetables. The stalks are good to eat too and they retain their lovely colours even when cooked, just cook them for a little longer than the leaves. I have some growing in the greenhouse as a small leaf crop for salads and in the vegetable garden, where I have them almost all year. What a nice thought that you are enjoying the same food all those miles away.

November 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

I haven't had Swiss Chard, but I had some locally grown Silverbeet that looks so similar I wonder if it is the same veg with different names in different countries. I imagine the different coloured leaves give an even greater variety of nutrients than the green variety. I don't grow it myself but I am growing some spinach in an old wheelbarrow.

November 16, 2015 | Unregistered Commentercatmint

Deb, swiss chard, well I have never tried it but you have made this hypochondriac think again about the supplements he shoves down his throat every day.

November 16, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteralistair

I'm not that fond of swiss chard - something about the sweetness. Judy really like it, though. I prefer spinach or mustard greens.

November 16, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterjason

I wish I could grow it now in my garden but I will have to wait until spring....it is yummy!

November 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

You make Swiss Chard sound so delicious, Deb. I have never seen it in the supermarket, only in vegetable gardens. But now I must definitely try it soon.

November 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

Deb, The color of the Swiss Chard is amazing isn't it? I haven't got myself organized yet to try it but you have really inspired me now, especially since I saw it growing with all the beautiful flowers in England. I often wondered what you did with it - and now I know, so thank you!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

November 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKate R

Actually, I ate Swiss chard for the first time while I was in Europe recently. They prepared it nicely. I found their way to make it tasty and similar to spinach in a way. I think it is a very pretty plant as well.

November 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Swiss chard is indeed delicious, and I especially love the colorful rainbow variety. I like it cooked in fritatta, stir fry and pasta dishes as well as in soups and salads. Because our summers are cool, we get to eat it pretty much all summer long.

November 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJean

Deb, or any others of you out there, do you know the name of the variety of the chard in the image with purple leaf/yellow rib? Please answer here or email me at Cerena at ItsAstroLogical dot com Thank you so much! I would so love to grow that chard!

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCerena Childress

Hello everyone. I appreciate your comments very much! Cerena, that particular chard was labeled 'Prima Rossa.' Deb

January 27, 2016 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

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