Swiss chard is in the same family as spinach and beets because of their leaf similarities. You might hear it referred to as Roman Kale. This is because it’s mostly found in the Mediterranean, but Swiss Chard is not a kind of kale. Its stems come in a variety of colors like yellow, green, white, and red, which add color and variety to any meal.
Why is it beneficial?
Swiss Chard is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s especially a good source of vitamin K, but avoid if you are prone to kidney stones. A lot of vitamin K can affect how much calcium you absorb, causing the stones. Swiss Chard is also a great source of vitamins A and C–both are great for skin–and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and iron. Because of these nutrients, swiss chard benefits blood health, immune health, and tissue health.
When is it in season?
You can usually find local swiss chard anytime between mid-May and mid-July depending on the farm and the weather. Try to buy organic whenever possible.
How long will it keep?
If stored properly, your swiss chard should last about five days. Keep it in an airtight container or bag, unwashed. It will taste better and offer the most benefits when really fresh.
How can I prepare it?
You can use swiss chard just like any other green. Its flavor goes best with hearty or savory dishes. Always rinse your chard really well to get rid of any dirt or debris. Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started:
- Sauté it with garlic, salt, and pepper until wilted. Top with fresh lemon juice and parmesan.
- Add it to a quiche or frittata with some sliced mushrooms for a healthy breakfast.
- Add it to soups, pastas, or stir fries.
- Use the whole leaves for lettuce wraps.
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