Whole Story

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Spent on Spinach? Try Swiss Chard!

By Alana Sugar, April 25, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
I am lucky. I was born to parents who were brought up on leafy greens, namely collards, mustard and turnip greens. I never had to “learn to like” them like so many people I know. The more bitter, the better! But that’s not the case for most folks. If it’s not lettuce or spinach, it’s out of the question! If this describes you and you’re spent on spinach, take heed. I’ve got an idea I think you’ll like. It’s the often overlooked Swiss chard. Mild, tender and really yummy, Swiss chard is similar to spinach when it comes to taste and ease of preparation, and it’s full of good nutrition. Adding Swiss chard to your menu gives you a healthy and satisfying serving of potassium, iron and antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which helps support healthy cells and protect against free radical damage. When purchasing Swiss chard, you may find a few varieties: red, green and rainbow (multi colored). All are delicious and can be prepared the same way. Always start by washing the leaves and stalks under running water. Remove the stalks and cut off the tough bottom ends before chopping into bite-size pieces. Slice or chop the leaves and unless your recipe calls for a different approach, begin cooking by sautéing, braising or steaming the chopped stalks first for about 5 minutes; then add the chopped leaves, which will take just a few minutes to cook. Here are some favorite ways to savor Swiss chard: Be sure to look for beautiful, bright, firm leaves with no wilting, browning or decaying. Store your Swiss chard in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Try to use it within a few days for best results. Have you checked out Swiss chard? Do you have a favorite recipe? Let me know!

 

21 Comments

Comments

Jim says ...
Swiss Chard is a great alternative for spinach. My wife and I eat it once a week. Great flavor and great nutrition!
04/25/2011 9:42:43 AM CDT
Susie Bee on Maui says ...
I was truly a lettuce and spinach girl until getting some rainbow chard in my produce box. My favorite way to eat it is in an Asian flavored salad. http://eatlittleeatbig.blogspot.com/2010/09/asian-chard-salad-with-mushrooms-and.html
04/25/2011 2:10:50 PM CDT
Cynthia says ...
If you like bitter vegetables try bitter melon that is being sold in Asian markets.
04/26/2011 2:12:41 AM CDT
Lydia says ...
Don't think I have ever had Swiss chard but now that you have given all these good suggestions I will definately try it! I discovered kale a couple of years ago and love adding to my version of chicken soup- I will have to try the swiss chard in it instead. Thanks!
04/26/2011 4:54:44 AM CDT
Ivy Larson says ...
Swiss chard is AMAZING when sauteed with tons of crushed garlic & extra virgin olive oil---after sauteeing put a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in small skillet & add crushed pine nuts, capers, raisins & red pepper flakes---then toss this into your sauteed swiss chart. it's a complete meal over sprouted whole grain pasta. YUM!!!
04/26/2011 10:18:56 AM CDT
MC says ...
I use it as a hamburger bun, wrap, fold and go
04/26/2011 6:21:39 PM CDT
Esther Vogel says ...
I am eating every green thing there is to be. I started eating mainly raw meals, after reading the "Raw True." I am feeling so happy and full of energy, and I don't feel tired at all. I am a Spanish Instructor, this semester I am teaching two classes in a row, when I was in my second class I was so tired, my students didn't understand what was I saying. Now, I feel so full of energy and everyone notes a glow in me. Moreover, my aches and pains are gone. So, if you are feeling tired and without energy, please, start eating raw foods, don't cook anything over 115F. degrees. Drink raw milk and eat raw milk products, and lots of fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, vegetables, etc. I would like to see more raw recipes from Whole Foods on Whole Story. Thanks, To your health! Esther Vogel estee211@msn.com
04/27/2011 8:42:12 PM CDT
Esther Vogel says ...
I am eating every green thing there is to be. I started eating mainly raw meals, after reading the "Raw True." I am feeling so happy and full of energy, and I don't feel tired at all. I am a Spanish Instructor, this semester I am teaching two classes in a row, when I was in my second class I was so tired, my students didn't understood what was I saying. Now, I feel so full of energy and everyone notes a glow in me. Moreover, my aches and pains are gone. So, if you are feeling tired and without energy, please, start eating raw foods, don't cook anything over 115F. degrees. Drink raw milk and eat raw milk products, and lots of fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, vegetables, etc. I would like to see more raw recipes from Whole Foods on Whole Story. Thanks, To your health! Esther Vogel estee211@msn.com
04/27/2011 8:44:47 PM CDT
Dorothee says ...
I am & have been amazed how ignorant many of us in U.S.A. do not know HOW TO prepare "greens"! Swiss Chard is a delight to buy, to clean, to cook and to eat! Thank you for this delightful article. By the way, for many years I put raw/fresh spinach leaves in my children's sandwichs for their luncheons because they have preferred "raw" to having spinach "cooked" & on their dinner plates. In the sandwiches it was healthier and they enjoyed the taste. Now as young adults they still use fresh spinach IN sandwiches! But they use Swiss Chard more than I do!
04/28/2011 5:33:18 AM CDT
Deta says ...
Swiss chard is super easy to grow in the garden and lasts an entire season. I'm growing three varieties this year and the primary leaves just came up yesterday. I've been eating it for decades. Favorite recipe: Saute some onions and garlic in olive oil, add chard stems until soft, then add the chopped leaves. Remove from heat and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. YUM!
04/28/2011 8:55:03 AM CDT
Connie Martin says ...
Am so glad others have discovered the delicious chard! I chop and saute it in olive oil with onions and garlic (and the chopped stems) and sometimes add sliced black olives and sliced mushrooms and even some left-over canneloni beans and spread it over rice. I also discovered that if I add a little balsamic vinegar to the oil that it give a zing flavor. If I think the meal is too dry, I might add some pasta sauce before putting it on rice. And oh yes, raw chard is great torn up in my green salad!
04/28/2011 1:39:42 PM CDT
Slots says ...
This seems to be nice and mouth watering I've always want to try this...what is the difference between them...
05/04/2011 5:59:32 AM CDT
Zach says ...
My daughter (age 3) LOVES swiss chard and has since she could talk. My favourite recipe to use with chard is to sauté some onions and garlic in some olive oil then add cut chard (still wet from rinsing). Add some salt and pepper and cover and let cook/steam for about 3 - 4 mins. Then move the chard to one side of the pan, put heat on high and add some chopped fresh tomatoes (canned also work, but fresh rocks). Cook about 5 mins or until the tomatoes begin to slightly thicken into a sauce. Toss pan with pasta (penne for example) and sprinkle with some more olive oil and then some cheese...parm or feta.
05/12/2011 1:37:04 PM CDT
Dr. Sarah Cimperman says ...
Dark green leafy vegetables are some of the healthiest foods around. Thank you for showing people how to prepare them!
05/27/2011 7:17:00 PM CDT
Linda Beckman says ...
Had rainbow Swiss chard last night--sauteed in olive oil with shallot; then added salt, pepper, and a splash of rice wine vinegar. Yum!
05/29/2011 3:42:09 PM CDT
lior says ...
hi wander if it is possible to buy Bitter Melon ( Empalia) also good for diabetes at your store ? thanking lior
11/09/2011 8:05:49 AM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Lior Since our product offering differs from store to store, the best way to get the most accurate information regarding the availability of Bitter Melon at your store is to reach out to them directly. The link below will help you identify the contact information for your store and a Team Member will be happy to discuss the availability of Bitter Melon with you. www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores
11/10/2011 3:14:20 PM CST
Kelly says ...
Chard also goes well in green smoothies :) add two bananas, a pear, 4 or 5 chard leaves, bok choy, and it is delicious!
06/16/2012 12:59:36 PM CDT
Sharon Taylor-Hamilton says ...
i want to know things I can cook with Chard? Can they be used as wraps?
03/11/2013 3:37:02 PM CDT
Jo Lene Kreider says ...
I can't find swiss chard in any of the markets I shop. Does it come canned, as well? I'm anxious to try it, because of it's health value. I want to start eating it and trying new recipes, but I can't find it!! thanks
01/23/2014 9:36:02 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@JO - I have not seen a canned option but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. You could also try checking if your local grocery store has it frozen.
01/23/2014 2:18:29 PM CST