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Some say it is form of spinach and others argue that they are totally unrelated. Some prefer the red-stalk variety and others claim that rainbow-stalked types are more nutritious. So what is Swiss chard? Swiss chard is a leafy, green vegetable that looks a lot like spinach but does not belong to the same family. It can have a red, orange, white and even a multi-colored stalk. This salad favorite can be tasty, filling and nutritious if cooked the right way.
What is Swiss Chard Used for?
Swiss chard is usually used in the place of spinach. This is because the former has a slightly stronger taste than the latter. Swiss chard can also be used in green salads and blends well with a variety of foods like cheese, vegetables, nuts and dressings. You can also use it as a topping or filling. Chard tastes great with pizza and can make a healthy, low-calorie filling for wraps and omelets.
What is Swiss Chard’s Nutritional Profile?
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Green, leafy vegetables are always good sources of fiber and vitamins. Swiss chard contains impressive amounts of vitamins A, B, C and K. When combined, these vitamins can enhance immunity against diseases, strengthen bone, aid metabolism and improve brain activity. Swiss chard is also packed with iron, which is important for the blood cells and the circulation of oxygen.
What is Swiss Chard’s Effect on Your Health?
There is no need to worry about calories with Swiss chard. It only contains about 20 calories per 100 grams. With such a low calorie count and a range of nutrients, you can add it to every meal while still managing your weight. It is cholesterol-free, which is good news for those with heart conditions.
Chard is also low in carbohydrates. If you are diabetic, you can add it to your menu to keep your glucose levels in check. It is a super-food for those with bone-related illnesses like osteoporosis. People with vitamin deficiencies can also reap big benefits by including this vegetable in their diet.
How to Cook Swiss Chard
To prepare Swiss chard, you can boil, steam, sauté and even microwave it.
Cover chard with water and boil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until tender. Boil leaves and stalks separately because stalks usually take longer to cook.
First add stalks into the steamer, followed by leaves 3-4 minutes later. It is cooked when it’s soft and wilted.
In 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, sauté stalks for 2-3 minutes and then add chard leaves. You can add parmesan cheese and seasoning for flavor.
Rinse Swiss chard in cold water. Instead of drying it, cook it in the microwave on high heat with water on its leaves. Microwave at 1-minute intervals until leaves are wilted.
Swiss chard is a great ingredient to add to any dish. It cooks quickly and goes well with many other foods. To enhance flavor, you can add a variety of cheeses, garlic, nuts, lemon zest and even hot peppers.