Leafy, green, red, and delicious are just a few words to describe the magic that is Swiss chard. While it resembles kale and spinach, Swiss chard is most closely related to beets. Ancient Sicilians bred Swiss chard, because they loved the beet green. Swiss chard is essentially a beet green, in much bigger, juicier form. “Swiss” is tacked onto chard’s name because of its extensive cultivation and usage in Switzerland. Unlike other greens, Swiss chard thrives in both summer weather and cooler temperatures (other greens grow best only in the cold). In fact, Swiss chard, as well as other greens are some of the most common winter market finds in Maryland.
Swiss chard contains an impressive list of vitamins. It is full of vitamins K, C and A. Vitamin K prevents blood clots and extensive bleeding. Vitamin K also helps with nutrient absorption. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system, making it a necessary vitamin assisting the body’s fight against colds and the flu in the colder months. Finally, Vitamin A helps with vision. It helps to protect the cornea, which is the surface area of the eye!
To store, wrap your Swiss chard leaves in a damp paper towel, put in a plastic bag, and store in the fridge up to a week after purchase. This technique will help the Swiss chard maintain its crisp freshness.
Swiss chard is extremely versatile! Because the leaves are tender, they are delicious in a salad—particularly the smaller, younger leaves. You can also sauté them with seasonings of your choice, or throw them in a smoothie.
Check out this recipe for Salt and Vinegar Swiss Chard Chips from Taste Made