Give Chard a Chance

By Kevann Jordan, Recent Arizona State University Nutrition Student

Chard is member of the beet family that is a nutritional super food.  Chard comes in three varieties: Swiss (green), red or rainbow chard. This leafy green is usually found prepared in Mediterranean cuisine, which is not surprising because it originated in Sicily.  This seasonal vegetable is usually cultivated between June and October. The best time to plant this veggie in Arizona varies from zone to zone. In Arizona be ready to plant seeds between the 1st of February (Zone 9) and the 1st of April (Zone 5).

How do you eat Chard?

Though it is a member of the beet family its roots are inedible. You can eat the stem and the large leafy greens of the plant. The best way to prepare chard is a personal preference. You can juice it, chop it, boil it or braise it. As a general rule of thumb you should prepare the leaves as you would Spinach and the stalks as you would prepare asparagus. Chard can also be eaten raw in salads or on its own. Really there is nothing you can’t do with chard, if you are creative.

Why should you eat Chard?

You might be asking yourself why eat chard versus other greens? Chard is a nice change of flavor and a different spectrum of nutrients, because lets be honest you can only eat spinach or kale so often.

Let’s talk nutritional info:

Serving size: 1 cup (36g)
Calories: 6.8cal
From carbohydrates: 4.7 cal  
From fat: 0.6 cal  
From protein: 1.6 cal  
From Alcohol: 0.0 cal  
Total Fat: 0.1g 0.1g
Protein: 0.6g
Saturated Fat: 0.0g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.0g
Fatty Acids
Total Omega-3 fatty acids:

 

2.5mg
Total Omega-6 fatty acids:

 

22.7mg
Amino Acids:
Tryptophan, Threonine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Valine, Arginine and Histidine
Estimated Glycemic Load = 1

 

Vitamins:
Amounts Per Selected Serving %DV
Vitamin A: 2202 IU 44%
Vitamin C: 10.8 mg 18%
Vitamin D: ~ ~
Vitamin E: (Alpha Tocopherol)0.7mg 3%
Vitamin K: 299mcg 374%
Thiamin: 0.0mg 1%
Riboflavin: 0.0mg 2%
Niacin: 0.1mg 1%
Vitamin B6: 0.0mg 2%
Folate: 5.0 mcg 1%
Vitamin B12: 0.0mcg 0%
Pantothenic Acid: 0.1mg 1%
Choline: 6.5mg
Betaine: 0.1mg

 

 

Minerals:
Amounts per Selected Serving %DV
Calcium: 18.4mg 2%
Iron: 0.6mg 4%
Magnesium: 29.2mg 7%
Phosphorus: 16.6mg 2%
Potassium: 136mg 4%
Sodium: 76.7mg 3%
Zinc: 0.1mg 1%
Copper: 0.1mg 3%
Manganese: 0.1mg 7%
Selenium: 0.3mcg 0%
Fluoride: ~ ~

 

 

 

My Family’s personal favorite Chard recipe:

(Kid Approved)

Provided by: Macheesmo

Rainbow Wheat Berry Salad

*This salad is great on its own, as a sandwich or as a side

**If you have never tried wheat berries before they are delicious, but, like with any wholesome grain they take time to cook. They are like a nutty crunchier brown rice.

 

Yields: 6-8 servings

Prep time: 1 hr 15 mins (mostly for the wheat berries)

Total time: 1 hr 30 mins

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ – 2 cups Winter Wheat Berries

1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed

1 bunch Rainbow Chard, blanched and chopped

1 red pepper, diced

2-3 stalks celery, diced

½ red onion, diced

1 lemon, zest and juice

6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1 avocado, diced

Handful of parsley, minced (I omit the parsley because the flavor is too strong for my 7 year old)

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional: Yes please for the hubby and me but no thank you for the kiddos)

 

Directions:

  1. Cook wheat berries according to package (about 75 mins)
  2. Dice pepper, onion and celery and add to a bowl with drained chickpeas. Crumble feta and zest of a lemon.
  3. For chard, slice out inner vein of thick root from each leaf. Chop roughly and add to salted boiling water to blanch for 30 seconds. Remove chard from water and set in an ice bath or if you are like me run it under cold water to stop the cooking. Dry on a paper towel.
  4. Dice chard and add to bowl. Also add lemon juice and diced avocado.
  5. When wheat berries are done, drain them, let them cool for a few mins, add them to the bowl. Stir well to combine and taste for salt and pepper.
  6. If you are using it, add the minced parsley here.
  7. All done!!

For more delicious and family-friendly recipes, make sure you visit Fill Your Plate!

 

Kevann Jordan a California native recently transplanted to Spokane, Washington. She is studying Nutrition Communication at Arizona State University. A foodie who loves cooking and gardening, nutrition was an obvious field of study and a calling in life. An outdoor enthusiast, she is always looking for her next adventure outdoors. Her ability to combine healthy food choices and an active lifestyle is a passion Kevann is always trying to improve and develop. Her love of family and friends inspires Kevann to constantly share her knowledge for improving diet and lifestyle with all those she comes in contact with. Service, food and adventure are never in short supply in Kevann’s life and in those she is surrounded by.

This entry was posted in Arizona, Cooking, Food, Food Facts, Gardening, Health Tips, Healthy Eating, Produce, Recipes, Vegetables and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *