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Swiss Chard

Nutritional Information:

Like other greens of the goosefoot family, swiss chard contains oxalic acids and is therefore best used moderately by people with calcium deficiency.  It is high in sodium and an excellent source of chlorophyll.  Chard eases constipation in the elderly, is homeostatic and helps stop hemorrhage, and supports the livers and the lungs.  Furthermore, chard is low in Sodium, and very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Potassium and Manganese. 

Storage Information:
Do NOT wash your greens until you are ready to use them. Store them in a plastic container or bag in your refrigerator, as you would lettuce. Greens are most nutritious if used within a few days of picking although they do keep well for a week or so refrigerated. Wash leaves submerged in cold water before using them. These vegetables tend to retain grit from the ground they were grown in and some may require two or three washings.

Another tip for storing greens: wash and shake dry. Wrap in waxed paper, put in plastic bag and close.

Fun Food Facts:

Swiss chard is either green with white stalks or reddish green leaves with red stalks or, sometimes, green with yellow. Its wide stalks have a flavor and texture somewhat like celery, and the dark green leaves are similar in taste and texture to spinach or other greens. Beet greens, spinach, and chard are closely related and can be used more or less interchangeably. They cook quickly and are tender and sweet. You can use the leaves, either raw or cooked. Slice the stalks crosswise and add to salads, stir-fries or soups.

(credit: "An Endless Harvest" by Betty Levine)

Simple From Scratch:

Swiss chard can be cooked as you would cook spinach, kale, or collards. It is not as bitter as some greens. Rinse thoroughly in several changes of water to remove sand, grit, and dirt, but do not spin dry. Place in a covered saucepan over low flame (water clinging to leaves is sufficient to steam it) for several minutes, until wilted but not too mushy. Use a wooden spoon to press out excess water, chop coarsely, and toss with butter and sea salt. from Jill Nienhiser

Other Recipes:
15 Minute Greens
Wash and chop: collards, kale, chard, spinach, etc. (as much as you would like to eat.)
Put in heavy bottomed skillet with some water.
Simmer till tender.
Drain water (can save for cooking if not too bitter.)
Dress with: tahini, lemon juice, soy sauce, and raisins.


Easy Stir-Fry Greens
2 lbs greens
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts or sesame seeds
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbs. chicken or vegetable broth
Tamari or sea salt, to taste

Wash the greens, remove the large stems and slice the leafy part into bite-sized pieces. Hear a large skillet or wok. Add the oil and nuts or seeds and saute until golden. Add all the other ingredients. Stir, cover, and cook 2 minutes, until greens are barely tender.

(credit: "An Endless Harvest" by Betty Levine)