If Swiss chard hasn’t made it to your kitchen, today is the day to introduce it. Much like it’s healthy, green cousin kale, Swiss chard fills a powerful nutritional profile, providing a whopping 700% of your daily need for vitamin K, and a double dose of your daily vitamin A requirement. And all of this nutrition is packed into just one cup!
Watch this short video to find out the nutritional breakdown of Swiss chard.
Swiss chard is classified in the same plant family as beets, spinach, and quinoa. It is a highly prized vegetable source because it is renewable and easy to grow. The Swiss chard plant will grown in various kinds of soil, and it can survive with little amounts of sun and water.
Possible Health Benefits of Swiss Chard
Antioxidants have long been associated with the reduction of free radical damage in your body. Flavinoid antioxidants, which are found in the leaves, have been linked to the regulation of blood sugar, and other anti-aging antioxidants found in Swiss chard may help prevent cancer.
Promotes Heart Health
Swiss chard contains magnesium, potassium, copper, iron, and calcium, which are necessary minerals for red blood cell formation and blood vessel health.
The antioxidants found in Swiss chard have anti-inflammatory properties, which lower inflammatory reactions that promote high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes.
Cancer Fighting Properties
I have already mentioned Swiss chard is loaded with many powerful free radical- fighting antioxidants, but did you know Swiss chard is one of the leaders of antioxidant-rich foods?
In 2011, researchers from the Institute of Biochemistry, located in Italy, found that Swiss chard extract may have the ability to prevent the growth of human cancer cells, which cause breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer.
In 2013, the same researchers published a paper discussing Swiss chard’s ability to promote healthy blood sugar levels. Flavinoids found in Swiss chard are thought to restrict certain enzymes which break down carbohydrates into simple sugars, helping your body to sustain a stable blood sugar level.
Swiss chard holds nearly 4 grams of dietary fiber per one cup of cooked chard, which also supports the slowing of sugar being released into your blood stream.
Other Possible Health Benefits
In addition to the benefits I have already mentioned, Swiss chard contains nutrients that benefit your bones, eyes, digestive track, and muscles. Swiss chard provides a high level of vitamin K, which is essential for healthy bone development. Anti-inflammatory properties coupled with dietary fiber found in Swiss chard may help reduce inflammation in your digestive track, which helps to regulate your bowels. Impressive amounts of magnesium, potassium, and calcium found in Swiss chard are essential nutrients needed to maintain proper muscular health.
How to Select and Store Swiss Chard
The best way to obtain fresh Swiss chard is to grow it in your own garden, but if that isn’t possible, shop in your locale farmer’s market or grocery store. Choose Swiss chard with vibrant green leaves with no visible browning or yellowing. Swiss chard that has been stored in a cool place will be crunchier and sweeter.
To prevent premature spoilage, do not wash your Swiss chard before storing it. Instead, place Swiss chard in a plastic storage bag (BPA free of course), squeezing out as much air as possible. Swiss chard will remain fresh in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Large batches of Swiss chard can be blanched and then frozen. (This process also works with kale.)
Fill a clean sink with cold water. Rinse Swiss chard through several changes of water; this will remove sand from the leaves. Then remove the stems.
Place 4 quarts of water into a large stock pot and bring to a rolling boil. Drop about one pound of Swiss chard leaves into the pot, cover and blanch for 2 minutes.
The stems of Swiss chard are edible; however, I recommend eating only the green stems because they are less woody than the red ones. If you choose to blanch the stems, blanch them for 3 minutes.
After 2 minutes, immediately remove the leaves from the water and immerse in an ice water bath for 2 minutes. This will prevent the leaves from continuing to cook. Drain well.
Pack in a freezer container of your choice, making sure you do not leave head-space. Frozen Swiss chard will keep at 0 degrees for up to one year.
In the video, I promised to show you how to make a mouth watering Swiss chard dish. Are you ready to try? Let’s get cooking!
How to Make Stuffed Swiss Chard Rolls
This dish is so delicious, it will have you wanted to come back for seconds.
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Coat a large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or oil. I prefer to use either coconut oil or olive oil.
Blanch Swiss chard leaves using the method outlined above. Set aside until you are ready to assemble the rolls.
Chop mushrooms, garlic, carrot, celery, and onion. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey, onion, mushrooms, garlic, carrot, celery, 1 tbs dill, a dash of crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper.
Cooking Tip: You can substitute ground beef or ground chicken.
Saute 6-8 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink. Transfer turkey mixture into a large bowl. Stir in cooked rice and 2 tbs of dill. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, whisk together oil, and flour. Gradually add chicken stock, lemon juice, and dill.
To assemble rolls, place chard leaves on a clean work surface. Place about 1/2 cup of meat mixture about 2 inches from the stem end of one chard leaf. Gently fold sides and bottom leaf edges over filling, and roll up. Place the roll seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat the process with remaining filling and chard leaves.
Pour broth mixture over rolls.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 20 -22 minutes. Transfer to serving platter and spoon sauce over top and serve.
I served my stuffed Swiss chard with roasted cauliflower, broccoli, and butternut squash. Roasting these vegetables was easy. I placed them in a large bowl, added a table spoon or two of olive oil, salt and pepper, and some crushed red pepper. They were placed in the oven at the same time as the Swiss chard rolls; however, they didn’t brown the way I wanted them too, so I placed them under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes.
Has Swiss chard found its way to your kitchen table? What is your favorite way to prepare it? Share your ideas below. I would love to hear from you!
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Thank you for being here! I want to emphasize I am not a medical doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist. I do not have a degree in medicine, dietetics, or nutrition. I do not make claims to any specialized medical training, nor do I dispense medical advice or prescriptions. This content on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any diseases. Please click here to read my full disclaimer.