Swiss chard tastes like spinach. The low-calorie beet plant contains many healthy ingredients and can be used in many ways in the kitchen. Preparation tips and recipes.
Although externally similar to spinach, Swiss chard is botanically a beet and related to beetroot and sugar beet. The stalks of the green, elongated leaves are white, yellow, or bright red and can be eaten. There are two types of chard: stem or rib chard and leaf chard. The latter has smaller leaves and narrower stems. The stalks of Swiss chard need to be cooked longer than the leaves. Swiss chard comes from the Mediterranean region and is in season from June to September.
Preparation: Frying reduces bitter substances
Whether steamed or briefly fried as a side dish or in casseroles – Swiss chard can be processed in a similar way to spinach and is just as versatile. The blanched leaves are also good for making roulades, which you can fill with fish, meat, or other vegetables to taste.
Swiss chard is best seasoned with salt, pepper, and some fresh nutmeg. Because it also contains a lot of bitter substances, chard is not so well suited as a salad. However, if you heat it up, for example by frying it in a pan, these substances are broken down and the vegetables taste much better.
Low shelf life – blanch before freezing
Swiss chard does not keep for a particularly long time and should therefore be processed as soon as possible after purchase. The leaves are usually withered after a day, so only buy what you need. If you still have too much chard then you can use it immediately, for example after a rich harvest in your own garden, it is best to freeze the summer vegetables as fresh as possible. To do this, wash the leaves thoroughly, dry them, remove the stem ends, and cut them into strips. Blanch briefly in boiling water and shock in ice water. Dry the cooled chard and then freeze. So it can be kept for several months.
Healthy ingredients: few calories, lots of vitamins
Chard is very low in calories. In addition, the beet plant contains a lot of vitamin C, and vitamin K as well as iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Due to the high content of oxalic acid, people with kidney disease should avoid chard, because this ingredient promotes the formation of kidney stones.