For those who grow chard, it is difficult to choose what is more valuable: its nutritional qualities or its decorative properties. Sometimes you can’t bear to cut such a beauty for a salad. The bright, spectacular leaves look great in flower beds and in dishes.
What is this chard?
Chard or beetroot carries all its beauty, benefits, and flavor “above ground”. And what’s below ground is not only ugly and tasteless but also not suitable for cooking. As for the above-ground part, there are stem and leaf forms.
Stem chard can be of different colors depending on the variety: the stems can be light green, whitish, silver, yellow, purple, pink, and even crimson. Not only the stems but also the leaves are eaten.
Swiss chard is grown only for its leaves, which resemble spinach, grow back quickly after cutting, and easily tolerate frost. You can harvest it several times during the season.
Useful properties of chard
Chard leaves and stems are richer in vitamins than beets. They contain a lot of vitamin K, which is necessary for normal blood clotting. In case of liver dysfunction or during prolonged use of medications, especially salicylic and sulfonamide drugs, this vitamin is essential for the body. It should be remembered that vitamin K is destroyed by heat treatment, so it is advisable to eat chard raw.
Modern medicine considers chard to be one of the most useful types of greens. Chard leaves have cleansing properties. Chard has a good effect on the cardiovascular system and pancreas, lowers blood pressure, and is an excellent tool for the prevention of sclerosis and atherosclerosis. If you eat it regularly, undissolved salts are removed from the body, liver function improves, and immunity is boosted. Chard is a very light product: 100 g contains only 19 kcal (1.8 g of protein, 0.2 g of fat, and 2.14 g of carbohydrates).
How and with what is it eaten?
Remember that chard should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 2 days. During cooking, the leaves and stems should be separated. It is better to use the leaves raw to maximize the preservation of vitamins. The stems should be slightly boiled or stewed to make them softer. Chard is used to making soups, salads, and as a side dish.