Friday, October 10, 2008

A Celebration of Rainbow Swiss Chard

Today's post is a celebration of Rainbow Swiss Chard. Why eat boring food when you can eat a rainbow imbued with liquid sunshine!

~from a seed catalog description....
A beautiful chard, its colors are brilliant (pink, yellow, orange, red and white). This chard originated in Australia. Very mild, ornamental, and tasty. Great for market growers and specialty markets. Pretty enough to plant in the flower garden, so delicious, one of our favorite greens! Can be sown any time up to late summer for fall use; often overwinters except in very cold-winter areas.
But what is this stuff called "Chard"? and where does it come from? And what the heck do you do with it?

Swiss Chard, the beta vulgaris Cicla group, is actually a close cousin of the beet and also goes by the name "spinach beet." The rainbow variety of Swiss chard, often known as "bright lights" comes with stems in a wide range of bright colors including magenta, orange, red, purple, and golden yellow.

Cooks prize Swiss chard for its colorful veins and ribs. The contrast of the vibrant red, orange, yellow, and white stalks against deep dark green leaves make for a strikingly beautiful presentation. And chard not only looks fantastic but it has a mild delicate flavor that is sweeter, and more refined then other greens. Swiss chard can be used as a substitute for spinach in recipes, or stands alone nicely as a side dish.

One cup of cooked chard provides the following vitamins, minerals and nutritional components shown below as percentage of USRDA.

Vitamin K: 300%
Vitamin A: 100%
Vitamin C: 52%
Magnesium: 37%
Manganese: 29%
Potassium: 27%
Iron: 22%
Vitamin E: 16%
Fiber: 14%

So again I say, "Why eat boring food when you can eat a rainbow imbued with liquid sunshine!" Try some today!


Shibaguyz said...

A fine endorsement for a wonderful plant. We love this stuff and add our voices to this endorsement. As soon as the temps started dipping into the 40's at night our Swiss chard took off like a rocket! Beautiful, tasty and hardy enough to last us through the winter in greens. What's not to love??

John said...

Nice piece on Swiss chard. It's been a great addition in our greenhouse. Very hardy and visually appealing as well.