Vegetable Profile: Chard (Beta vulgaris var. cicla)
Chard is sibling to beets, having been developed for its broad leaves and crunchy stems rather than its root. It originated in the Mediterranean region, and is a member of the Amaranth botanical family. It has a salty, bitter flavor akin to spinach. It's an exceedingly tender, dark leafy green.
Chard supports healthy blood production by nourishing the stomach, spleen, large intestine, lungs, and liver. It is high in minerals and carotene antioxidants. When eaten fresh it contains vitamin C. When cooked, its calcium and magnesium becomes readily available. It has a cooling action and helps soothe inflammation.
Chard is somewhat delicate, dramatic even - if allowed to wilt, it will do so quick. It stores best in a water-proof container in the fridge for 3-4 days. It also freezes well for cooking.
Best when sauteed with olive oil or bacon grease, soy sauce, and garlic! pairs well with eggs, chicken, tempeh, or pork. You can also finely chop it and add it like confetti to a salad!
The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Wood
Asparagus to Zucchini by Fairshare Coalition
Produce: A fruit and vegetable lover's guide by Bruce Beck
Our own experience!