Chard looks similar to spinach and can be used interchangeably in many dishes. Chard is actually an older, leafy variety of the beets. Chard can have a bitter taste when eaten raw, but cooking removes this bitterness. It is important not to cook chard in an aluminum pot; the vegetable has oxalates, or acids that will react with the metal pot and cause the pot to discolor.
- Fiber important for digestive health and keeps you feeling full
- Folate important for preventing neural tube defects and may help prevent cancer
- Vitamin C important for the immune system, healthy skin, and wound healing
- Iron important in red blood cell formation
How to Shop
Choose chard that is crisp with a firm stem. Look for glossy or shiny leaves, avoid anything that looks dull or wilted.
How to Grow
Grow chard in a sunny area and in moist, fertile soil. Make seed drills an inch deep, leaving 16in between rows. Cool and moisten the soil by watering along the drills before sowing if the soil is dry. Sow each seed one by one, spaced 1 to 2 inches apart. Cover them back over with soil, gently pat down, then water. Harvest and pick little at a time and do so often as soon as your chard reaches a usable size. Take outer leaves first so that new leaves can replace them.
How to Store
Wash chard only when you are ready to use it. Keeping it dry and wrapped in a paper towel will help with slimy leaves from moisture accumulation.