You would never guess it based on appearance, but chard is actually a relative of beets. And while it seems to be often overlooked in the produce section–much like the kid who’s always picked last in P.E. class–chard is actually versatile and nutritious. It also comes in a variety of colours, from green, white, yellow, red, purple, to even pink. When it’s sold as a multicoloured bundle, it’s referred to as rainbow chard — which is often mistaken as a variety itself.
Chard is an impressively nutrient-dense vegetable. It contains a spectrum of antioxidants in all of its leaves, stalks, and veins—including polyphenol, betalain, and carotenoid, flavonoid—which help combat inflammation, free radical damage, and diseases like cancer. It is also packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, along with many minerals. Chard also helps with diabetes, as it contains chemical properties that help regulate an enzyme in our body called alpha-glucosidase.
But sometimes we neglect certain vegetables not because we don’t know about their health benefits but rather because we’re not sure how to incorporate it into our recipes. In which case, I’ve got some good ways you can use your chard.
Try these twenty ways to incorporate chard into your recipe.
- Juice it with your favourite vegetables and fruits.
- Make a chard quiche.
- Pickle the stems.
- Make chard leaf chips by baking them like kale chips.
- Roast chard stems.
- Add chard into your favourite smoothies for an extra health, flavour, and colour boost.
- Sauté it with garlic as you would with any other vegetables.
- Add them to your pot pies.
- Make chard jam!
- Barbecue chard tastes amazing.
- Celery soup? What about chard soup?
- Chop them up and add them to your salad.
- Rainbow chard miso soup!
- Use it as a pizza topping.
- Add it to your stir fry.
- Sweet potato, chard, and beans enchiladas
- It seriously does go well with sweet potatoes. Make a hash, add some onions, sausage, and egg.
- Make fries out of the stems after you bake chard leaf chips.
- Make a stock or broth with your favourite vegetables.
- Make a delicious frittata or omelette.
Chard goes with so much more than you think! The possibilities are endless. Don’t neglect this beautiful, healthy, and versatile vegetable the next time you’re shopping for produce.