Center stage for this week’s plant-based Monday is the outstanding and most colorful of the leafy greens: chard! Chard is one of our faves for its versatility, gorgeous colors, and hearty flavor.
Chard originated in the Mediterranean. Its vivid and distinct hues among the stems are attributed to a compound called betalains. Betalains are a phytonutrient that are a powerful house of antioxidants, characterized by their yellow and reddish colors. Betalains are more commonly identified in beets, a well-known cousin to chard. Antioxidants may help to prevent the oxidative processes that may increase risk for many chronic diseases.
Chard is just as beautiful nutritionally as it is in appearance. It is an excellent source of vitamins A and K, as well as a good source of vitamin C. Chard is best during the late summer, early fall months; however, however most grocery stores do carry it year-round. The three most common types of chard are rainbow chard, Fordhook Giant, and Ruby Red. Rainbow chard is known for its colorful red, pink, or yellow stalks. Fordhook Giant has crinkly leaves and thick, white stalks, while Ruby Red chard has thinner red stalks and slightly different flavors. Be sure to wash and store chard as you would other greens like spinach or kale.
And be sure to try out our top 3 chard recipes!
What are your favorite ways to use chard? Drop us a comment and let us know below!
(PS: We love chard so much, that we even have tees in honor of this green…check em out here)