I'd never eaten Swiss Chard until I started with the CSA. I think it is one of the most beautiful of all the greens. I had no idea that there were so many vitamins and nutrients in chard. This site calls Swiss Chard the "valedictorian" of greens because it's so packed full of good stuff.
Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin E and dietary fiber. It is a very good source of copper, calcium, vitamin B2, vitamin B6 and protein. In addition, Swiss chard is a good source of phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, folate, biotin, niacin and pantothenic acid.
There are so many health benefits and the site where the quote is from gives a detailed list. Swiss Chard was originally grown in the Mediterranean region and has been eaten as early as the fourth century B.C. I have heard the Greek Isles have the largest number of centenarians and that is largely due to the greens being a main part of their diet. I can see why now that I know more about all that is in chard.
I tried a Swiss Chard Gratin recipe thinking I would use most of the chard. But I only used half and now that I know of all the health benefits I am excited to have another serving of this super food. I doubled the recipe and so, we ended up with lots and lots of leftovers. I'm not a big fan of gratins, but this one I liked so I'm glad to have the leftovers.
As I was cleaning and chopping the chard, I was struck by the vivid and varied colors of the stems. I cooked this up Friday night and for the rest of the weekend, I spotted these colors all over the region. Even though chard is available throughout most of the summer, this batch has imprinted this green in my mind as a Autumn treat because of the Autumn colors in the stems.
Yummy and beautiful! What a great combination!