Red ruby Swiss chard is a dark green leafy vegetable similar to spinach with a bright red stem. It has an earthy and bitter flavor but is also salty because it is naturally high in sodium. Although consumers should be aware of its sodium content, Swiss chard is loaded with multiple vitamins and minerals. It would be a smart addition to almost anyone’s diet.
Each serving has seven times the amount of vitamin K recommended per day. Vitamin K helps the blood clot, so Swiss chard may be off limits to someone on blood thinners, but would be especially beneficial to someone healing from a deep wound. With twice the daily recommended amount of vitamin A and over half of the amount of vitamin C, Swiss chard helps the immune system and has several antioxidants that reduce the risk of certain cancers and infections. It even keeps the skin looking clear and soft. You can find over one third of the daily recommended magnesium in Swiss chard. Magnesium regulates blood pressure and promotes general wellness of the heart. Finally, it contains nearly one third of your day’s manganese, iron, and potassium which are more nutrients for a healthy heart and body. Swiss chard is one major super food!
Swiss chard can be more expensive than other dark leafy vegetables in the produce section like kale or mustard greens and many people become anxious cooking with a new food. Luckily, Swiss chard is much like spinach and can be cooked in the same fashion or even a substitute for spinach in some dishes like spinach dip or avocado shrimp salad. Use the baby greens in a salad with arugula and other bitter greens for an antioxidant and vitamin rich lunch. Fully grown leaves make a great side dish sautéed with garlic, olive oil, salt, and a hint of lemon. You may prefer to cut them up as adult leaves are fairly large for a mouthful.
Storing Ruby Red Swiss Chard
Proper storage of red ruby Swiss chard begins at the grocery store. Pick out bunches of leaves that have a bright red stem and shiny medium green leaves. The darker the leaf, the older it is. Younger leaves of Swiss chard tend to last longer. Place them in a thin plastic vegetable bag instead of just in the cart by themselves on top of other groceries or in the child seat so they don’t bruise. Immediately put them in the fridge when you arrive home to keep them chilled. When you are ready to use them, give them a gentle wash in cold water. Vibrate the leaves under the water to shake off excess dirt and run your finger over the stem to collect missed clumps. Cook only what you plan to eat in 24 hours unless you plan to freeze it. Store the Swiss chard wrapped in a paper towel in a plastic bag closed 3/4 the way in the vegetable crisper or the driest spot of the fridge.