My first experience with chard was about 15 years ago, when someone cooked it for me with marsala wine. I can’t remember that chard recipe, but I fell in love with the green, leafy gem. It comes in our organic box when I specify it, and I do specify it often because I like to make it AND it’s good for us. Low in calories and so many antioxidants! It’s super high in Vitamin K, has great levels of Vitamins A and C. Plus it’s got a low glycemic index for you diabetics or borderline diabetics, and an ingredient that regulates blood sugar. Red chard is said to have anti-inflammatory and detox capabilities.
I usually steam it and don’t even season it–plain. I like the sharp taste, which comes from oxalic acid. There’s the usual debate about whether oxalic acid in foods contributes to kidney stones, blah blah blah. The body absorbs oxalic acid from many common foods: peanuts, spinach,wheat bran, beets–we don’t limit those. As with all things, moderation is key; for me, having chard once or twice a week is not a big deal. If you’re concerned, boil your chard to leach out some of the oxalic acid.
If you want to add a little oomph to your chard dish, I’ve got an idea. Here’s a simple recipe for chard with balsamic and garlic that is oh-so-good.
Ingredients for Balsamic-Garlic Chard Recipe
4 cloves garlic, minced or frozen squares
About 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. I do this by sight, not measurement.
1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar
1 bunch any kind if chard, including rainbow. Discard the stalks and cut leaves into strips.
salt, pepper to taste
1-Heat the olive oil and saute the minced garlic until tender. Or melt the squares.
2-Add the greens and balsamic. Cook on medium high until greens wilt and are tender.
3-Stir as you cook. I usually cover the pan and steam the greens–they cook more quickly.
Serve with anything. Delicious and nutritious!