When you talk about green leafy vegetables, spinach, kale, and broccoli are the most usual vegetables that would probably cross your mind. Aren’t they too famous to talk about now? How about we give our attention to other leafy vegetables like Swiss chard, which may have hidden great health benefits?
Swiss chard is currently popular in Mediterranean cuisines, specifically in Italian cuisine. Swiss chard is typically incorporated on their pasta dishes, salads, or simply sautéed. It comes in a variety of vibrant colors so it is aesthetically pleasing as well, adding a vivid mood to your plate.
However, you are most likely here to discover what does Swiss chard tastes like. Does it taste bitter like other green leafy vegetables you can think of? Well, if you are planning to try it out, continue reading on as we will roll out the facts, its taste, and the health benefits it can give.
What is Swiss Chard?
Contrary to its name, Swiss chard is neither from nor native to Switzerland. It originated from Southern Europe thus, making it a part of most of their dishes. It is called Swiss chard because a Swiss botanist has discovered it. Swiss chard is closely related to the family of spinach but you can notice its array of colors that stands out the most among other green leafy vegetables.
What Does Swiss Chard Look Like?
First of all, how can you distinguish Swiss chard from other types of leafy vegetables? Swiss chard has an array of vibrant colors ranging from white, yellow, gold, purple, to red, particularly dominant on their stalks. Sometimes you can see them blend in one leaf, sometimes it’s just green and white. Its leave is typically big and its color can also be noticed a green or a mixture of the mentioned variety of colors. It has a few similarities with spinach since it’s closely related to it.
Additionally, if you are looking to shop for some, make sure you find the kind with strong stalks and not wobbly at all. Wobbly stalks mean that the vegetable is old stock. Also, watch out for the colors of the leaves – it should be vibrant and looks fresh even if the color is naturally dark.
What Does Swiss Chard Taste Like?
Generally, just like any other green leafy vegetables, you can eat Swiss chard either cooked or raw. It goes with almost everything on the dish. However, if you have not tried it once before, you are perhaps wondering what Swiss chard tastes like.
Swiss chard’s taste varies when raw and cooked:
Raw – You can eat Swiss chard as it is but you can also add it to the salad as raw. You can describe the taste of raw Swiss chard as something like spinach, which is not surprising since it is related to its family. The leaves have a slight bitterness to it, just like any leafy vegetables, but the little sweetness on its stems makes the Swiss chard more enjoyable compared to the bitter taste of kale.
Cooked – Depending on how it’s cooked, but some say that Swiss chard tastes a little bitterer when cooked but the sweetness on the stems remains. Nevertheless, the bitter taste is not intense so it still can be enjoyably consumed.
However, there are some issues like Swiss chard taste like dirt. Few factors affect why it taste like such. First, the leave itself is too old. When shopping for Swiss chard, make sure you pick the young, tender, and fresh ones. Second, the leaves were not properly washed, leaving an earthy taste on them. This is an important factor as food safety also lies down on it.
Swiss Chard Benefits
Just like other vegetables, Swiss chard offers a good amount of vitamins and minerals that give keep our body healthy. Below are some of the Swiss chard nutrition and benefits:
- Contains Vitamin A – Swiss chard is a good source of Vitamin A that keeps our eyesight healthy, Spinach – as well as our immune system.
- Contains Vitamin K – Vitamin K is also found in Swiss chard. This offers wound healing properties and maintains our bone-in shape.
- Rich in Minerals – Swiss chard is also a good source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium that are essential to our body that is responsible for keeping it well functioned.
- Low in Calories – Just like other leafy vegetables, Swiss chard offers low calories.
No Swiss Chard? – Here Are The Swiss Chard Substitute!
If you have already tasted Swiss chard and have suddenly craved for some but the stocks are not available? Worry no more as we have rolled out a few but a good substitute for Swiss chard!
- Spinach – since this Swiss chard came from the spinach family, you can never go wrong with this when choosing it as a substitute. It has an appealing green color that makes your salads and pasta more aesthetic.
- Beet Greens – this type offers a little more intense flavor than other leafy greens. It also has a purple to red stem that can add extra colors to your dish.
- Collard Greens – this one’s another perfect substitute for Swiss Chard as it has almost the same taste and qualities. It is also a staple food to Southern American cuisine, thus, more likely to be always available on the market.
Swiss chard is usually not best known compared to other green leafy vegetables that are available to the market, but with its outstanding vibrant colors and nutrition, this can gain more attention to other world cuisines. This vegetable is currently popular in Mediterranean cuisine, focused more on Italian food preparations like pasta, salads, risotto, and etc.
By this time, we hope that we sufficed your question “What does Swiss chard taste like?” – To sum up, its taste is comparable to spinach but less bitter when eaten raw than cooked. The stalks and stems on the other hand give a hint of sweetness that makes the perfect balance to the total flavor of the vegetable. Actually, this is the kind of vegetable you can make your kids eat because of the vibrant colors, and we know that kids love colorful foods. So, we would recommend you try some and make a dish out of it!