Chard is also known by its many common names such as Swiss chard, silverbeet, perpetual spinach, spinach beet, crab beet, bright lights, seakale beet, and mangold. My first memory of this vegetable was growing-up in New Zealand where we called it by the name silverbeet. Now living in California I know it as Swiss chard.

Chard is grown as a winter crop in warm climates and is really easy to grow. Once it gets going, if you water the plants regularly, they will keep producing. The plant will grow more slowly if temperatures reach into the 80’s.

Chard is not only one of the most popular vegetables along the Mediterranean but it is one of the most nutritious green vegetables you can include in your recipes. It ranks second only to spinach as one of the most nutrient rich and therefore healthiest vegetables available.

Once you have washed the chard thoroughly, chop roughly into one-inch sections and steam. Cooking chard helps reduce its concentration of oxalic acid.

Like beets, spinach and quinoa, chard belongs to the chenopod family of foods and offers a number of health benefits not readily available from other food families. It is recommended you include foods from the chenopod family in your diet one to two times a week.