Friday, October 13, 2017

Early Fall Swiss Chard Harvest!

Our little kitchen garden produced well for us this year...and for a long time!
I do believe, however, that we will be tearing it down this weekend :(
It's hard to believe we are closing in on mid-October.
I'm sitting here in my living room...typing away...with the windows and doors open :)
But I digress...
I went out to the garden yesterday afternoon for my final harvesting of Swiss Chard.
We planted several varieties...and I cut many leaves for our supper.
Swiss Chard (like all of the dark, leafy green) cooks down quite a bit.
I needed a whole, big bowl-full for our meal.
Here are my luscious leaves...washed and ready to cut!
Using a very sharp knife, I cut away the leaves from the tough stems.
I do not cut and cook the stems, as an acid in the stems can be irritating to some people.
I stacked the half-leaves...rolled up the pile tightly...and then sliced the leaves perpendicular to the roll.  This slicing technique is called chiffonade.
Ready to sauté!
I used a bit (1 tablespoon) of olive oil to sauté/steam my chard. 
I put a low heat under my pan...added in the olive oil...and then piled in the chard.  It looked like too much for the pan...but I know what will happen to it :)
I tossed the leaves with two wooden spoons...making sure they got a coating of the oil.
Then, I placed a lid over the pan to start the "wilting" process.
I checked the chard often, as the wilting does not take long....3-5 minutes.
I tossed the chard a few times...turned off the heat....added the juice of half a fresh lemon...and seasoned with sea salt and pepper :)
**You can use balsamic vinegar or raw apple cider vinegar instead of the lemon.
Any acid will cut the bitterness of the chard.
*You can also sauté some garlic before adding the chard.
Ready to serve :)

Why I eat Swiss Chard....

#1  I love the taste of it!
If you're new to the world of dark, leafy greens...start out slow.
Experiment with various cooking methods...and add them to smoothies, soups and stews!
#2  Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, C and E.
It is also an excellent source of magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron and fiber.
#3  Swiss chard contains plant nutrients that may be cancer protective to the digestive tract.
#4  Swiss chard is great for bone health!
It offers a good non-dairy source of calcium and magnesium.
Additionally, vitamin K activates a major protein found in bone structure.
#5  Swiss chard is great for vision health!
The beta-carotene in Swiss chard (which is converted into vitamin A) lowers the risk of developing cataracts.
#6  The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin protects against macular degeneration. 

Enjoy the nourishment of Swiss chard :)


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