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Swiss chard

Servings and nutritional value

250 ml (1 cup), cooked = 2 vegetable servings

Nutrients % Daily requirement *
Energy: 35 calories  
Fibre:  4 g 16 %
Vitamin A: 566 μg 60 %
Vitamin C: 33.3 mg 60 %
Folic acid:  17 μg 8 %
Iron: 4.2 mg 30 %
Magnesium: 159 mg 60 %

Swiss chard isn’t hard to prepare!

Swiss chard may not be as well-known as some other vegetables in Quebec. In the Mediterranean it’s been a favourite for centuries. Chard is actually a member of the beet family, and like beet plants it provides two great vegetables in one: the leaves which resemble large spinach leaves, and the long, crisp stalks. Depending on the variety, chard stalks may be white, red or bright yellow. Which makes them ideal for adding a dash of colour to any meal.

In terms of flavour, chard stalks of the coloured varieties have higher sugar content, while the leaves have a mild flavour similar to spinach. Chard is grown in Quebec and there’s plenty of it in local stores from early June to mid-October…or even as late as December.

Did you know?

  • Besides great flavour and versatility in the kitchen, Swiss chard delivers major nutritional benefits. It’s extremely rich in minerals like the iron we need for growing red blood cells, or magnesium for proper muscle and nerve function.
  • Because it’s a leafy green vegetable, chard is an excellent source of Vitamin A, folic acid and Vitamin C…plus major reserves of dietary fibre.

Chef's tips

  • When shopping for chard, look for firm stems and leaves that are crisp and colourful, without yellow or brownish spots.
  • Chard leaves can be eaten fresh or cooked, in salads, pasta dishes, soups and risottos, or simply as a side vegetable sautéed with garlic and olive oil.
  • Cook chard stalks the same way as asparagus, and serve them in sautés or simply as a side vegetable topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.


* Based on Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs)
Source: Health Canada – Canadian Nutrient File (CNF)

Healthy eating by Julie

Le plaisir des produits québécois
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