Yesterday I shared with you a recipe for Swiss Chard and Green Bean Stew. Some of the ingredients in this recipe are not the most widely used or well-known. Here is some information about two of the ingredients, including what they are, their nutritional benefits, and how they can be used.
What is it? Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is somewhat similar to spinach, although a bit more bitter tasting. It has wide, fan-like leaves and a crunchy stem that comes in different colors.
What are its key nutrients? Vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium, which help maintain bone health; Vitamin A, lutein, zexanthin, which help maintain eye health; Vitamin E, which helps protect heart health.
What are its nutrition facts? 1 cup of cooked Swiss chard has 35 calories, 3 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 0 g fat, 313 mg sodium
When is it in season? June to August
How is it used? Swiss chard can be sauteed with garlic and olive oil (like spinach), added to soups, made into a stew, made into pesto, added to pasta dishes.
What are they? Garlic scapes are the flowering stems of garlic shoots that poke out of the ground as garlic grows. They are harvested before garlic is fully grown in order to allow the garlic bulb to fully grow. They taste like garlic, but with less bite.
What are their key nutrients? Since garlic scapes come from garlic, they contain they same nutrients: antioxidants allicin and vitamin C, which are involved in heart health; Selenium, a mineral that protects against heart disease and maintains healthy skin.
What are its nutrition facts? Garlic scapes are basically calorie free!
When are they in season? June
How are they used? Remove the top bulbous part of the scape and the woody ends. The rest of the scape can be chopped up and added to a stir fry, added to a pesto or dips, grilled, or added to pasta dishes.
Do you use Swiss chard or garlic scapes? If so, what are your favorite uses and recipes?