Names and common varieties
Silver beet, as we like to call it in Australia, is more commonly known around the world as Swiss Chard. But wait…there’s more…it can also be called spinach beet, perpetual spinach, crab beet and mangold. Phew I think that’s it! Regardless of what you call it Silver beet is one potent little green vegetable.
There are a few common varieties in Australia; namely Ford hook Giant (Silver beet), Rainbow Chard which have white, yellow, red and pink stems and Ruby Red Chard – dark green leaves with red stems.
The nutritional benefits of Silverbeet
According to whfoods.org one cup of cooked Silver beet gives you approximately;
Filled with Phytonutrients, Silver beet is a great source of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s also very low in calories, for keeping iron deficiency at bay and boosting immunity. The leaves also contain at least 13 different polyphenol antioxidants, one of which is good for regulating blood sugar.
How to use Silverbeet
The beautiful red stems are a little tough, but don’t throw any of those pretty stalks out if you can pickle, whip up a dip, consider yourself a Gratin guru, or love to prepare your own stock…the stalks are brilliant for any of these.
Silverbeet leaves are so versatile and probably what we’re most used to eating. They can be boiled, braised, steamed and sautéed or chopped up, and added to a stir fry or pasta sauce. Ripping the leaves apart and throwing them into the blender can also give your favourite smoothie that extra nutritional kick to keep you warmly nourished, mind, body and soul.