“This is a universal idea – to connect the garden with the kitchen and with the table and back to the garden again.”
~ Alice Waters
With bacon for flavor, bone broth for nutrient-density, and rainbow chard for beauty and a bounty of micronutrients, this recipe is one of my new favorites. Interestingly, most chard recipes tell you to cook only the leaves and discard the stems, but the stems are not only edible, they’re full of nutrients you can’t find elsewhere. If we’re using food as medicine, we don’t want to throw our medicine away!
Dr. Terry Wahls recommends we eat 3 cups of greens daily, and the more variety the better. That’s because every green (and every vegetable actually) has a unique micronutrient profile that helps our bodies heal. Let’s find out what gorgeous chard has to offer:
- Antioxidants: Chard leaves contain 13 different antioxidants, including kaempferol, which promotes heart health, and syringic acid, which regulates blood sugar.
- Eat the Stems: The stems contain betalains, which are natural anti-inflammatories and also help support our bodies’ natural detoxification pathways. Doesn’t that sound like a perfect prescription for someone with autoimmune disease?
- Healthy Bones: 1 cup of chard provides 374% of your daily need for vitamin K. People who have higher levels of vitamin K have greater bone density, while low levels of vitamin K can lead to osteoporosis.
- Brain Support: In addition to helping build strong bones, vitamin K also supports brain function and is essential for memory, cognition and development of the myelin sheath.
- Vitamins: Chard is also a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium and manganese. Since vitamins A and K are fat-soluble vitamins, be sure to cook your chard with plenty of healthy fats, to help you absorb these valuable nutrients.
adapted from Rachel Ray
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