How to Grow Chard in Your Backyard
A lot of people are turning to using chard as a healthy alternative to spinach for growing their own vegetables. There is a large variety of chard grown for this purpose throughout the United States and Europe. Chard is very easy to grow and can be harvested frequently throughout the year. Here's how to prepare and cook your chard greens.
Chard has been used in American cooking for hundreds of years. Native Americans relied on chard to add flavor to their meals, and also to aid digestion. In fact, the name of the first Thanksgiving was created from the Greek word kerardos which means "dried". The root of the plant, used in gourmet cooking, is harvested and then dried to make a thick paste.
Chard is often added to soups and stews. It adds a bright snap and flavor to soups and is often served as a side dish or a light ingredient. It is often used in potato dishes because it adds color and is a breath-taking sight when tenderized. Chard can even be tossed in with corn flakes to make a quick and delicious corn bread.
When it comes to home cooks, chard is often left to its own devices in most cases. There's no reason to try and make something fancy when a simple jar or small container will do the trick. This is particularly true if you want to save money instead of buying fancy ingredients.
Chard is often used in hearty soups. It adds color, flavor and comfort. It is also often served alongside other vegetables when it is mixed with a cream sauce. It also serves as a side dish with meat. Chard is often found in pasta sauces as well. That's because it is an easily assimilated food and holds together well with the pasta.
For an interesting treat, try to marinade your chard for an hour or more in butter, garlic and Rosemary oil. Let it marinate overnight and then serve it the next day with fresh whole Rosemary leaves as garnish. If you are serving it raw, simply let it sit on a counter top until it's nearly dry. Then you can wrap it in aluminum foil and refrigerate it until it's just the right amount of tenderizing. When you want to serve it, simply cut off the ends and slice it into thin slices.
Although some people fear that chard will grow too woody, this isn't the case. Keep it in a sunny window if you live in a region where it gets plenty of sunlight. The earthy flavor of the greens tends to counteract the bitterness of the wine. Also, chard is quite forgiving so don't be afraid to experiment by adding different herbs or spices.
When growing your own chard, it's important to follow a few basic guidelines. Fertilizer levels need to be tuned to the specific needs of your garden. Also, you'll need to mulch regularly to keep the roots from becoming bare and losing nutrients. Most importantly, enjoy your chard because it adds such a healthy, natural flavor to whatever you prepare it with!
When your chard starts to sprout, it's time to remove it from the pot. At this time it's important to use a sharp knife to make sure the stem doesn't get sliced. Then take it outside and allow it to acclimate to its new environment. You can start it out by digging a hole about three inches deep and filling with soil and placing the plant in. Just be sure to avoid watering it too much while it's settling.
Another benefit to growing chard is how easy it is to prepare meals for it. Since it has a very mild taste, cooking with it is very simple. You can toss it in salads, soups, and vegetable dishes right alongside your other regular ingredients.
One concern you might have is where to find the seeds. Fortunately, chard is very easy to grow and there are many different varieties you can choose from. Some varieties like red chard are more common and are easier to grow. If you're looking for something a little bit more exotic, you may want to try a seedless chard. Even if you don't like the taste of seeds, it's not difficult to grow seedless chard.
Chard is a great healthy choice when you're looking for ways to add some more flavor to your veggies. It's not hard to grow and it's relatively inexpensive. Plus, you can easily prepare meals for it that will be delicious and healthy all at the same time. The best part is that chard doesn't need to be stored for long term use. It's perfect for freezing or preserving for later.