It gets tiring to eat the same type of food all the time. It is good to try new things every once in a while. The same goes for veggies.
I realized that my veggie diet mainly was cabbage and spinach. Since I have tried other vegetables like artichokes, I decided I had to expand my horizons. That is how I stumbled upon Swiss chard.
This event happened a while back, and I have often cooked Swiss chard. I find it to be a suitable replacement for spinach. They are both soft and a bit slimy.
Although spinach is a perfect substitute for Swiss chard, you need other veggie options to replace swiss chard if, for some reason, you do not have it or you have eaten it too much.
Swiss chard is a green and leafy vegetable. It has red, white, pink, green, or yellow branches. So, do not be confused when you see Swiss chard with different stalks from what you know.
Swiss chard substitutes are kale, spinach, collard greens, beet greens, Bok choy, rhubarb leaves, and broccoli.
Swiss Chard; What is it?
We all know that vegetables are crucial to our bodies. They strengthen our immunities and provide vital nutrients to our bodies.
The next time you visit the farmers market or the grocery store, look for the Swiss chard. It is a green vegetable that looks like spinach.
It sometimes has white stems, but the typical Swiss chard is the one with brightly colored stalks—pink, red, and yellow.
Some people argue that the Swiss chards with white stalks are more delicious than the others. Our preferences are different; hence, we might find ourselves loving either of the other types more.
Swiss chards are bitter when eaten raw. They are perfect for making salads and then topping them up with a sweetener.
Supposing you love them for their characteristic bitterness, you can eat them without a sweetener.
The bitterness goes away when you cook them, and you are left with a slimy deliciousness. You should avoid overcooking them to preserve the nutrients.
You can use these green veggies for various recipes. You can make salads, use them as a side dish, or add them to your soup.
Swiss Chard Alternatives
When Swiss chards are in season, you can buy them in almost all grocery stores or farmers' markets. However, it becomes hard to find them out of season.
Supposing you do not find them when you need them, it will be best if you use an alternative. Read on to know the best Swiss chard alternatives.
Spinach is the best substitute for Swiss chard. The leaves of the two veggies look the same. In some cases, where the Swiss chard has white stalks, they look the same.
Some people confuse their taste after cooking. They taste the same.
Spinach is found everywhere all year long. If you do not have Swiss chard, grab some spinach and use them instead. Most of us already have spinach in our homes. It is a common vegetable that we cook regularly.
Even if you do not have spinach at hand, you can rush to the grocery store and grab some. It will take you a little time.
Spinach is a perfect side dish that you can eat with any food. Like Swiss chard, you can eat it raw in salads. It pairs well with cheese and honey. You can also add spinach to your recipe when need be.
The next time you run out of Swiss chard, do not worry. Use spinach as a substitute, and no one will note.
2. Collard Greens
Collard greens are common in the southern part of the United States. They are also found in other parts of the country but are concentrated in the south region.
This vegetable is green and leafy like Swiss chard. It is slightly tangy, making it an excellent substitute for Swiss chard.
The difference between Swiss chard and collard greens is that Swiss chards are softer than collard greens. The leaves of collard greens are firm, and they are a bit chewy.
Unlike Swiss chard, people do not eat the stalk of collard greens. They are tough when the greens have matured fully. The leaves of collard greens are yummy, but they become pretty bitter when collard greens are wholly aged.
To replace Swiss chard with collard greens, you need to find young collard greens. When young, they are soft and thus, can substitute Swiss chard without many alterations.
Some people confuse kales and collard greens. Whereas they have similar nutrients and belong to the same family, they are different. Kales are curved greens, while collard greens are flat.
Kales are green and leafy like Swiss chard. They are also slightly bitter when eaten raw. The bitterness fades when you cook them, and you are left with a sweet vegetable.
If you want to use kales in place of Swiss chard, you need to be careful. Ensure you choose young kales to emulate the softness of Swiss chard. Kales are not slimy like Swiss chards, but they will do the trick if you do not have the Swiss chard.
The crucial thing is to replace Swiss chard with a vegetable that tastes almost the same, if not the same. The two vegetables are green. When you use one for the other, you might get away with fooling your family; one is the other.
4. Beet Greens
We all know and have used beetroots. Did you know you can cook and eat their leaves? Well, you can. These leaves are called beet greens.
Beet greens are some of the most nutritious vegetables. They are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
Supposing you want to replace Swiss chard with a vegetable of the same color, beet greens should be your choice. They have the same stalks as red or pink Swiss chards. Their leaves also have red or pink veins.
Beet greens, therefore, make your dish as color as when you use Swiss chard. These greens are perfect for a salad or use in a soup dish. They make the salad look colorful and yummy.
A significant difference between the two vegetables is the taste. While Swiss chard is bitter and earthy, beet greens are nutty and creamy. However, their flavors tend to be almost the same when cooking them.
5. Bok Choy
I cannot finish this list of Swiss chard substitutes without talking about Bok choy. It is not common, but it is good to try new things. You might discover you are yet to find all your favorite dishes.
People commonly use Bok choy in Chinese dishes. However, you can be creative and use the vegetable in any dish that calls for you to use Swiss chard.
Bok choy has small leaves that are attached to its stems. The leaves are green, and the stems are white. You can use it as a side dish.
When cooking this Chinese vegetable, cooks do not remove the stalks. They steam the vegetable with the stems to make a delicious side dish.
Although it might be a bit hard to come across this vegetable, you should try and look for it when you have time. It will prove to be worth your while.
6. Rhubarb Leaves
Rhubarb is a fruit whose leaves people eat. It has dark green leaves that have red stalks and veins. They look like Swiss chards.
These leaves are, however, bitter even after cooking. If you find the bitterness excessive, you can add a sweetener. They are crunchy, and you can confuse them with Swiss chard from a distance.
To cook them, you can roast, fry, or steam them. You can use rhubarb leaves in all the places you use Swiss chard, soups, salads, and side dishes.
Rhubarb leaves are not typical. But I want you to try new things. So, the next time you visit the farmers market, ensure you locate these leaves and use them as you use Swiss chard.
We all know broccoli. It is a common vegetable that is sold in all grocery stores. It has a tangy and nutty flavor making it an excellent substitute for Swiss chard.
Broccoli is a delicate vegetable. If you overcook it, you spoil its flavor. The best way to cook it is either steam it or roast it.
You can use broccoli as a side dish or in soups. It is an excellent alternative to Swiss chard if you have nothing else at hand.
Personally, broccoli is not a favorite vegetable. I find it to be smelly when I cook it. This smell makes it hard for me to eat it.
Swiss chard is a nutritious vegetable. It is, however, a seasonal vegetable. When out of season, you might find yourself looking for it to no avail.
On such occasions, you will have to use swiss chard substitutes. I have covered the seven best alternatives to this vegetable.
After reading through these recommendations, you will not despair when you do not have Swiss chard. You will grab one substitute and use it in Swiss chard's place. Cheers!