Silverbeet is also known as chard, Swiss chard and seakale beet.
It is similar to spinach but has a stronger flavour. Silverbeet usually has a white stalk, however, red beet is sometimes available; it has the same green leaves but has a rich pink-red stem and veins. Silverbeet grows all year round and is easy to cultivate.
What to look for
Choose crisp green leaves with firm white stalks. Avoid leaves that are wilted or damaged.
Refrigerate in plastic bags and use promptly.
How to prepare
Wash stalks and leaves at least twice. Remove stalks and centre ribs and cut to requirements if using. Cut or tear leaves. Shake off excess water. When cooking leaves, don't add water as the water that clings to them after washing is sufficient. The stems can be removed from the leafy section and cooked like asparagus, or sliced and cooked. Both the stems and leaves can be used together; the stems take longer to cook so add the leaves 3-4 minutes after the stems. Silverbeet suits quick cooking methods like stir frying, steaming or microwaving.
Ways to eat
The young leaves can be used raw in a salad but silverbeet is usually eaten cooked. Puréed or finely chopped silverbeet makes an excellent base for many dishes. Use blanched leaves as a wrap.
Boil, microwave, steam, stir fry.
|Leaves and upper stem, boiled, drained|
|Serving size: ½ cup 75g|
|Fat, total (g)||0.22||0.30%||0.29|
|- saturated (g)||0.039||0.10%||0.052|
|- sugars (g)||1.95||2.20%||2.6|
|Dietary fibre (g)||2.48||8.3%||3.3||Contains dietary fibre|
|Vitamin A Equiv. (µg)||414.58||55% RDI*||552.77||A good source of vitamin A Equiv.|
|Vitamin C (mg)||12||30% RDI*||16||A good source of vitamin C|
|Vitamin E (mg)||1.8||18% RDI*||2.4||A source of vitamin E|
|Folate (µg)||31.5||15.75% RDI*||42||A source of folate|
|Vitamin B6 (mg)||0.188||11.8% RDI*||0.25||A source of vitamin B6|
|Potassium (mg)||315.8||421||Contains potassium|
|Iron (mg)||0.92||7.7% RDI*||1.23|
|Niacin (mg)||0.64||6.4% RDI*||0.85|
|Calcium (mg)||51||6.4% RDI*||68|
|Zinc (mg)||0.56||4.7% RDI*||0.74|
|Riboflavin (mg)||0.03||1.8% RDI*||0.04|
|Thiamin (mg)||0.015||1.4% RDI*||0.02|
|Selenium (µg)||0.19||0.3% RDI*||0.25|
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ
Source: The Concise New Zealand Food Composition Tables, 10th Edition, Plant & Food Research - 2014
Silverbeet is a good source of vitamin A (from beta-carotene) and vitamin C. It is also a source of vitamin E, folate and vitamin B6 and contains dietary fibre and a dietary significant amount of potassium. Phytonutrients abound in silverbeet including carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) and some flavonoids.
Silverbeet is highly perishable so correct storage is essential to prolong life. Display silverbeet on refrigerated shelving. Handle with care and check regularly, removing any damaged stalks or leaves. Trim stem butt daily. Ensure silverbeet is kept moist. Use the QR code on labels.
Store at 2-5°C with a relative humidity of 90-100%. The optimum storage temperature is 0°C, but because of the risk of the product freezing a slightly higher temperature is recommended. Silverbeet is ethylene sensitive so store separately from ethylene producing products.
Purchase silverbeet with the New Zealand GAP logo.
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