Silverbeet

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.

Availability

All year.

Store

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.

Cooking Methods

Boil, microwave, steam, stir fry.

Nutrition

SILVER BEET
Leaves and upper stem, boiled, drained
Nutrition Information
Serving size:  ½ cup 75g
  Average
Quantity
per serving 
% Daily
intake per
serve 
Average
Quantity
per 100g 
 
Energy (kJ/Cal) 98/24 1% 133/32  
Protein (g) 2.1 4% 2.81  
Fat, total (g) 0.22 0.30% 0.29  
 - saturated (g) 0.039 0.10% 0.052  
Carbohydrate (g) 2.14 0.70% 2.85  
 - sugars (g) 1.95 2.20% 2.6  
Dietary fibre (g) 2.48 8.3% 3.3 Contains dietary fibre
Sodium (mg) 108 4.70% 144  
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
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs.
*Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)

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.

Retailing

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.

Recipes

Vegetable slice
Vegetable slice

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Kumara and pumpkin bake

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Veg Up chilli con carne

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Images

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