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.

Suggested cooking methods

Boil, microwave, steam, stir fry.

Nutrition

Silverbeet is a source of vitamin A (from beta-carotene), folate and vitamin K, and contains a dietary significant amount of potassium. Phytonutrients abound in silverbeet including carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) and some flavonoids.

SILVERBEET Raw      
Nutrition Information        
Serving size: 1 cup chopped = 50g  
  Average Quantity % Daily Intake per serve Average Quantity  
per serving per 100g  
Energy (kJ/Cal) 48/11 1% 95/23  
Protein (g) 1.2 2% 2.3  
Fat, total (g) 0.1 0% 0.2  
 - saturated (g) 0.02 0% 0.03  
Available carbohydrate (g) 0.8 0% 1.5  
 - sugars (g) 0.8 1% 1.5  
Dietary Fibre (g) 1.5 5% 2.9  
Sodium (mg) 56 2% 112  
Folate (µg) 28 14% RDI* 56 A source of folate
Vitamin A Equiv. (µg) 159 21% RDI* 317 A source of vitamin A
Vitamin K (µg) 15 18% ESADDI** 30 A source of vitamin K
Potassium (mg) 250   500 Contains potassium
Niacin (mg) 0.2 2% RDI* 0.4  
Riboflavin (mg) 0.1 6% RDI* 0.19  
Thiamin (mg) 0.03 3% RDI* 0.06  
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.05 3% RDI* 0.1  
Vitamin C (mg) 2 6% RDI* 5  
Vitamin E (mg) 0.15 2% RDI* 0.3  
Calcium (mg) 30 4% RDI* 60  
Iron (mg) 0.3 3% RDI* 0.7  
Selenium (µg) 0 0% RDI* 0  
Zinc (mg) 0.1 1% RDI* 0.2  
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)
**Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake
 
Source: FOODfiles 2016        

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

Many vegetables can be used in this delicious vegetable slice - choose from the suggestions below. View Recipe

Kūmara and pumpkin bake
Kūmara and pumpkin bake

This is so easy to make and is delicious - it is ideal to feed a crowd. View Recipe

Veg Up chilli con carne
Veg Up chilli con carne

An easy way to add more vegetables to chilli con carne. View Recipe

View more Recipes

Images

For these images and many more please visit our image library.