Swiss Chard

Swiss chard has shiny green ribbed leaves, with stems that range from white to yellow to red, depending on the cultivar. We particularly LOVE to grow Rainbow chard whose colorful stems explain the name. Although some people find that swiss chard has slightly bitter taste, we find that when we cook or sautée mature chard leaves and stalks, their bitterness fades away, leaving a refined flavor which we find more delicate than that of cooked spinach. Fresh young chard can also be used raw in salads.

Rainbow (or swiss chard) Muffins

Makes 12-15 muffins (or 1 Swiss chard loaf)

Although we don’t like to hide veggies in our food, we found this recipe many years ago and we adopted it. It is not the healthiest muffin but it sure is sweet and kids love them. I even throw in the swiss chard leaves because I love the colour contrast it add to the muffins! You could also add a topping of brown sugar, and cinnamon with a dash of oil but I always leave that part out!

        2 cups flour
        1 tsp baking soda
        1/2 tsp salt
        1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
        1/2 cup oil (sunflower or safflower are my favorite)
        1 egg (I use 2 tbsp of cornstarch diluted in 2 tbsp of water OR 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce to replace 1 egg)
        1 cup soymilk or milk (to which you add 1/4 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice)
        1 tsp vanilla extract
        2 cups (500 mL) Swiss chard, chopped (leaves and stalks)

1. In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.
2. In separate bowl, blend sugar with oil; whisk in egg, buttermilk and vanilla.
3. Stir into dry ingredients along with Swiss chard just until flour is incorporated.
4. Spoon into greased or paper-lined muffin tins, filling three-quarters full, or spoon into a greased 8- x 4-inch (1.5 L) loaf pan.
5. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes for muffins, 40 to 45 minutes for loaves, or until cake tester inserted into centre comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to let cool completely.

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