Saturday, 14 July 2012

Black Cherry 'N Chard Smoothie

Staying cool without air conditioning can be a challenge in summer, and it certainly does have an effect on what and how you cook. Who wants to turn on the oven when it is 30 degrees Celsius outside and not much cooler inside. The thought of cooking over a hot stove is not appealing in mid-summer and there is just so many salads you can eat. Time for a change?

This week my choice of greens for my smoothies has been Swiss Chard and I have paired it up with the perfect ingredient to masque the bitterness of that nutritious leaf.

Frozen unsweetened Black Cherries pair up nicely with Swiss Chard to make a refreshing smoothie.
The variety that I used was the Charlotte, Rhubarb Chard which has a red stem. 

This beautiful leafy vegetable is rich in B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid that are essential for optimum cellular metabolic functions. It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Swiss Chard contains phytonutrients and is an excellent source of anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin C. It is also a good source of vitamin-K; It is also rich source of Vitamin-A and of omega-3 fatty acids; flavonoids anti-oxidants like beta carotene, α-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. The benefits of this amazing leaf are endless, they keep your bones, nerves and metabolism healthy as well as supplying a good dose of Vitamin A to keep your eyes healthy. Perhaps the rabbits eat Swiss Chard on the side, instead of carrots?
There is one thing to note however:
  • Swiss chard contains a considerable amount of oxalates, which when too concentrated in the body, can crystallize and create health problems. So, avoid the consumption of chard, if you have an existing or untreated kidney and gall bladder problem. Besides this, oxalates also interfere with the absorption of calcium from the body.

Now if it were winter time you could cook the Chard by quick boiling of the vegetable, instead of steaming, as this helps to free the oxalic acids. It also removes the bitterness from the vegetable and makes it sweeter. Since it is summer, here is your alternative:

Black Cherry and Swiss Chard Smoothie.

Frozen UNSWEETENED Black Cherries
Swiss Chard, rinsed
Unsweetened Almond Milk
Ice Cubes
Chia Seeds
Kefir (optional) 

Tip: You can buy your cherries fresh, and stone and freeze them on trays in the freezer, once frozen store in tightly sealed containers in the freezer for up to a year. 

For a Nutritional Information for Swiss Chard Click here

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