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A Match Made in Heaven—Sunlight and Swiss Chard

Here at Tampa Bay’s #1 U-Pick on A Land of Delight Natural Farm & Nursery, we understand the importance of freshly picked produce and a good dose of vitamin D from the Florida sun. With that in mind, we strive to make a variety of fruits and veggies available to you. 


One of those plants is Swiss chard.


You may think this plant originated from Switzerland, but it actually came from the Mediterranean. It is mildly bitter but tastes more like spinach when cooked and is up there with kale in nutrition. Take a look!


The nutrients from one cup of cooked Swiss chard:


  • Vitamin A: 214% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin C: 53% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 17% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 716% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 10% of the RDI
  • Copper: 14% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 38% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 29% of the RDI
  • Iron: 22% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 27% of the RDI

It has been said that Swiss chard is high in antioxidants, loaded with fiber, may lower blood sugar, and is a good source of heart-healthy nutrients. Choosing fresh produce from our U-Pick doesn’t just mean higher nutrient content in your food but also much needed exposure to sunlight. 


Research shows that sun exposure releases a hormone in the brain called serotonin. This hormone boosts mood and helps people feel calm and focused. Insufficient sun exposure causes serotonin levels to dip and is connected with depression or a season affective disorder known as SAD—depression triggered by the change in seasons. 


So come to A Land of Delight Natural Farm & Nursery and give your physical, mental, and emotional health a boost. Get the best selection of fresh vegetables and our raw local honey. You’ll be happy that you did.





Tuscan White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove *garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (Optional)
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (Optional)
  • 6 cups chicken broth, or more as needed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed - or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 bunch red or white *Swiss chard
  • ¼ cup uncooked small pasta, such as orzo or pastina
  • 5 large fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 5 leaves fresh *basil, coarsely chopped (Optional)
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, divided (Optional)
  • 1 tablespoon *Spectrum Organic Olive Oil, divided (Optional)

*ALOD produce and products


Directions:

Step 1

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon, onion, garlic, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and cannellini beans, and bring the mixture to a boil; stir in sun-dried tomatoes and the piece of Parmesan cheese rind. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook while you prepare the chard, about 10 minutes.


Step 2

Cut the stems from the chard, and slice the stems into pieces about 3/4-inch long. Cut the chard leaves into 1-inch wide ribbons. Stir the chard stems and pasta into the soup, setting aside the leaves. Reduce heat to a simmer, and gently simmer until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir the chard leaves, sage, and basil into the soup, and simmer just until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes.


Step 3

Ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.