We introduced Gardyners to five new flower varieties for your home just a few weeks ago. Today, I am pleased to announce a new group of leafy greens that will tantalize your palate, improve your health, and add more variety to your Gardyn bounty.
Swiss Chard has been one of the most requested plants from existing Gardyners. However, you may know Swiss Chard by one of its many aliases such as Silverbeet, Perpetual Spinach, Spinach Beet, Crab Beet, Seakale Beet, or Mangold. The first varieties of this popular leafy vegetable have been traced to Sicily. The word Swiss was used to differentiate the plant from French spinach varieties by 19th century seed catalog publishers.
Regardless of what you call it, this leafy vegetable is in the same species as beetroot (garden beet) but lacks the swollen, edible storage root. Like other leafy greens, Swiss Chard is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as A, C and K along with phytonutrients and fiber. Phytonutrients are known to protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.
Swiss Chard has a mild, sweet, earthy taste with some bitterness. Both the leaf and the stalk can be cooked and enjoyed. This green loses its bitter flavor and takes on a more refined taste when cooked. Typically enjoyed fresh, it can also be frozen, canned, or dried as well.
Watercress is rich in vitamins and has a delicious, distinctive taste. It is often used in salads and vegetarian dishes. Romans called it “nasturtium” which means “twisted nose.” It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K and also has some calcium and potassium. Some people favor Watercress for antioxidant properties and its rich cartinoids. In addition, watercress is often hailed as one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, ranked number one on the CDC’s Powerhouse Fruits & Vegetables list.
Best eaten raw or lightly steamed, use Watercress in salads, sandwiches, and stir it directly into soups at the time of serving. Its fresh, sharp flavor is similar to mustard and is also excellent when added to stir fry dishes. Watercress is native to Europe and Asia and has become popular worldwide.
Cardinale lettuce is a red french variety that produces open rosettes until full maturity, then folds itself into a lovely red crisphead. The Cardinale color is alluring and intense and has the habit of a wide Romaine. The wine red and green shades add a lovely splash of colors to any salad. You can even use the leaves in place of tortillas as “lettuce wraps.”
You can harvest as a full head of lettuce or snip portions of the plant and it will keep growing and yielding more tasty leaves. Vitamins A, C, and K along with phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium give this plant a strong nutrition profile to complement its good looks.
The Growing Gardyn Bounty
Our new additions to the Gardyn plant portfolio brings our varieties to nearly 30 choices. We are committed to providing a wide range of fruit, herb, and vegetable options for Gardyners and have many more plants getting ready for introduction throughout the year. Gardyners can order Swiss Chard, Watercress, and Cardinale Lettuce in their app today. We hope you enjoy these new options to help you grow healthy and live tasty in 2020.