Mom wasn’t lying when she said you need to eat your greens. Spinach, collard greens, and kale can easily provide your diet with essential phytochemicals and phytonutrients, which can ultimately lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, according to a study published by Harvard Medical School.

With that said, you should definitely add chard to your need-to-eat greens list too. Registered dietitian Kristin Koskinen suggests that chard is a leafy green related to spinach and beets and notes that all parts of chard (leaves and stalks included) are edible, providing your diet with an abundance of nutrients including vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.

Stellar health benefits aside, adding chard to your diet may seem tricky at first if you don’t know exactly how to cook it. But Koskinen suggests that incorporating this super green into your daily meals doesn’t have to be a difficult challenge, as there are easy (and not to mention delicious!) recipe ideas to keep in mind.

From savory salads to nutritious smoothies, below are some of the best chard-friendly recipe suggestions to try.

Use Swiss chard as a sandwich wrap
“Swiss chard can be eaten raw or cooked, though it makes a great wrap because it’s sturdy enough to hold up to fillings,” Koskinen says. “I like to make an egg salad with avocado to fill chard leaves for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.”

To make your wrap, Koskinen advises starting off with four to eight washed chard leaves, six hard-boiled eggs, one avocado, one cup of baby spinach, one teaspoon of dijon mustard, one to two teaspoons of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Once you have all your ingredients, she advises roughly chopping the hard-boiled eggs in order to prepare your egg salad.

Next, in a medium-size bowl, she recommends mashing together the chopped hard-boiled eggs, avocado, chopped baby spinach, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Once you have mashed all your ingredients into a well-blended paste, she suggests filling your Swiss chard leaves with the egg salad, placing the filling along the center.

Replace kale and spinach
“You can really use chard in place of any dark green leafy vegetable (salads, steamed veggies, pasta additives, smoothies, and pesto),” says registered dietitian Amanda A. Kostro Miller of Smart Healthy Living. If you use spinach or kale in any recipe, she advises switching it with chard every once in a while to obtain all those glorious health benefits.

Pair it with the right ingredients
“Swiss chard pairs well with ingredients such as lemon, butter, garlic, and cream,” says certified wellness and weight coach Mandi Green. “This vegetable can also be a nice base for sweet and savory combination dishes like goat cheese and toasted walnuts in a salad, or added to a bowl of hearty minestrone soup.”

Add it to your favorite recipes
Chard can be sauteed and used in soups, stews, casseroles, frittatas, and quiches,” says registered dietitian Carol Aguirre. Try adding it to scrambled eggs or a smoothie for a healthy and hearty breakfast, or saute it with garlic and olive oil for a nutritious side dish. If you’re looking to add a nutritious punch to your pizza, Aguirre recommends placing some chard leaves on top of your Friday night slice.

xx, The FabFitFun Team