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Silverbeet

vl_silverbeet.jpg Nutritional Information:
1/2 cup cooked silverbeet is a serve, and is:
 a good source of folate.*
 a source of fibre, vitamin C, vitamin A and iron.
 Low joule with only 62kJ per 100g.

Like English spinach, silverbeet is a source of iron. Its rich stores of this valuable mineral however are not well absorbed by our digestive system. Silverbeet is also relatively high in sodium (429mg per100gm) and should therefore be considered carefully by those on low salt diets.

*Cooked silverbeet supplies about 60 micrograms of folate per serve. An increased maternal folate consumption in at least the month before and 3 months following conception may reduce the risk of foetal neural tube defects. It is wise for women planning a pregnancy to consume a minimum of 400ug folate per day in at least the month prior to conception and at least 3 months following conception.

Availability:
All year

Selection:
Fresh silverbeet has dark green, crisp leaves and a crisp creamy white fleshy stem. Avoid silverbeet with wilted stems or leaves and scarring.

Storage:
Remove the string binding the bunch together after purchase, as this can bruise the stalks. Remove damaged leaves and cut back the white stalk and store in the refrigerator in an airtight plastic bag. Silverbeet should be consumed within a few days of purchase.

Preparation Information:
 Salad (raw)
 Stir fry
 Steam
 Microwave
 Soup

Wash the leaves and stalks in cold salted water and drain well. Slice and use in stir-fries, quiches or filo parcels with fetta cheese. Silverbeet can also be steamed or pureed and used in soups, as a side vegetable or shredded and added raw to salads. Cook as briefly as possible to retain maximum nutrient content.

Historical Information:
This is the vegetable, with its big, dark green leaves and white veins and stalk that many Australians mistakenly call spinach. Silverbeet is in fact a close relative of both spinach and beetroot. Used for many centuries, silverbeet was mentioned in Roman writings dating back to the 3rd and 4th centuries BC. Even before this time it was a popular vegetable, thought to have originated in the Mediterranean.

Recipes: