Foodie Friday: Spinach 101 #ThisIsNow

Long before kale stepped into the leafy greens spotlight, the cartoon character Popeye was crediting spinach for his superhuman strength. While no one today claims spinach will bulk up your arm muscles, spinach is still a nutritional powerhouse.

And unlike decades ago when the only spinach available for Popeye was in a can, today you can buy spinach frozen or fresh, and the prewashed baby spinach leaves have made this green the “go-to” veggie for many busy households.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your spinach:

Fresh vs. Frozen
Fresh and frozen spinach are similar nutritionally, though raw leaves typically work better on sandwiches and wraps, and the frozen variety is easier to work into a baking or smoothie recipe.

Wash It Well
Spinach is notoriously sandy. Remove the stems and run the leaves under the faucet in small batches or soak them in a large bowl or basin of water. If soaking, you may need to change the water and repeat. Before cooking, taste a leaf to check for lingering grit and rewash if necessary. If you’re serving a prewashed spinach mix to a child, a pregnant woman or anyone with a compromised immune system, wash the leaves in a salad spinner one final time as an extra precaution against food-borne illness.

Talkin’ Teeth
After munching on spinach salad, have you noticed that your teeth feel as if they have a coating? Chewing the leaves releases a harmless compound called oxalic acid, which is responsible for this sensation.

3 Ways

Blend it, sauté it or make it into cupcakes. Find the basic recipes for spinach three ways in the spring issue of Vim & Vigor magazine.


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