For many people, spinach is one of those vegetables that you remember being fed as a child. You might remember that you didn’t like it. What’s more you never believed that Popeye got his big muscles from eating it.
The spinach you ate as a child was probably poured out a can and heated on the stove. It may have been over- processed and contained a large amount of salt. But fresh spinach is so different from its canned counterpart that you can put the two side-by-die and they don’t look like the same vegetable.
Spinach is a food that, pound for pound, supplies you with more nutrients than any other food. Spinach has an abundance of phytonutrients and flavonoids, both powerful antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and lower the risk for cancer and chronic disease.
One serving (1 cup cooked) of the green, leafy vegetable will provide you with 1110.6% of your daily value for vitamin K; 377.3% for vitamin A; 84% for manganese; 65.7% for folate. It’s also rich in iron (35.7%); vitamin C (29.4%); vitamin B2 (24.7%) and calcium (24.4%). Plus it has generous amounts of potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin E and fiber.
One of the most popular ways to use spinach is in fresh salads. Buying fresh pre-cleaned spinach in the bags or cartons makes salad creations easy. But a little spinach goes a long way in a salad so you may need to find some other ways to prepare it.
For variety, here’s a super-quick garlic spinach recipe that takes 10 minutes to prepare. It calls for a full bag of spinach which cooks down to about two servings, so keep that in mind and plan accordingly.
Garlic Spinach Recipe
1 bag of pre-washed spinach (I started with a 9 oz bag.)
3 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste.
Mince garlic cloves.
Simmer the garlic in olive oil until lightly brown.
Add spinach to the garlic and oil. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally until the spinach is wilted and warm.
Serve warm as a side dish.
Beyond salads and sautees’, a cup or two of fresh spinach is a great addition to any smoothie and can be added to pasta dishes and soups for extra flavor and a nutritional punch.
For a delicious green smoothie recipe, click here.
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