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Yummy Ways to Add Spinach to Your Plate
Popeye doesn’t have to be the only one who gets a boost from spinach. Spinach is delicious both cooked and raw and contains many vital nutrients. We’ll tell you how to make spinach tasty and why you should consume more of it.
Spinach provides iron, calcium, folate, lots of vitamins and is also chuck full of antioxidants. You want the leaves to be fresh and deep green, whether bagged or in a bunch. Give it a good wash to rinse away visible dirt and invisible chemicals. The convenience of pre-washed spinach in a large bag is there for you if you want to save time, but of course it will cost you more than buying the unwashed variety.
A frozen package has a life of at least half a year, while the nutritional value of fresh spinach dwindles in less than a week in your refrigerator. If you have a lot of spinach, just steam it, drain it and freeze whatever you can’t eat right away for future use.
Delicious ways in which raw spinach can be used
- Mix it into a salad. It can be a quick way to make a very healthy meal in very little time. Your body can utilize spinach’s iron more effectively if you add citrus fruits to it, because they contain lots of Vitamin C. You can make a zesty and nutritious spinach salad by adding orange slices and for protein, some chicken.
- To make it look nice, mix spinach with different varieties of lettuce, or let it shine on its own and enjoy its unique smooth flavor.
- Sandwiches with spinach will be lighter but more satisfying. Your sandwich will be thinner but your nutrition more substantial when you replace a layer or two with raw washed spinach. It’s filling but adds no more than seven calories per cup.
- Make a bread-free spinach wrap. You can make an even healthier and reduced-calorie wrap by wrapping your protein and/or veggies in a big spinach leaf instead of a tortilla. As a rule of thumb, whatever you can wrap in a tortilla can also be wrapped in a large sturdy leaf.
- Make a spinach dip in a jiffy. Frozen chopped spinach will give you a fabulous dip in no time with a handful of ingredients you probably have on hand. Thaw the spinach and drain off the excess fluid; stir in a dollop of low fat sour cream, a helping of bread crumbs, and your favorite seasonings.
Tasty Ways to Use Cooked Spinach
- Include spinach in your pasta recipes. Lasagna for a crowd is even better when it contains spinach. Or you can cook a large amount and whatever your family does not eat, can be frozen in small containers for use at a later time. Spinach can be used as a filling for pasta such as ravioli.
- Spinach makes a first-rate pizza topping. Use spinach, broccoli and similarly healthy veggies on your store-bought or home-made pizza. It is much healthier to use veggie toppings than it is to use meat toppings.
- Creamed spinach is a delicious meal option. These days you can make various versions of low-fat, low-calorie creamy spinach. Either make servings smaller, or swap out some of the higher-fat ingredients. You can replace some or all of the butter and whole milk with olive oil and low-fat milk.
- Add spinach to just about any soup. Spinach works well in soup. When using small leaves, it’s best to add them at the very end because they wilt so quickly, and if cooked too long, they lose their nutritional value. Throw some thawed, drained frozen spinach into your favorite soup recipes.
- Spinach is a delicious ingredient for a stir-fry. Spinach lends itself beautifully to stir fries, whether as the primary ingredient, or as a delightful counterpart to other veggies, chicken, beef, pork, or seafood. Be sure not to put the spinach in until the last couple minutes, however, because spinach needs only minimal cooking. Dry the leaves thoroughly so the oil doesn’t splatter.
By adding more spinach to your diet, you are improving your health year round. There are both new and traditional spinach recipes to offer you lots of variety.