Recipes & Tips

 

Recipes & Tips 

Spinach

We all know that Popeye made himself super strong by eating spinach, but you may be surprised at the health benefits of this super food.

 

Packed with vitamins and minerals, spinach is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Calorie for calorie, leafy green vegetables like spinach with its delicate texture and jade green color provide more nutrients than any other food.

SERVING IDEAS:

  • Add layers of steamed spinach to your next lasagna recipe.
  • Pine nuts are a great addition to cooked spinach.
  • Spinach salads are a classic easy and delicious meal or side dish. For a quick easy lunch, take fresh washed spinach, cut strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, crumbled blue cheese, and poppy seed dressing. Mix and serve immediately! YUM!

HEALTH BENEFITS:  Spinach protects against inflammatory problems, oxidative stress-related problems, cardiovascular problems, bone problems, and cancers at the same time.

IN-SEASON:  Available throughout the year, but freshest and most readibly available from March through May and from September through October.

HOW TO SELECT:  Choose spinach that has vibrant deep green leaves and stems with no signs of yellowing. The leaves should look fresh and tender, and not be wilted, bruised or have a slimy coating.

HOW TO STORE:  Place unwashed spinach in a plastic storage bag and wrap the bag tightly around the spinach, squeezing out as much of the air as possible. Place in refrigerator where it will keep fresh for up to 5 days.

HOW TO WASH:

Spinach should be washed very well since the leaves and stems tend to collect sand and soil. Before washing, trim off the roots and separate the leaves. Place the spinach in a large bowl of tepid water and swish the leaves around with your hands as this will allow any dirt to become dislodged. Remove the leaves from the water, empty the bowl, refill with clean water and repeat this process until no dirt remains in the water (usually two to three times will do the trick). Do not leave spinach soaking in the water as water-soluble nutrients will leach into the water.

Spinach sold in bags has been pre-washed and only needs to be rinsed. If you are going to use it in a salad, dry it using a salad spinner or by shaking it in a colander.

HOW TO COOK:

Boiling spinach is a good way to free up acids and allow them to leach into the boiling water; this brings out a sweeter taste from the spinach. Discard the boiling water after cooking; do not drink it or use it for stock because of its acid content.

Use a large pot (3 quart) with lots of water and bring to a rapid boil. Add spinach to the boiling water and boil for 1 minute. Begin timing as soon as you place the spinach in the pot if you are using 1 pound or less of spinach. If you are cooking larger quantities of spinach bring the water back to a boil before beginning timing the 1 minute. Do not cover the pot when cooking spinach. Leaving the pot uncovered helps to release more of the acids with the rising steam. Research has shown that the boiling of spinach in large amounts of water helps decrease the oxalic acid content by as much as 50%.

Remove spinach from pot, press out liquid with a fork, place in a bowl, toss with our Mediterranean Dressing, and top with your favorite optional ingredients.

Source and more information:  http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=43