Spinach has a multitude of health benefits including flavonoids that protect your body from free radicals. The folate in spinach is good for the health of your cardiovascular system and the magnesium helps to lower high blood pressure. Not only does spinach help to improve brainpower but it also assists with improving memory. There is a compound in spinach called oxalic acid that blocks the absorption of calcium and iron. To counter this, eat it with foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as oranges or sweet melon.
The best time to grow spinach is during the warmer months but spinach is in season during the month of winter.
How to choose?
Choose spinach that has crisp, green leaves that are firm and un-wilted.
How to prepare?
Remove the stems from the spinach as they are quite tough and taste unpleasant. Clean the leaves with running water to remove any soil particles.
Remember to wait for spinach to dry before cooking it unless you’re boiling it anyway.
- Make a spinach salad with figs and feta by crumbling feta over the leaves with 10 -15 figs, ½ cup of pecans and one cup of grapes.
- Spinach also makes for a healthy and delicious smoothie.
- Sautéing spinach is the most common method of cooking this leafy vegetable as heating it helps to absorb higher levels of vitamins A and E, protein and zinc.
• Boiling: three – five minutes
• Steaming: two minutes
• Stir-frying: five – seven minutes
How to store?
Spinach is best stored in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator and should be consumed within two to three days of purchase.
Per 100 g:
• Fat 0.4 g
• Sodium 79 mg
• Carbohydrate 3.6 g
• Protein 2.9 g
• Potassium 558 mg
If you’re looking for more information on healthy seasonal ingredients that can be added to your healthy eating plan, be sure to take a look at Flora’s list of seasonal ingredients.