Thursday, May 7, 2009

Save the Day with Spinach!

As a child I watched Popeye the Sailorman cartoons on TV. When Popeye was in trouble he ate a can of spinach, his muscles would bulge and he would rush in to save the day. "Yeah right," I would think. "Spinach is gross!" As an adult, I now know that Popeye was a pretty smart guy, and I have learned to love spinach!

Easy to grow and now is the time. I can't remember how old I was when I started eating spinach, but I do remember that eating it fresh from the garden was what changed "Gross!" into "Yum!". Spinach is one of the easier vegetables to grow and spring is the time to plant. Check with your local State Cooperative Extension office for local growing details and resources to help you get started. If you can't grow your own spinach, check out your local farmers market for this fresh picked, nutrient rich vegetable.

There's more to spinach than meets the eye. Federal labeling only requires nutritional information for the main nutrients of A, C, Calcium and Iron. Spinach has these and so much more! Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin E. And spinach is even a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin and selenium.

Use spinach raw or cooked.

Spinach is great raw in salads and dips. Cooked, it can be added to eggs, soups, and casseroles or as a side dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner making it easy to consume 5-9 servings of vegetables a day. Maybe my kids will not agree with that statement, I have not totally won them over to the wonders of spinach, but they have eaten it more than they know. Spinach has a wonderful mild taste when picked early as small leaves and compliments many recipes, so I add it to my cooking when available. The basic guidelines for selecting, storing and using spinach can be found at:

So eat your spinach and save the day!

1 comment:

Jacki Weikert said...

I love your blog team!
My question...How do I get this wonderful leafy veggies past my husbands' evil eye? My kids will eat it and actually like it but husband is the picky one!