Hi everyone! This post is part of a series with Love Local Food, highlighting recipes and tips for some of the awesome ingredients in their weekly local food boxes! They are a new company here in the Comox Valley with a passion for supporting local businesses. They offer no contact order and delivery to connect you with some of the amazing food vendors we have in our area.
Spinach is a very versatile vegetable, and packed with nutritional benefits! It is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, folate, iron, and calcium. Spinach is commonly used as a leafy green in salads, but there are lots of different ways to enjoy it. It can make a tasty and nutritious addition to a variety of recipes, from pastas to stir-fries. You can cook it incredibly quickly too, so it can make a low maintenance side dish.
Cooked or Raw?
Cooking spinach actually makes some of the nutrients more available for our bodies to absorb and use. For example, spinach contains oxalic acid that binds to calcium. But when heated, some of this calcium is released, making it more accessible. Cooking spinach also makes the iron more available.
However, cooking does cause the loss of some of the water-soluble vitamins (like vitamin C and folate). The extent of this will depend on the cooking method. Boiling causes those vitamins to leach out of the spinach into the cooking water. Methods like steaming, sauteing or stir-frying preserve more.
In any case, whether cooked or raw, spinach is a highly nutritious food, so enjoy trying out different ways to prepare it. Here are a few ideas that will hopefully inspire you! Before getting started, cut off the thick stems and wash your spinach.
Simple Ideas for Cooking Spinach:
Spinach Salad Inspiration:
Other Ideas for Using Spinach:
- Add to scrambled eggs or omelettes
- Blend some into a smoothie
- Add some to a stir-fry (throw it in near the end so it gets cooked until just wilted)
- Put it on top of pizza
- Add it into soups or stews
- Serve it with pasta
What are your favourite ways to use spinach? Let me know in the comments below! I’d also love to hear what you think if you try any of the recipes above!