Fun Facts about Spinach:

In-Season: April, May, June

  • Spinach is a native plant of modern-day Iran.
  • The U.S. is only the world’s second-largest producer of spinach, producing a mere 3% of global production. China is the world’s largest spinach producer with 85% of global production.
  • Spinach is surprisingly mostly made of water. Raw spinach is 91% water, which is just 5% less than cucumbers!

 

Health Benefits of Spinach:

  • Though it has so few calories, spinach is packed with nutrients. A three-cup portion provides over 300% of the daily need for bone-supporting vitamin K.
  • Spinach also provides over 160% of the daily goal for vitamin A and about 40% for Vitamin C, supporting immune function and promoting healthy skin.
  • When Spinach is paired with a Vitamin C source, iron is better absorbed in the body.

 

 

Cooking with Spinach:

  • Spinach is best eaten fresh. It loses nutritional properties with each passing day. Although refrigeration slows the deterioration, half of the major nutrients are lost by the eighth day after harvest.
  • Whip it into smoothies, enjoy chilled spinach salads, steam and sauté fresh spinach, add it to stir-frys, and even blend it into baked goods like brownies.
  • Pair spinach with tomato or oranges to enhance iron absorption.

 

Recipe Using Spinach:

  • Dairy-Free Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • Ingredients:
    • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened
    • non-dairy milk
    • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    • 1 small lemon, juiced (2 tablespoons)
    • 1-1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 4 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
    • 2 14-ounce cans of artichokes, drained and rinsed
  • Instructions:
    • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
    • Soak the cashews: Heat up about 3 cups of water in a tea kettle or small pot. Pour the boiling hot
    • water over the cashews and let them soak for 5 minutes. Drain them when ready to blend.
    • In a small pan, sauté the garlic and onion for 2-3 minutes using either a tablespoon of olive oil or
    • water, until the onion is slightly translucent. Set aside.
    • In a high powered blender such as a Vitamix, add the soaked, drained cashews, unsweetened milk,
    • nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend until very smooth.
    • Now add the cooked onions/garlic, spinach, and artichokes. Pulse a couple of times, but do not
    • You want to leave quite a bit of chunky texture! Taste for salt, add more to taste.
    • Transfer to an oven-safe dish and bake for 20 minutes or so until warm,
    • bubbly and golden brown on top.

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