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Eat Your Spinach

Timeless Nutrition Tips...

Okay, we all know spinach is really good for us - but do we all eat it? Well, if you said "nope", you're not alone.

Eat Your Spinach

First, just how good for us is spinach? Carotenoids and the antioxidant vitamins C and E in spinach are believed to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and cataracts. And the healthy dose of potassium and calcium found in spinach can help regulate your blood pressure.

What to do when you simply don't like the taste of something healthy? Well, in this case, hopefully the following suggestions will help you incorporate some of this nutrition packed vegetable into your diet.

First thing to do, is pick up a box or two of frozen spinach to keep in your freezer so you have it handy at all times. (Yes, it's very healthful frozen!)

Try Spinach

Love it or hate it, spinach is among the most nutritious of all foods. In addition to iron and calcium, spinach contains a number of other important nutrients. These include fiber, vitamins A and C, folate and lutein.

Spinach is considered a power-packed vegetable and an excellent selection to help you reach your goal of five servings a day of fruits and vegetables.

There are many forms of spinach available: Fresh, frozen and canned as well as dehydrated spinach flakes. Spinach varieties are categorized by the shape of their leaves. Flat, semi-savoyed (crinkled) and heavily savoyed. The flat leafed types are used primarily by the processing industry, since soil particles are easier to wash off. The thick leaves and ease of washing also make this type attractive to many people who purchase fresh spinach. Whatever you choose, fresh spinach should be crisp, succulent and dark green, with a minimum of stems.

Cooking with fresh spinach used to be time-consuming because it took several rinsing to remove all the grit. However, you can now buy pre-washed and ready to use spinach. If you have a small household to feed and do not think you will use an entire bag in one meal, chop up the extra and add it to casseroles, soups, lasagna and omelets.

Eat More Spinach

  • Add thawed, chopped spinach to spaghetti sauce, salsa, soup, etc. Chances are you won't taste it, but you will reap the nutritional rewards.
  • Add a slice to your grilled cheese sandwich, or roll in a whole-wheat tortilla with cheese.
  • Add one-half of a box of frozen, thawed spinach to your favorite hamburger helper.

Spinach Food Fixes

  1. Shred carrot or spinach for a colorful and healthy garnish on soups.
  2. If you dare, try spinach as your salad base instead of lettuce.

Spinach-Haters Spinach Dish

Hate spinach - or never bothered to try it? Here's a dish just for you! Frozen spinach with garlic, butter, heavy cream, thyme, pepper, Parmesan, apple cider vinegar and a pinch ground nutmeg.

10 ounces frozen spinach
1 clove garlic, chopped, large clove
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream -- approximately
Pinch thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Pinch ground nutmeg

Recipe Directions

Cook spinach as directed and drain for as long as your patience permits (squeezing it with towels to speed drying up) and set aside.

Using a skillet recently used for frying bacon but with the grease poured out, melt butter over moderate heat. Brown garlic in butter, throwing in thyme and pepper (to taste) just before garlic is lightly browned. Immediately throw in spinach and warm it up before adding cream and vinegar.

Stir, being sure to get every bit of bacon stuck in pan. When mixture starts to thicken up, add cheese and take off burner. The cheese will continue melting. Sprinkle a bit of nutmeg and give it a final stir or two.

Nutrition Information (Entire Recipe)

Yield: 4 servings
Calories: 707; Carbs: 17g; Protein: 22g; Fiber: 9g; Cholesterol: 215mg; Sodium: >753mg; Fat: 64g
Calories from fat:  78.8-percent