National Spinach Day: 8 Simple Ways to Eat More Spinach
The benefits of spinach are endless. The dark, leafy green is packed with dozens of vitamins and minerals, and is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Plus, since spinach shrinks from its normal leafy size when it’s cooked, you can easily eat multiple servings without it seeming like much at all. Enjoy all the incredible health benefits of spinach with these simple ways to eat more of it!
- Put it in eggs: Spinach and eggs go hand-in-hand. For a quick, protein-rich breakfast, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan then add a serving of fresh spinach. Let it wilt for 2-3 minutes and pour in scrambled eggs. Throw in any other veggies or a little sprinkling of cheese. Try spinach in all your favorite egg dishes – omelettes, benedicts, quiches and frittatas.
- Blend it in shakes: Tired of kale? Bulk up your morning smoothie or protein shake with spinach for a tasty vitamin-packed meal on the go! Spinach blends exceptionally well in shakes, and its mild flavor complements a wide variety of fruits and other veggies.
- Swap your salad greens: Instead of lettuce, try your salad on a bed of fresh spinach leaves! For a delicious, simple spinach salad, do the following: Choose your lean protein, veggies, a handful of chopped nuts, and a little crumbled cheese. Mix equal parts olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon and red vinegar for a delightfully tart dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste, and toss thoroughly with the fresh spinach leaves.
- Stir into soups, stews and stir-frys: Spinach adds bulk and tons of nutrients to any soup, stew or stir-fry. Try chopped fresh spinach leaves in chicken vegetable soup, sausage and white bean stew or Thai chicken stir-fry. In most instances, because spinach reduces so much when cooked, you can use an entire five-ounce bag in these recipes!
- Pile it on pizza: Reduce your pizza-eating guilt by putting some fresh spinach leaves atop your cheesy slice! Not only will the spinach fill you up faster – meaning you’ll likely eat less pizza – but you’ll really kick up your vitamins and minerals intake for the day.
- Puree it into pesto: Pesto can be made with virtually any greens, not just basil. Spinach pesto is a fantastic alternative to traditional pesto and is a great way to use up extra spinach in the fridge. In a food processor or blender, mix two cups spinach, two tablespoons olive oil, ½ cup walnuts, ½ cup Italian parsley and ¼ cup parmesan cheese. Add salt and minced garlic to taste.
- Stack on sandwiches: Spinach has more fiber and minerals than any of the four lettuce types. So toss that damp slice of iceberg and instead stack some fresh, flavorful spinach leaves between your turkey and whole wheat slices! And it’s not just sandwiches; spinach makes a fabulous addition to all wraps, burgers and grilled panini.
- Sauté it as a side: Sautéed spinach is one of the easiest and most nutrient-dense vegetable side dishes on the planet. In a large skillet or pot, heat olive oil and add several cloves of minced garlic, stirring until fragrant. Then add a bag of fresh spinach and cover. Once the spinach is wilted, squeeze a lemon over it along with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and serve with any entree of your choice.
Keep your whole family healthy on National Spinach Day and beyond with Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ helpful nutrition advice and delicious recipes.
CATEGORIES: Healthy Lifestyles