Spinach belongs to the same family as beets and chard.
Spinach is incredibly nutrient-dense. It is an excellent source of vitamin K, carotenes, vitamin C, and folic acid. It is also a very good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, calcium, and vitamin B2. In addition, spinach is a good source of vitamins B6, E, and B1.
Historically, spinach was regarded as a plant with remarkable abilities to restore energy, increase vitality, and improve the quality of blood. It supports the functions of the large intestine, stomach, and liver. It moistens, quenches thirst, supports vision (because it contains lutein), and can ease constipation. Spinach is also one of the most alkaline-producing foods, making it useful in helping to regulate body pH.
Because spinach contains a large amount of oxalic acid, people prone to kidney stones or gall stones are advised to eat it sparingly. An ayurvedic remedy for a chronic cough is to eat spinach soup seasoned with ginger two times a day on an empty stomach.
Wash spinach well because the leaves and stems tend to collect sand and soil. A fool-proof way to wash them is to place them in a bowl of water and swish the leaves around to dislodge the dirt. Remove the leaves from the water before draining the water so that the dirt does not get poured back over them. Repeat until the wash water is free of dirt.
- Use raw spinach in salads.
- Lightly saute in olive oil and garlic. Sprinkle with lemon juice before serving.
- Add layers of spinach to lasagna recipes
- Use spinach leaves as garnishes for sandwiches
Creamy Green Dressing
Yield: About 2 1/2 cups
This recipe was adapted from a Moosewood Cookbook. It is an easy favorite.
2 tablespoons lemon juice or your favorite vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
5 spinach leaves
3 tablespoons of mixed fresh herbs or 1 teaspoon dried herbs (parsley, basil, marjoram, mint, dill, oregano...)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove
1 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk or yogurt or sour cream
Blend all ingredients except the buttermilk until smooth. Add buttermilk and blend briefly until combined.