Creamed, in a salad or a smoothie – spinach is tasty!
Popeye would be devastated – the apparently incredibly high iron content of spinach is actually the result of a misplaced comma. Nevertheless, the leafy green is rich in nutrients.
Spinach is one of the domestic vegetables that is available in Switzerland in spring, but is also in season in autumn. The spinach available in spring is particularly tender, while the autumn variety has thicker leaves and a more intense flavour. A few decades ago, spinach was commonly enjoyed with cream and potatoes, but today the leafy, fresh variation is popular in salads and smoothies.
For a long time spinach was viewed as the most iron-rich vegetable there is, but this is apparently due to a comma error. While noting the iron content of spinach, the scientist is said to have added an additional number. However, the correct figure is not to be sneered at either – 100 grams of the small green leaves contain 2.7 milligram of iron. What’s more, spinach is rich in minerals and vitamins. So, Popeye was still making a wise nutritional choice by reaching for a tin of spinach.
|Calories||25 kcal per 100g|
|Nutrients||0.8g carbohydrates, 2.6g fibre, 0.4g fat, 2.7g protein per 100g|
|Season||mid-March to November|
|Storage||store in a damp towel in the vegetable drawer of the fridge|
|Shelf life||two days|
Spinach probably originated in South West Asia, but is now cultivated almost everywhere. And with good reason, because the leafy green is extremely nutritious and delicious. However, some still don’t like it because they say it leaves their teeth feeling gritty and the rumour that spinach turns poisonous once reheated has proven hard to defeat.
The coated feeling on your teeth after eating spinach is caused by oxalic acid. To reduce the feeling try blanching the spinach before use. Less oxalic acid also means your body can absorb more minerals and vitamins from the spinach as they are not bound to the acid.
Regardless of how the spinach is prepared, reheating spinach is not a problem. Although it contains nitrate, which is converted into unhealthy nitrite when heated for longer periods of time, the problem does not occur by reheating spinach, but rather through keeping it warm. So if you don’t want to eat spinach immediately after cooking it, you should allow it to cool and then reheat it. By the way, the amount of nitrite is still considerably less than in grilled or pickled goods.
Combined with banana and mango spinach makes for a delicious smoothie – simply puree a ripe banana, half a mango and a handful of spinach leaves. The smoothie is an ideal breakfast or a great vitamin boost for in between. Of course, other fruit works just as well and the delicate, fresh flavour of spinach compliments the sweetness of fruit like no other vegetable.
Salmon and spinach are anther great combination. Whether as a lasagna or served in a cream sauce with tagliatelle, the rosy fish and the green vegetable complement each other both visually and in flavour. Similarly egg and spinach are a classic combination, the most famous version probably being creamed spinach with a hard-boiled egg – but that’s a matter of taste.
Spinach also tastes delicious in any salad, quiche, pureed as soup or in curry. With the endless possibilities available, there is sure to be a recipe for everyone.
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