Spinach FV March 2011
Spinach even while its growing, looks healthy Deep green leaves, dozens at a time – the more you pick the more the plant produces, such a generous plant. There are varieties of spinach that vine, but the more common in northern climes are the bush varieties. Spinach or Spinacia oleracea is an edible flowering plant of the amaranth family…and what a family they range from beets to tumbleweeds.
Nutritionally – spinach is the queen of the garden. Rich in Vitamins – A, C, E, K, B2 and B6. It is fat with lutein, selenium, folate, folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids. Minerals include iron, magnesium, manganese, calcium, potassium, copper and zinc – it is simply an amazing foodstuff, an important add to your menu.
Find spinach fresh at any local farmers market from spring to early summer then again in the fall, in the grocery store year round – both fresh and frozen. In the kitchen, spinach is so easy to use. Best especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled to preserve the most nutrients.
Spinach can be presented by itself as a side dish, incorporated into a salad, creamed as an elegant side dish. Who hasnāt tasted spinach artichoke dip? Home made is super easy if you have a 8oz pkg of cream cheese, jar or can artichoke hearts and a frozen package of spinach – your on easy street. Check out this easy combo dip – great warm appetizer for winter months.
When purchasing fresh spinach, look for deep green crisp leaves. Spinach is grown in loose soil so cleaning it thoroughly is a must….no one likes gritty in their meal. Plan on using spinach with three days if fresh, it does not keep especially well and looses a lot of nutrition in storage.
Match spinach with the flavors of butter, bacon, cheese, chives, cream, eggs, fish, garlic, ham, hollandaise, leeks, lemon, mushrooms, nuts, olive oil, onions, sour cream, soy, tarragon, tomatoes and yogurt. That is one versatile vegetable
Boiling spinach can more than halve the level of folate left in the spinach, but microwaving does not affect folate content rich source of iron
It is said that Catherine deāMedici was so fond of spinach that she insisted it be served at every meal. The term āflorentineā (or dishes made with spinach) are in reference to Catherineās birth city of Florence.
Of the family Amaranthaceae 2400 species most are herbs or subshrubs
From Wiki: The Environmental Working Group reports that spinach is one of the dozen most heavily pesticide contaminated produce products
Spinach is packaged in air or nitrogen gas in order to extend shelf life.
Some packaged spinach is exposed to radiation to kill any harmful bacteria that may be on the leaves