Spinach contains many valuable ingredients, such as polyphenols, minerals, and vitamins. Unfortunately, not all of us like it - some people associate it with an unappetizing "green paste". However, let’s disenchant spinach, get to know its health-promoting properties, and discover some ideas for delicious spring dishes using it.
Spinach is one of the green leafy vegetables that are good for our health. Fresh spinach leaves go well with other products and can be used. to prepare green smoothies and cocktails, salads, or homemade vegetable spreads. Therefore, instead of removing spinach from our menu, it is worth giving it a chance and try different ways of preparing it.
Fresh spinach leaves are a good source of antioxidants – polyphenols, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. Their proper supply with the diet is very important because they help fight the excess of free radicals. Modern lifestyle promotes free radicals formation, and thus increases the risk of developing diseases such as cardiovascular, neoplastic, and neurodegenerative. Vitamin C is involved in the synthesis of collagen, strengthens the functioning of the immune system, and increases the absorption of non-heme iron. In turn, beta-carotene is necessary for the proper functioning of the eye and mucous membranes. Spinach is also a source of another important vitamin, namely vitamin K. It is responsible for the proper course of the blood clotting process. In addition, spinach includes ingredients such as:
There are also some amounts of magnesium, vitamin B6 and manganese in spinach.
If possible, choose fresh leaves instead of frozen spinach. It is important that their color is dark green, without any signs of yellowing. It should also be remembered that you should not wash all the leaves at once. The washing process accelerates their rotting, so it is recommended to do it just before preparing the dish. Spinach can be eaten both cold (e.g. in the form of a cocktail, smoothie, sandwich paste) and hot. However, if you want to prepare spinach warm, remember that it should not be stored in this form for too long as this can cause the loss of nutrients. Here are some ideas for including spinach in your spring menu.
Use the fresh spinach leaves to make smoothies. They are simple and quick to prepare, which makes them a good solution even for the busiest people. Spinach goes well, incl. with apple, banana, mango, or parsley. It is good to use seasonal fruit to make a smoothie or cocktail.
Spinach can also be a valuable addition to spring salads. It is worth adding as many vegetables as possible to them, although fresh spinach leaves also go well with fruit (e.g. fresh strawberries, orange, pomegranates). In order to increase the nutritional value of the salad, you can also add seeds and pips (e.g. sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds), nuts, and vegetable oils (e.g. linseed oil, olive oil, walnut oil).
Homemade vegetable spreads
Many people associate traditional sandwiches with bread with slices of ham or cheese. However, if we want our diet to provide the body with all the necessary ingredients, it is good to diversify it. For this purpose, at least from time to time it is worth replacing cheese or cold cuts with homemade vegetable spreads. For their preparation, we can use fresh spinach leaves, as well as baked peppers, chickpeas, eggplant and/or dried tomatoes. Sesame, black cumin, linseed, and fresh spices can also be a valuable addition to homemade vegetable spreads.
Spinach is a vegetable that is a source of antioxidants (vitamin C, polyphenols, beta-carotene) and minerals. Therefore, its consumption has a positive effect on the functioning of the immune system, protects us from oxidative stress, and may reduce the risk of developing diseases such as cardiovascular diseases. There are many ideas for including it in our diet, so it’s worth looking for the one that suits you best. Spinach can be used, for example, to prepare spring salads, smoothies, as well as homemade vegetable spreads.
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