March on with Spinach!
Spinach, the infamous disappearing vegetable! We’ve all heaped this leafy green into a pot and watched with dismay as it reduced down to almost a quarter of its original volume.
And as it is Cooks & Partner’s ingredient of the month we’re going to discuss the many health benefits and delicious ways to eat spinach, raw or cooked.
Most people will be familiar with chucking some spinach into your breakfast omelette to boost its nutritional value and of course, if you’re up for it, you can always devour it raw in a blended juice but spinach has many comfort food secrets that not all of us have been let in on.
First the facts; believed to have originated from central and west parts of Asia, spinach packs a punch in the pros department. A mere half a cup of raw spinach leaves count as your 1 in 5 a day and while being made up of 91% water, spinach is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese and iron. There have been mentions of its iron absorption-inhibiting and laxative-inducing properties which is always good to be aware of though after these recipes you may not be able to resist!
As for comfort food, our cafes like to incorporate the ingredient of each month into their menus to keep our dishes varying and seasonal. As we ease away from heavy winter food and towards fresh summer alternatives, light snacks take the stage again.
A top pick if you’re nearby our Holland Park Café would be the spinach, kale and ricotta rolls with sesame seeds baked in the oven until golden, an absolute must-have if you’re on the go!
A more substantial lunch option would be a generous slice of heritage beetroot, thyme, spinach and parmesan tart , our café staff recommends that it’s best when served alongside a crunchy salad and our freshly pressed apple juice and bonus – its vegetarian friendly.
Though if you’re not up for a walk to the park and would rather cook up a storm in your own kitchen, ensure that you have selected and prepared the best possible spinach to make the yummiest homemade meal.
While picking up a bag of spinach from your local superstore is fairly easy, you want to check that the spinach leaves are dark green and undamaged or showing brown signs of decay. We’d recommend not washing your spinach before storing as the moisture can cause it to turn quicker, though regardless you should normally be cooking with fresh spinach to benefit as much as possible from the nutrients it can offer.
And as we all know from Popeye, if you eat your spinach every day you are guaranteed to grow massive biceps, take that Arnold Schwarzenegger!