Add Spinach for Extra (Inexpensive) Nourishment

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Have you heard the news? Spinach is the new chocolate. It’s showing up in everything. People can’t get enough. It’s highly addicting. Spinach makes people sooooo happy.

I just made all that up.  Chocolate will always be chocolate, and spinach will…not. But at our house, the “can’t get enough spinach” statement is very true. I’ve been adding spinach to everything. (Actually, I haven’t been adding it to my coffee. I do draw the line there.)  It’s almost become a joke. The boys sit down to eat and say, “So did you add spinach to this, too?”

The good news is:  They are eating it. ALL of it. And they aren’t complaining. Even the pickiest one. Why aren’t they complaining? Because you can add spinach to many, many recipes and it will not change the flavor. It will only add nutrients. And…it might turn the food green, but whatever. I’m not trying to hide the spinach. I’m just trying to add goodness to our food in every way possible.

While I continue to learn more about eating well, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is this:  Healthy eating is not just about what you eliminate from your diet. It’s about making sure you’re filling your body with as many good nutrients as possible so that it can thrive.  I’ve also learned never to overfill my blender, which is an equally important lesson, though not so much about nourishment as it is about the regret of finding crusty peach milkshake on the ceiling three days after the episode.  But about adding nutritional value to our food…

Spinach has 19 amazing nutrients. Nineteen!!!! Vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C, fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein, and choline – all in a spinach leaf.  Impressive.

Add Spinach for Extra Inexpensive Nourishment

The best news of all? Adding spinach to your recipes is a very inexpensive way to eat healthier. I paid $6 last week for a pound of spinach. That sounds like a lot of money until you recognize that spinach is very light weight and one pound of spinach is enough to stuff my pillow. I add spinach to meal after meal after meal. Just think of it. For about 75¢ per meal, I can add 19 fantastic nutrients to my dish.

How to add spinach to your food:

I find that simply tearing up handfuls of raw spinach with my hands and throwing it into the cooking pot works great. My cousin said that she dumps a package of raw spinach into her food processor, adds just enough water to help it spin, then purees it. Then, she freezes the pureed spinach in ice cube trays, throwing a frozen spinach cube into recipes. Brilliant!

What I’ve added spinach to successfully:

What I haven’t tried yet, but you better believe it’s on my list:

If you haven’t tried adding spinach to your recipes, I highly recommend it! If you have tried it, leave a comment to share what has worked for you.

Comments

  1. Michelle says

    I found frozen spinach called “finely chopped.” It is frozen in little cubes, so it is really easy to throw a few in! We like to add it to scrambled eggs or anything with frozen veggies. To get my son to eat it we showed him a clip of Popeye on YouTube. Now he requests it so he can “get his motors cranking!”

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  2. Jessica says

    We love to add spinach to things. Well- as long as its finely chopped and my 5 year old doesn’t notice it. Of course our smoothies; But we’ve always put it in our lasagna or other casseroles, and use it in place of lettuce on sandwiches.
    I can’t wait to try it in some of the other menu items you listed.

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  3. says

    I put spinach in a casserole I made for my brothers and friends when they were moving wood home – my wood crew requires lots of food!! (half a dozen teenage boys? Oh yes, lots of food.)

    The casserole was sort of like Baked Ziti, or American Chop Suey. It was pasta, spaghetti sauce, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, romano cheese, ground turkey, seasonings, and a couple handfuls of finely chopped spinach. They devoured it, even the picky brother!! I was immensely pleased with the success of that dish. I have used all of my spinach, but when I have more I shall be experimenting!! :)

    We also make green smoothies with it when we have it, spinach makes the nicest smoothie out of all the greens we’ve tried.

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  4. Crystal says

    I used to love to add spinach to all kinds if dishes, including our smoothies until I found out I was allergic to it! Now I use other greens like kale, turnip greens, collard & mustard greens. All still very tasty and nutritious.

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  5. says

    I add it to my smoothies. I purchase a big bag and throw the entire bag directly into the freezer (as long as the spinach doesn’t need to be washed!). When I go to make a smoothie, I just grab a large handful of the frozen spinach and put it in the blender. It works great! It does make the smoothie a little greenish/brownish, but you cannot taste it. I add it to soups, pastas, meatballs, meatloaf, mashed potatoes.. almost anything (except coffee!) Thanks for the tip, Laura!

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  6. Angela says

    I add it to spaghetti sauce…it was actually my 17 yo daughter’s idea. Ground beef, tomato sauce, spices…and spinach. Tastes about the same as regular spaghetti!

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  7. Kristi says

    You can also dehydrate spinach – just pile it up on your dehydrator trays. Once it’s dehydrated, it will last forever. You can blend it up and make spinach powder with it. 1 T. of spinach powder equals 1 c. of raw spinach!! You can add this to frosting to make it green, tortilla dough, pasta dough, or anything else really.

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  8. Andrea says

    We use this EXCELLENT enchilada sauce recipe. It is my adaption from a Bon Appetite Magazine recipe called, “Cheese Enchiladas with Green Sauce.” Circa 1995 (vegetarian)

    Sauce
    •1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach
    •1 tablespoon butter
    •1 tablespoon corn starch (we are g-free)
    •1 cup whipping cream
    •1 cup milk
    •6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    •3 green onions, minced
    •1 4-ounce can diced green chilies, drained
    •1 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
    •1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
    •1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

    I serve it over cheese or chicken & cheese filled enchiladas.

    For sauce:
    Cook spinach according to package instructions. Drain well. Set aside. Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add flour and stir mixture 2 minutes; do not brown. Gradually whisk in whipping cream and milk. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach, cilantro, green onion, chilies, cumin, coriander and red pepper. Puree in batches in processor until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)

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  9. Bethany says

    I, too, freeze my fresh spinach in a ziplock bag, pressing out all of the air. Once it is frozen it crumbles easily.
    My favorite is to add it to your easy breakfast casserole along with a tablespoon of minced onions and a few dashes of paprika. All of my preschoolers eat it!

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  10. Julie says

    Aldi had something called “Spinach Dinosaur Bites” in the clearance freezer section. My Girl is into dinosaurs right now, so I took a closer look. They are Tater Totts (in dinosaur shapes) with SPINACH!

    I thought of you.
    And yes, my girlie got a dinosaur tatertot spinach treat! (They are tasty)..

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