Summer season (April – October) // Spinach (Spinat)
📷 by @rongtulyarts // The comics and cartoon character Popeye the Sailor Man is known for his love for spinach which is his secret to big muscles and a strong body. Is this just a myth or can spinach really make us strong??
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a leafy green plant that originated in Persia.
It spread quickly to central Asia (India, Nepal & China)
// Source: Wikipedia
Spinach is an extremely nutrient-rich vegetable. It packs high amounts of carotenoids (vitamin A), vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium.
OBS!! Raw spinach contains substances called oxalates which can inhibit the absorbtion of iron. In addition to preventing absorption and use, high levels of oxalates remove iron from the body.
However, cooking or steaming it reduces the amount of this substance and eating spinach regularly may benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress, help prevent cancer, and reduce blood pressure levels.
PRO TIP: Make sure you get the freshest spinach possible, since it loses much of its nutritional value with storage and transportation of more than a few days. Or get it frozen 😉
Spinach is cool-weather loving and fast-growing. It likes a moderately moist habitat and high nitrogenic organic fertilizer, but will not do well in soil that floods regularly or does not drain well. You can plant spinach in either spring or fall, or both if you want to harvest twice per year.
Wanna grow your own? Check out more detailed information here.
The three basic types of spinach are:
• Savoy has dark green, crinkly and curly leaves. It is the type sold in fresh bunches in most supermarkets in the United States.
• Flat- or smooth-leaf spinach has broad, smooth leaves that are easier to clean than Savoy.
• Semi-savoy is a hybrid variety with slightly crinkled leaves.
Spinach is a versatile vegetable and can be eaten raw or cooked. It is available fresh, frozen or canned. It’s delicious either on its own or in other dishes. Here are some tips to try to incorporate more spinach into a daily routine:
- Add spinach to pastas, soups, and casseroles.
- Lightly sauté spinach in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil. Season with freshly-ground black pepper.
- Add spinach to a wrap, sandwich, or flatbread.
- Make a dip with spinach, such as spinach and artichoke dip or spinach hummus.
- Add a handful of fresh spinach to an omelet or scramble, or throw a handful into a smoothie.
// Source: Medicalnewstoday
- TRADITIONAL RECIPES:
- FUN FACTS
Spinach actually belongs to the amaranth family and is therefore related to beets and quinoa 😉
The creator of the comic character, Popeye, E.C. Segar was a vegetarian and as a way of promoting the benefits of vegetables, he boosted his character’s strength with a known iron-rich food. Popeye has been portrayed since 1931.
China produced over 90% of the world’s total quantity of spinach.