Spinach is FUN!

Dark, leafy greens are superstars of a healthy diet and spinach might just be the biggest rock star of them all.  Spinach is a nutrient-dense, low calorie food that is full of vitamins A, B and C, and it is a good source of iron, calcium, fiber and folate.  Because it is provides such a great nutrient punch and is so versatile, eating spinach can be one of the easiest ways to support your healthy eating habits.  

Fun ways to boost your healthy lifestyle with spinach:

  • Toss into a Salad – Baby spinach leaves have a mild, crisp flavor and are readily available year round.  Add a handful in with your favorite salad recipe or try this fun Parts of the Plant Salad.
  • Boost Your Soup – Spinach will add color and zing to any soup.  Looking for a quick meal?  Combine one carton of low sodium chicken broth, one small can of crushed tomatoes and their juices, a bag of frozen spinach, a can of navy or cannellini beans and/or a pouch of whole wheat tortellini.  Bring to a boil for a healthy dinner or packable lunch that’s ready to eat in five minutes.
  • Sneak into a Smoothie – Throw a couple of handfuls of spinach into the blender when you are making a smoothie and it will almost vanish right before your eyes, while still providing a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals.  
  • Sauté for a Tasty Side – Toss into a pan with a little bit of olive or vegetable oil.  Add fresh garlic.  If you like, finish with a bit of freshly grated parmesan for a flavorful and nutritious side to your main meal.
  • Add to Pizza, Sandwiches, Omelets or Scrambled Eggs – Whether fresh, frozen, or canned, all forms are easily adaptable to all kinds of recipes.    
  • Roll into a Wrap – Make a roll-up of your favorite veggies or chicken and top with a generous amount of baby spinach.  
  • Add into Turkey Burgers, Meatballs or Meatloaf – Chopped spinach will add a vibrant color while helping you get in an extra serving of vegetables.
Food tastes better when it looks good. Fresh spinach will add color to your dish and is always ready to help you make better choices—even on the busiest of days.  Even a small amount of spinach adds an impressive amount of nutrients to your breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  What kind of fun things can your family come up with to incorporate this wholesome green into your favorite family meals? 

Did You Know
Spinach is available year-round in grocery stores, but it peaks in the early spring and late fall so be sure to keep an eye out for it at your local farmer’s market.  It is also pretty easy to grow at home.  It grows quickly and can even be done indoors in a container, making it a fun way to introduce your family to growing food.  The best part is that they can eat what they grow and have fun doing it!

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall