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Produce Spotlight: Spinach

Photo credit to thebittenword.com
Photo credit to thebittenword.com

It’s green. It’s leafy. It’s packed with vitamin C and iron. It’s disgusting? No way. It’s spinach.

There are few veggies as versatile and nutritious as spinach. It’s one of those veggies that can go well in all types of dishes, all cuisines, hot or cold, you name it. You can disguise it, you can make it the star, you can basically do anything you want with it.

Most spinach comes in a pre-washed bag from the produce section. The only time you should ever use canned spinach is if you’re going to be Popeye for Halloween. Frozen spinach can be used for certain recipes.

It’s always a good idea to thoroughly wash all your leafy greens before eating them, even though the package says pre-washed. You’d be surprised what kinds of things hide in the folds in the leaves.

Unless you’re blending the spinach for a green smoothie, chop off the stems. They tend to be chewy and nobody likes to chew on a stick while they’re trying to enjoy pasta.

Speaking of green smoothies, that’s a great way to disguise spinach while still getting your nutrients. If you make a smoothie the right way, you’ll hardly even taste the greens. Here’s a recipe for a Chocolate Raspberry smoothie that promises you won’t even know there’s spinach in it.

Pasta is another great way I love to eat spinach. It goes great in Italian meals, but it also works with a variety of other flavors. Some good examples are Penne Pasta with Spinach and Bacon, Tex Mex Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Blackened Chipotle Chicken, Black Beans and Spinach and Baked Penne Pasta with Spinach and Feta.

Another way to get your nutritious spinach in a somewhat sneaky way is to add it to your salad with regular lettuce. You’ll hardly notice it, but it’s a lot more nutritious than iceberg lettuce. Plus, it’ll add just a little bit of flavor so you won’t have to add on extra toppings.

And of course, there are always dishes with spinach as the star. Learn how to make easy Sauteed Spinach, Creamed Spinach, and Spinach Dip.

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