I think we all know that we should be eating more green leafy vegetables. They're packed with nutrients. But somehow it can be a bit difficult to actually incorporate them into meals. I don't know about you, but I'm usually super rushed when I'm cooking breakfast or lunch. With two little kiddos at home, I don't have loads of extra time to prep veggies.
Spinach is a great green to have on hand, because it's quick and easy to cook and tastes delicious. It contains many vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, E, K, B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, as well as antioxidants (source). Wow!
PREPPING YOUR SPINACH
Most spinach that you buy is "triple washed and ready to eat" - but I like to wash it anyway if I'm going to be eating it raw.
A simple soak in a vinegar and water solution can help reduce the bacteria on your produce. You can read more about that HERE.
I like to soak my spinach in my salad spinner (a trick I learned from Kristin of Live Simply). That way, I can easily lift the basket out, dump the water out, and spin the spinach dry.
Spin the spinach dry. Spin the spinach dry. Sorry.
The recommended ratio of water to vinegar is 3 to 1. I don't always have enough vinegar on hand, so I use a smaller ratio of vinegar to water. But if you want the full bacteria-fighting benefits, you should use the 3-to-1 ratio.
Of course, to really reduce the likelihood of contracting a foodborne illness, you can cook your spinach. This also reduces the oxalic acid, which can inhibit mineral absorption, and also goitrogens, which can mess with your thyroid (Read more about that here, here, here, here, and here. Now you have reading material for dayz...).
A great way to reduce the amount of oxalates and goitrogens is to steam (or boil) your spinach for about 5-7 minutes. Make sure you throw out the water, because the oxalates and goitrogens leach out into the water. You can also squeeze the (cooled) spinach to remove excess water (a trick I learned from Deliciously Organic). This makes it super compact for storing!
Put your cooked (cooled!) spinach in a storage container and keep it in the fridge to use all week. Or you can freeze it for longer storage.
A really easy way for me to incorporate spinach in my diet is to add it to my morning scramble. It's also great in hashes. You could add it to your smoothies as well.
Also, I think it's super important to be consuming your leafy greens with healthy animal fats (such as grass-fed butter and ghee) which help with nutrient absorption.
I hope all this information was helpful to you - it was fun to research! Which leafy green would you like me to tackle next?
How do YOU like to eat your spinach?
NOTE: Some links are affiliate. All opinions are my own.