There are three types of spinach: Flat-Leaf spinach has smooth leaves, is sweet in flavor and a popular salad-base choice. Savoy spinach is darker in color with curly edges, best used in cooked dishes like a sauté or soup. Semi-Savoy is a combination between Flat-Leaf and Savoy and can be used in raw or cooked dishes. Fresh flat-leaf spinach is an excellent addition to salads, soups, sauteed vegetables, on sandwiches, and even in SMOOTHIES!
Cosmetic: Hair & Skin
- Contains Vitamin A which essential in hair growth and the production of sebum oil, which moisturizes hair.
- Vitamin C in spinach helps the production of collagen.
- Collagen maintains skin’s elasticity and youth.
- Management of Diabetes Mellitus
- Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) (an antioxidant in spinach) lowers blood glucose levels and can improve sensitivity to insulin.
- High in fiber and H2O which promote regular bowel movements.
- Bone Health
- Improves calcium absorption.
- Contains vitamin K, which maintains the bone matrix.
- Risk of Anemia (Iron is important in delegation of energy sources in the body, and non-heme iron is essential in metabolism.)
- Cancer Risk (Spinach contains chlorophyll that can negate carcinogens.)
- High Blood Pressure (High in potassium, which can neutralize negative effects of sodium (elevates blood pressure).
SELECTION & STORAGE OF FRESH SPINACH
- Spinach is prone to heavy pesticide use, so purchase organic and no-pesticide spinach at the market- or grow your own!
- Look for spinach leaves that are fresh and crisp, discard those that show signs of rot.
- If spinach is in a bag or plastic container, be sure to check for extra moisture that can cause spinach to wilt and rot prematurely.
- Don’t wash spinach until you plan to use it.
- To store spinach, wrap bunches in a paper towel, then place in an airtight container (like a freezer bag). This method will keep spinach for about 10 days.
- Store spinach in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, away from fruit such as apples, avocados, tomatoes, and bananas that produce ethylene gas and will cause the spinach to rot quickly.
- Be sure your crisper drawer is kept at 39 degrees F to ensure nutrients are not lost quickly.
- Spinach has a very high water content and will shrink when cooked.
- The term “Florentine” (a dish that contains a cream-based spinach sauce) is believed to come from recipes of Italian cooks from Florence, Italy employed by Catherine de Medici (wife of King Henry II of France).
- Some popular ideas that are topped with florentine sauce are: baked chicken, pasta, eggs benedict, and white fish.