Mmm... lasagna

8 Clever Tips For Preparing Spinach

We all know how healthy spinach is. When buying spinach of either type, choose fresh-looking leaves with crisp stems that are not floppy or discolored.

If you’re buying ready-trimmed spinach in a bag, make sure the leaves look fresh and not wilted or slimy. Here are our hints and suggestions for using this iron- and vitamin-packed fresh ingredient to add nourishment and flavor to your family dinners.

1. In a smoothie

If you don’t care for the taste of spinach, this is the answer for you. Grab a handful of fresh spinach and drop it in your morning blend. In that way, you’ll get half your daily needs of vitamin A in just one cup. To mask the taste, blend with some berries and coconut or almond milk. The strong flavors of the milk and berries will drown out the taste of the spinach.

2. Layer into lasagna

Noodles, meat, cheese, sauce, spinach, and repeat. It cooks right in, but it is the best to wilt the spinach before just adding it as the leaves are ‘puffy’. Once you wilt the leaves wait a few moments for it to dry or you can speed up this process by wringing it out and pat dry with a paper towel. You can also include it not only into lasagna but into your favorite casseroles and bakes.

3. In a salad

It can be added to just about any salad; from a caesar to a chopped to a simple olive oil and vinegar variety. Make a romaine and fresh spinach mix and add anything you like to it. You can make a traditional salad with croutons and parmesan, or make it more of a mixed vegetable salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and artichoke hearts.

4. As a side

Put about a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add some chopped garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste together and a few drops of lemon juice (for both flavor and some vitamin C).

5. On a sandwich

Use iceberg lettuce instead of spinach lettuce on your sandwich. Since it is more versatile than iceberg lettuce (and even more nutritious) that’s one less type of lettuce you must buy at the store. You can add hot or cold raw spinach for two different but equally tasty sandwiches.

6. In a stir fry

You don’t have to chop your spinach, so it is an easy vegetable to use for stir-fry recipes. As it cooks it will shrink, so if you have some spinach on the verge of going bad, stir-frying is the answer for you. For a completely no-chop, easy stir-fry, add spinach, mushrooms, and peas to a lightly greased skillet. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Then add chicken or tofu for protein.

7. With eggs

Spinach regularly makes it into omelets, but you can also put it into plain scrambled eggs. This not only adds flavor, but it is also an easy way to get an extra serving of veggies each day. One cup of spinach has only 7 calories and 14% of your daily needs of vitamin C.

8. Wrap

Wrap wilted spinach into spring rolls, wontons, and egg rolls. Making your own at home are very easy to make and the kids will love helping. Just pick up a package of spring rolls or wonton wrappers in the refrigerator section of your local store. Don’t forget other vegetables and meat too … not one wants just green inside! Try some bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, meat, water chestnuts, matchstick carrots, celery, and corn.