After Popeye, my first exposure to spinach was at summer camp. For two months each year, Friday night dinner meant roasted chicken, barley and creamed spinach. My friends would load their plates with spinach, but I had no interest in it. Maybe that's why I didn't do too well at sports!
I may not have liked it back then, but today spinach is a mainstay on my weekly shopping list. It's easy to add to most dishes, and the nutritional benefits make it a no-brainer. Spinach is rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, and it can even be used to reduce inflammation and boost bone health.
How to choose it
Look for spinach with leaves that are bright green and firm. Avoid bunches that look dry, wilted, or have dark spots. Batches with thin, flexible stems are best for salads and raw dishes. Spinach with thicker stems tends to work better for cooking.
How to use it
In this Vitamix age, spinach is an important ingredient in healthy smoothies and juices. Green and leafy, it makes a perfect base for a salad. Throw a handful or two into everyday foods like eggs and macaroni and cheese for an easy way to up the nutritional value of a dish. A surefire way to make spinach delicious: sauté it with garlic. It's simple, flavorful, and fast.
How to store it
Store spinach in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Spinach doesn't last long once it's been picked, so plan to use it within a few days of bringing it home.