Leafy greens are great for filling you up without feeling muddled down or heavy. One green that can be found all year long is spinach. Whether it’s served raw or cooked, this dark leaf provides nutrients, like vitamins A, C and K, and iron, fiber and magnesium in just one cup—no wonder Popeye couldn’t get enough!
As the weather cools down, we decided to look at ways on how we could incorporate spinach into our meals outside of the typical (yet delicious) salad. Here are 7 ideas we’ve come up with!
1) Stir into soups and stews. You can either add your spinach toward the end of the soup-making process or cook it down before adding it to the broth. You can also substitute spinach into recipes that call for other leafy greens, like kale.
2) Spin in your smoothies. Spinach doesn’t have a distinctly strong taste, and as our other suggestions have shown, it’s easy to mix into recipes you love. You can create a great smoothie and get extra nutrients by taking spinach, blending it with water, then adding a ½ cup of banana, mango or pineapple for a touch of sweetness.
3) Top your pizza. Spinach is not only a great topping for pizza as it pairs with tomatoes, but it can be used raw to dress a pizza as well! Take spinach, raw onion, tomato and a dressing of your choice for a simple way to add more veggies to your pizza.
4) Toss into pasta. Pasta is a great vessel for many flavors. You can keep your dish simple by tossing the spinach with the noodles once they’re cooked, then add some tomatoes and a touch of oil for seasoning. You can also add spinach straight into your sauce, and let it cook down.
5) Blend into pesto. One fresh sauce to consider for adding spinach is pesto, which can be used on pasta, as a salad dressing or cooked meat. You can also cut some of the basil out and substitute that amount with spinach as well.
6) Sautée into eggs. Spinach cooks down very quickly—you can take a few handfuls and it wilts down in minutes. Try it scrambled in your eggs, or make an omelet with mushrooms and diced tomatoes for a veggie-packed breakfast.
7) Stir-fry your spinach. While stir-fried sides typically consist of peppers, onions, garlic and snap peas, adding spinach is another way to gain more density and nutrients in your side dishes can help you feel fuller longer.
Spinach has so many possibilities, and all it takes is adding a handful (or more!) to add some additional brilliance to your dishes.