Spinach is one of natures most nutrient dense food items. Not only is it rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin K, magnesium, folate, magnesium, and iron but it is also rich in other compounds that provide health benefits.
It is also rich in compounds known as phytochemicals which provide additional antioxidant and immune support. The unique nutrient profile of spinach has been studied for its potential ability to prevent cancer, decreases inflammation, provide additional satiety, and support GI health.
Despite these benefits, it may not be a great choice for everyone. Due to the high oxalate content of spinach, those prone to kidney stones should watch their consumption. Also, those at risk for osteoporosis and anemia, because oxalates may decrease the absorption of certain minerals, including calcium and iron. (See my articles on how to take care of your bones and fight low iron.) Also, those on blood thinners should watch their intake of Vitamin K rich foods such as spinach.
However, for most people, spinach is one of the healthiest choices a person could make! At grocery store tours I always challenge my clients to take home a giant tub of spinach and actually use the whole thing without letting it go bad! It looks intimidating, but it’s one of the last things that should go bad in your fridge because there are so many ways to use it!
Add it to ground meat.
This is one of my favorite ways to use a TON of spinach at once! I saute it into whatever ground meat I’m cooking, whether it’s chicken, turkey, or beef it almost always works well with the dish! In the picture below I added it to ground beef to make my instant pot sloppy joe stuffed acorn squash.
One of my favorite things to do is saute ground chicken with spinach and pour it over a sweet potato, that’s the BEST! My point is throwing it in with ground meat is a great way to use a ton of it up in a way that’s not 100% in your face!
PS I like to cook the meat first, then fold in the spinach when the meat is done because it cooks so fast. If you add the spinach to soon, I think it get’s overcooked!
Add It To Scrambled Eggs
A plate of scrambled eggs with spinach is one of Mr. Hungry’s FAVORITE ways to eat spinach, second only to the next idea. He always adds a ton of spinach to his eggs, which wilts down to just about nothing of course!
For this method, I actually like to saute the spinach first, then add the eggs on top. The eggs will mix with the wilted spinach as you scramble them!
Make A Giant Spinach Salad
Okay, I actually have zero pictures of this because I do not like the taste of raw spinach. I know, most people love it, so I’m weird, what else is new! One of the best ways to use up a big tub of spinach and the most classic ways is to make a big spinach salad with your favorite toppings.
Subbing spinach for an iceberg or romaine lettuce makes your salad just a bit more nutrient dense. Lighter color lettuces typically have a higher water and fiber content but lower vitamin/mineral content than darker colored leafy greens.
My RD friend Natalie from Nutrition A La Natalie kindly shared the photo below for her Spring Strawberry Salad recipe with me for this post, so if you love spinach salads check out the recipe!
Saute It Down As A Side Dish
Sauteed spinach seriously Mr. Hungry’s favorite vegetable dish ever for meal prep during the week. I had him explain to me how he makes his!
First, he sautees onion in garlic powder and bacon grease on medium in a very large skillet. Then, he adds a couple of handfuls of spinach with more sprinkles of garlic powder, salt, and sometimes turmeric. Keep adding spinach and seasonings until the container is empty (a giant tub from Costco). He gets 2-4 servings out of it.
Add It To Smoothies
So I have a million green smoothie recipes, and I know they are super mainstream at this point. However, I have new clients all the time who have never tried it! I promise you can not taste it (unless you make your smoothie 95% spinach and 5% other ingredients)!
Add It To Soups
I put this one at the bottom because I know that it’s summer and soup is mostly off the menu. However, keep in mind you can heat up just about any hot bowl of soup and stir in a big ol’ handful of spinach which will wilt down to nothing!
Freeze it for future use!
You can sautee it down first, or not, but freeze it before it goes bad! You can still add it in all the ways listed above after thawing. If you are adding the spinach to a smoothie, don’t worry about defrosting it, add it in still frozen!
Take the challenge this week and let me know what you make! Have other ideas I didn’t list? Leave a comment and let us know, so we all have more ways to eat more spinach!
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