Sunday, February 21, 2010
Popeye was Right
Today lets talk about spinach for two reasons, first I found a beautiful bunch of spinach yesterday, even the guy in front of me in the check out line said wow. Also my doctor and makeup artist told me that I am iron deficient, which spinach can help with because it has iron.
Supposedly early forms of spinach came from Persia where it was known as aspanakh. Then it made its way to China as a gift from the king of Nepal in the 7th century and then got transported to Europe in the 11th century where it was introduced to Spain by the Moors. In England, spinach became known as the spanish vegetable. It eventually made its way to North America in the early 19th century. The cartoon Popeye made it extremely popular in late 1920's when it was introduced as making Popeye strong.
You have always heard eat darker greens and there is a reason. Spinach is loaded with vitamins A, B and C, as well as calcium, potassium and iron. Spinach leaves can be flat or curled and is available year round.
Selection & Storage:
When buying spinach, make sure to choose crisp, dark green leaves with no yellowing. If you are buying pre-washed and bagged, then take it immediately out of the bag and remove any rotted leaves. Refrigerate up to 3 days wrapped in a plastic bag and make sure you put a paper towel in the bag to help keep down on moisture.
Preparation & Cooking:
I know you have bought spinach or avoid buying spinach because it is gritty and has sand in it. However, do not let this stop you. Fill a sink with cold water and add spinach. Remove any large stems and remove from water and drain the spinach. I would recommend doing this step again. It truly helps! Dry leaves on a paper towel or in a salad spinner. I like using the spinner first and then laying them out on paper towels. It really gets rid of any moisture. There are many ways to cook spinach but my favorite is sauteing in a little olive oil and minced garlic and then add some freshly grated nutmeg. It is so good.
How do you like your spinach cooked?