Spinach - King of vegetables
This green leafy vegetable that we have been familiar with since childhood, which even Popeye could not resist. Besides containing a large amount of nutritive ingredients and minerals, spinach is an excellent side dish to a meal. This highly practical and resilient vegetable does not lose its good properties even in the frozen form.
Spinach ( Spinacia oleracea ) is a leafy vegetable that originated from the region of Persia, Turkestan and Afghanistan. In the seventh century spinach arrived as a gift from the King of Nepal in China. Three centuries later, it arrived to the soil of Europe, and then to America. In a word - spinach took over the world in the 11th century! In this region, spinach thrives and can be acquired fresh during the spring, summer and fall. In winter, we eat it from the greenhouse, and in the frozen form throughout the year.
Fresh or frozen
Spinach or "king of vegetables" contains plenty of nutritive ingredients and minerals. It is a great source of vitamin C, which boosts our immune system, and beta carotene (vitamin A), which maintains the health of skin and mucous membranes. To meet the daily needs of these substances, which are important antioxidants as well, a cup of cooked spinach a day is enough. Spinach is a good source of foliate and vitamins from the group B which are beneficial to the nervous system; it contains a significant concentration of magnesium necessary for maintaining normal blood pressure levels. Spinach should be eaten because of vitamin K, an important ally in maintaining bone health. Spinach also contains calcium, sodium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, zinc, iodine and cobalt. Due to the presence of cellulose, spinach is valuable for digestion and detoxification. A great substitute for fresh spinach is frozen spinach. The advantage of this green vegetable is the fact that when frozen it does not lose its beneficial properties significantly. Frozen spinach can be easily and quickly prepared, while achieving the same nutritional benefit as the fresh one!
Green, I love you green
In gastronomy, spinach is widely used, and today, thanks to the modern production technology it is present in all the kitchens of the world. Spinach is used for preparing soups, stews, stuffing, sauces, purees, pies. It goes well with boiled potatoes as well as dairy products such as different kinds of cheese, yogurt or sour cream. Nutritionists even recommend using spinach with dairy products because otherwise substances found in the greens derive calcium from the body. Spinach goes well with meat, fish, root vegetables and legumes. It is used for preparation of different kinds of pasta - noodles, lasagna and gnocchi, and it can be used as a natural dye for macaroni and other pasta. It is delicious in combination with béchamel sauce; it may be added to scrambled eggs, with a little bit of Parmesan cheese, or in an omelet. Young spinach can be eaten as a salad, because of the abundance of vitamin C, with olive oil and lemon juice. Preparing spinach is not demanding, it does not require a lot of time or special skills. It is characterized by an intense green color, and in order to preserve the color of cooked spinach you should pour cold water over it.
Myth of iron
Spinach has long been considered the best source of iron. Dr. E. Von Wolf in 1870 published the thesis. His calculation was untested until 1973 when it was discovered that the actual amount of iron in the spinach is just one tenth of what is was claimed. However, spinach contains a relatively large amount of iron, but in a special form and due to that it is poorly absorbed by the human body. Foods such as chicken liver or pork contain a much larger proportion of iron. However, if you choose spinach- advice is to consume it with some citrus fruits (oranges and lemons), which encourages the absorption of iron in the blood stream.
Excerpt from Gastromag magazine by S.I.