Featured Vegetable: Spinach

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SpinachAn edible flowering plant with vivid green leaves that is part of the family Amaranthaceae.  Its botanical name is Spinacia oleracea.

Spinach is a low energy source providing 101kJ per 100g, is very low in carbohydrate 0.7g/100g, but is a rich fibre source providing 4.1g per 100g.

It has an extremely high nutritional value and is rich in antioxidants and is a good source of Vitamins A, C and K, Riboflavin and also contains Magnesium, Manganese, Folate, Calcium, Potassium and Iron.  It is high in Oxalic Acid, which can bind with iron and inhibit its absorption. Pairing spinach with foods that are high in Vitamin C such as adding a squeeze of lemon or orange juice to your spinach, can aid this absorption.

The Flavonoids and Antioxidants found in spinach, have been shown in several research studies to have a role in combating many cancers, including breast, prostate and ovarian.

You can buy bunches of spinach, or baby spinach leaves pre-bagged. It’s best to keep spinach in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Wash just before using and make sure if you are using a bunch of spinach or loose spinach leaves, you wash them very thoroughly.  Look for fresh, crisp green leaves without yellow marks and it’s best to use spinach within a couple of days of purchase.

Spinach can be enjoyed raw, steamed, baked into pies or bread, sautéed and even tossed through pastas or curries!  It’s is very nutritious!

Check out the recipe for Beef Spinach Ricotta Lasagne!

 

PLEASE NOTE: Fruits & vegetables in season may vary depending on where you live.  Check with your friendly greengrocer.

Nutritional Information Source: Nutrient Reference Values for Australia & New Zealand 2006; NUTTAB 2010.