Oh, spinach. You’re so nutritious, but it’s not always easy to choose you over, say, chocolate or cheese.
But I’ve found there are a couple simple ways you can squeeze spinach into your meals or snacks and not even know it!
#1 Used as a “bed”.
I absolutely HATE the taste of cooked spinach. It’s so soggy and mushy and gross.
But, I’ve found that if you plop a huge helping of raw spinach on your plate beneath your main dish, it goes down much easier. Raw spinach doesn’t have a strong or overwhelming taste, so it’s easy to sneak it in this way.
One of our favorite ways to do this is under an omelet or an egg scramble.
(Sorry for the iPhone pics.)
Just throw down a couple huge handfuls of spinach, add the omelet or whatever else you’re eating and you’re good to go. You hardly taste the spinach, but it’s nice to know you’re getting some green in.
I’ve also layered it under chicken and other meat dishes at dinner and it works out great!
#2 Cooked in a smoothie.
I know green smoothies and green monsters are all the rage these days, but do you add raw or cooked spinach to your smoothie?
If you’re still rolling with raw, you should give cooked spinach a whirl. Like I mentioned, I can’t stand the cooked stuff on it’s own, but when you blend it into a smoothie, you never know the difference!
So, why cooked? Because if spinach is a super food when it’s raw, it’s a crazy awesome ridiculous super food when it’s cooked. Here’s the evidence:
A 1-cup serving of fresh spinach contains 0.81 mg of iron while the same amount of cooked spinach contains 6.43 mg. A 1-cup serving of cooked spinach supplies you with 11,318 mcg [of beta-carotene], while one cup of fresh contains 1,688 mcg. One cup of cooked spinach contains 20,354 mcg of lutein, compared to the 3,659 mcg in one cup of fresh spinach.
One cup of fresh spinach contains 30 mg of calcium, 167 mg of potassium, 8.4 mg of vitamin C and 58 mcg of folate. The same serving size of cooked spinach supplies higher concentrations of these nutrients, with 245 mg of calcium, 839 mg of potassium, 17.6 mg of vitamin C and 263 mcg of folate. — from LiveStrong
It’s easy to cook your spinach in the microwave while you’re preparing your smoothie, too. Just toss it into a large bowl and add water. Microwave until it’s wilted.
I generally use frozen fruit in my smoothies, so if you use fresh, you might want to throw in some ice cubes, otherwise your smoothie will be a warm one! 😉
Need a green smoothie recipe? Check out this cute graphic that my friend Elissa created to help you out:
What are your tricks for sneaking spinach or any other healthy greens into your meals?