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Sun-dried Tomato & Basil Lentils

Fresh Spinach Day

It’s Fresh Spinach Day!!!  Not sure why that day is in the middle of July, as it’s really too hot around here to be growing spinach, but hey. Any day that calls attention to dark leafy greens is a good day!!  Spinach is an amazing veggie! Fresh spinach’s dark leafy green color contains so many phytonutrients. It’s packed with nutrients. In 1 cup of cooked spinach (it has a high water content so it cooks down A LOT!!) 987% pf your daily Vitamin K (helps with bone formation and clotting factors) , 105% Vitamin A (bone, dental, eye, skin, and nail health), 84% manganese, 66% folate, important for brain development, 36% iron (important for oxygenation of blood), 24% Vitamin C (immune function) and calcium (important for bone and dental health), and many more micronutrients (source). Spinach, and all dark leafy greens have been shown to boost endothelial health in the lining of your arteries, and fight inflammation in the body.

Spinach is one of foods listed on the Environmental Working Group’s, Dirty Dozen list, as a food with high pesticide residue. Whenever possible, purchase organic spinach. For an even better solution, grow your own greens!!! It’s so easy to do so! Spinach does prefer cool temperatures to germinate, making it a great over-winter crop, early spring, and fall. Other greens that do best during the heat of summer are collards, kale, and Swiss chard. For a how to grow your own greens; click here.

Caveats on spinach: Spinach has consistently been determined to have high oxalate content. Oxalates are naturally occurring organic acids found in a wide variety of foods, and in the case of certain medical conditions, they must be greatly restricted in a meal plan to prevent over-accumulation inside the body. For more info on oxalates, click here. If you are on blood thinning medication, your consumption of dark leafy greens needs to be consistent, as to not throw off your medication’s effectiveness. Don’t fear greens, yu can still, and should have them! They may actually help you get off those medications. Just keep your Vitamin K level pretty consistent, as to not throw off your INR numbers.

Spinach is a delicate green, and is best stirred into your cooking at the very end. It will wilt right away, and reduce to so much less than you’d every think possible.  So definitely add more spinach to a recipe than you think it needs.  We add fresh spinach, and all greens, into all of our soups, stews, and sauces. Feel free to swap other dark leafy greens for spinach in any recipe. I find that Swiss chard is the most similar to spinach, and can withstand growing temps almost year round.

Plant-Based Recipes for Fresh Spinach Day!!

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Baked Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Sun-Dried Tomatoes With Lentils, Greens, and Fresh Basil

Sun-dried Tomato & Basil Lentils

Indian Cauliflower Rice Bowl With Fresh Greens

Indian Cauliflower Rice Bowls With Fresh Cilantro

Plant-Based Veggie Lasagna

Piece of Vegan Lasagna

Crustless Quinoa Quiche (swap kale for spinach)

)Quinoa Kale Crustless Quiche