Spinach: How to Use, Prep & Store

Spinach is a soft, tender leafy green with a gentle, mildly sweet, flavor.

Wellnessed your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter

By clicking "submit," you agree to receive emails from wellnessed and accept our web terms of use and privacy and cookie policy.

Taste: mild, slightly sweet, hearty

How to buy: Go for vibrant, crisp dark green spinach leaves. Avoid wilting, bruised or yellowing leaves. Bunched or loose spinach tends to be fresher and have more flavor than packaged greens. It’s also easier to judge the quality of the leaves.

How to eat: Supremely versatile. Great raw or cooked, as a side dish or on its own. Young leaves (baby spinach) are especially sweet and tender. Use the mild-flavored more delicately textured leaves in salads, and the mature and fuller-flavored leaves in soups and stews. Add to omelets, quiches, crepes, paninis. Great sautéed with olive oil and garlic as a side dish or wilted and tossed in pastas.

Delicious in smoothies and juices. Spinach is packed with nutrients, but has a mild taste. This makes it a great way to add nutrient-rich dark leafy greens to smoothies without adding much flavor and a good alternative to the strongly flavored kale.

There are three common varieties of spinach:

  • Flat-leaf spinach – Tender and slightly sweet, can be eaten raw or cooked. This is the most common variety of spinach in the US.
  • Savoy spinach (aka curly leaf spinach) – Crisp and slightly bitter, it is best for cooking
  • Semi-savoy spinach – Crisp and slightly bitter, it is best for cooking

How to prep: Wash spinach thoroughly with a few rinses, even if pre-washed, as the leaves can still be gritty. To wash spinach, place leaves in a basin with cool water, swish and allow to soak a few minutes. Drain, and repeat.

The stems of spinach leaves, especially when cooked, are stringy and tough which makes them hard to eat. Therefore, trim any tough stems from fresh spinach leaves. To remove the stem, simply pinch the leaf together and pull the stem toward the top of the leaf. There is no need to remove thin stems or those from tender, small leaves.

How to cook: Cooking reduces spinach massively in volume. Once cooked, one pound of fresh leaves shrink into about a cup cooked spinach. Cook quickly to retain maximum freshness and flavor.

Avoid cooking spinach in an aluminium pot, as it will darken the greens and lend it a metallic flavor.

How to store: Consume baby spinach as soon as possible after purchase and don’t keep this green for more than 3 to 4 days.

Health Benefits of Spinach

Popeye’s favorite green is not only high in iron and vitamin C, it’s also rich in several carotenoids which, according to research, may support cardiovascular health.1,2 Carotenoids may also help protect cells and DNA against free radical damage that can cause cancer.3

3 sources

  1. Ross A. (2006) “Vitamin A and Carotenoids.” In: Shils M, Shike M, Ross A, Caballero B, Cousins R, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 10th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 351-75
  2. Gammone MA, Riccioni G, D’Orazio N. Carotenoids: potential allies of cardiovascular health?. Food Nutr Res. 2015;59:26762. Published 2015 Feb 6. doi:10.3402/fnr.v59.26762
  3. Karppi J, Nurmi T, Kurl S, Rissanen TH, Nyyssönen K. (2010) Lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene as determinants of LDL conjugated dienes in serum. Atherosclerosis.;209(2):565-572.

Read this next

Romaine Lettuce: How to Use, Prep & Store

Romaine Lettuce: How to Use, Prep & Store

When you think of lettuce, you're probably envisioning the crispy, crunchy, juicy leaves of Romaine lettuce. Synonymous with salads, its starring role is in Caesar salads.
The Salad Greens Guide: How to Use, Recipes & Benefits

The Complete Salad Greens Guide: How to Use, Recipes & Health Benefits

Are you stuck in a rut when it comes to salads? Go beyond iceberg lettuce! Power up your salads with an array of delicious and disparate greens – you'll reap a plethora of health benefits and tickle your taste buds!
Swiss Chard: How to Use, Prep & Store

Swiss Chard: How to Use, Prep & Store

Swiss chard is a crisp, robust leafy green with a sweet, mildly beet-like taste.
How to make a salad awesome

How to make a salad taste awesome!

Healthy, crunchy, fresh and infinitely changeable, salads are the pin-up of all that’s healthy. Whether snack, side or starter, lunch-on-the-run or sit-down meal, salads can be anything you want. Leafy green salad, potato, rice,...
Turnip Greens: How to Use, Prep & Store

Turnip Greens: How to Use, Prep & Store

Turnip greens have tender leaves with a peppery, spicy turnip-like flavor. Turnip leaves are smaller and more tender than collards.

How to make a salad taste awesome!

Healthy, crunchy, fresh and infinitely changeable, salads are the pin-up of all that’s healthy. Whether snack, side or starter, lunch-on-the-run or sit-down meal, salads...

The Complete Salad Greens Guide: How to Use, Recipes & Health Benefits

Are you stuck in a rut when it comes to salads? Go beyond iceberg lettuce! Power up your salads with an array of delicious and disparate greens – you'll reap a plethora of health benefits and tickle your taste buds!

Homemade Spinach and Goat Cheese Calzone

A rustic Italian treat, calzone is a great on-the-go meal. Perfect for a picnic, road trip or pack lunch. This recipe uses wholemeal flour and veggie filling for a lighter and healthier twist on the classic recipe.

Turnip Greens: How to Use, Prep & Store

Turnip greens have tender leaves with a peppery, spicy turnip-like flavor. Turnip leaves are smaller and more tender than collards.

Swiss Chard: How to Use, Prep & Store

Swiss chard is a crisp, robust leafy green with a sweet, mildly beet-like taste.
Turnip Greens: How to Use, Prep & Store

Turnip Greens: How to Use, Prep & Store

Turnip greens have tender leaves with a peppery, spicy turnip-like flavor. Turnip leaves are smaller and more tender than collards.
Swiss Chard: How to Use, Prep & Store

Swiss Chard: How to Use, Prep & Store

Swiss chard is a crisp, robust leafy green with a sweet, mildly beet-like taste.
Romaine Lettuce: How to Use, Prep & Store

Romaine Lettuce: How to Use, Prep & Store

When you think of lettuce, you're probably envisioning the crispy, crunchy, juicy leaves of Romaine lettuce. Synonymous with salads, its starring role is in Caesar salads.
Kale: How to Use, Prep & Store

Kale: How to Use, Prep & Store

Kale is a powerhouse of nutrition and flavor. In terms of popularity, its only rival might be the avocado - king and queen of the vegetable world.
Endive: How to Use, Prep & Store

Belgian Endive: How to Use, Prep & Store

Endive is the elegant salad green of the bunch - with clean lines, a smooth texture and a lovely dash of color. A sleek, succulent salad green, it is pleasantly bitter in flavor.

Popular must reads

Turnip Greens: How to Use, Prep & Store

Turnip greens have tender leaves with a peppery, spicy turnip-like flavor. Turnip leaves are smaller and more tender than collards.

Romaine Lettuce: How to Use, Prep & Store

When you think of lettuce, you're probably envisioning the crispy, crunchy, juicy leaves of Romaine lettuce. Synonymous with salads, its starring role is in Caesar salads.

Swiss Chard: How to Use, Prep & Store

Swiss chard is a crisp, robust leafy green with a sweet, mildly beet-like taste.

Arugula: How to Use, Prep & Store

Arugula is a delicious peppery leafy green with a spicy kick. A popular salad green, it adds punch and zip to fresh...

Dandelion Greens: How to Use, Prep & Store

Don’t like the sight of dandelions on your lawn? You’re right – they should be on your plate! Dandelion greens are delicate, with a bitter, peppery flavor.
 
Awesome share! Follow us for more.
Send this to a friend