Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that has been consumed for thousands of years. Native to central Asia, spinach was brought to England in the 14th century and became a popular part of British cuisine. Fresh spinach leaves have a delicate, earthy flavour. When cooked, spinach leaves wilt and become more concentrated in flavour with slight bitterness.
Spinach is extremely nutrient dense, packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, manganese, iron, magnesium and vitamin C. Spinach also contains beneficial antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and cancer risk. However, spinach contains oxalates which can bind to calcium and inhibit absorption.
Young tender spinach leaves are best for salads. Mature leaves are better cooked by steaming, sautéing or boiling. Spinach is featured in dishes like spanakopita, saag paneer, and lasagne. When boiled, spinach reduces dramatically in volume so ample amounts should be cooked. Blanching prior to freezing preserves spinach's bright green colour.
Spinach has long been associated with strength and vitality since the time of Popeye. While its iron content isn't incredibly high, the folklore surrounding spinach persists. In Britain, spinach is used in soups, quiches, pasta dishes, and as a wilted side. Smoothies and juices have surged in popularity as a way to consume more spinach through its mild taste.
From its early roots in Persia to modern day Britain, spinach remains a healthy, versatile and nutrient-packed ingredient. It brings colour, texture and additional nutrition to both savoury dishes and smoothies or juices. Spinach's association with strength reinforces its enduring role as a nutritional powerhouse in British cuisine.
|Per 100 g||Daily Value|
|Total fat||0.3 g||0.3%|