Kale seems like all the rage these days, but I’m still keeping my spinach around for its versatility. (This is an interesting article comparing the two.)
Here’s the thing: I don’t like vegetables. I have to play mind games and poke them in here and there when I’m not looking. Spinach happens to be my trick of choice because it can blend in with other foods and is rich in vitamins and antioxidants. (When I do manage to eat a vegetable, it better pack a nutritional punch!)
I usually have a one-pound container of organic baby spinach leaves from Costco (currently $4.49) in the fridge. I grab handfuls from it here and there to hide in different dishes and smoothies. Spinach is on the dirty dozen list, so I do try to look for the organic package.
If you see a leaf or two wilt or become brown, toss them quick so they don’t affect the rest of the leaves. This will keep your container fresh longer. Also, preparing spinach fresh or quickly steaming it preserves the nutrients best.
Ok! Here are my favorite ways to sneak it in:
The best way to trick yourself (and your kids) with spinach is a smoothie. If you have never tried adding a cup or two of leafy greens to your smoothie, try it! If you add a banana, you cannot taste it. At all. I promise. (Especially if you blend the spinach and water in the blender first, before you add other ingredients, to create a base.) Here’s an awesome recipe for Kids’ Favorite Smoothie.
Instead of adding only basil to your pesto, blend some spinach in as well. The spinach is raw, with all the nutrients left in tact, and all you taste is yummy basil and parmesan.
When your omelet is almost done, add in a few spinach leaves. It tastes great with feta or goat cheese.
Instead of a piece of iceberg lettuce, which has little nutritional value, add spinach to a sandwich. My husband puts a little olive oil and salt on the spinach while making sandwiches, and it is worth the extra step! The almost-caprese sandwich in the photo is my favorite: toasted cibata bread, campari tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and spinach.
I add a layer of spinach leaves to cheesy quesadillas and dip in a little guacamole. Yum!