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Spinach - It's Not Just For Popeye

Updated on April 27, 2014
Spinach - It's not just for Popeye.
Spinach - It's not just for Popeye.

Spinach - the all time favorite food of Popeye. Here you will find spinach recipes that will make the most anti veggie person ask for more.

It must have been a happy day for parents when Fleischer Studios decided to introduce Popeye to the cartoon world in 1933. Popeye's love of spinach helped the sale of that vegetable increase by 30% during the first decade of cartoon viewing. Even today children are found to be more willing to eat spinach after watching a Popeye cartoon. After All, whenever Popeye needed to save Sweetpea, Olive Oyl, or any other innocent from danger all he had to do is, squeeze open a can of spinach, eat it in one gulp, and out would pop these terrific muscles. Is spinach really the wonder vegetable?

Just How Healthy is Spinach?

For years parents have been telling their children to eat their spinach and they will be strong like Popeye. How true is this? Is there really any truth to the what your parent told you, that spinach can make you strong like Popeye? Let's check it out.

  • The potassium content in spinach, 839 mg in one cup of cooked spinach, can help to reduce your high blood pressure.
  • The rich calcium content helps strengthen bones.
  • Spinach is very rich in antioxidants.
  • The flavonoids in spinach help protect against age related memory loss.
  • Spinach is high is Vitamin C and Vitamin A making it a heart-healthy food.
  • The anti inflammatory properties found in spinach help with arthritis, migraines, asthma, and osteoporosis.
  • The carotenoid lutein found in spinach helps protect against eye diseases.
  • Spinach is fat free and cholesterol free.
  • It is an excellent source of iron.
  • Spinach is low in calories, only 7 calories per cup.
  • The high level of Vitamin B in this vegetable make it ideal for the pregnant woman.

The benefits of spinach
The benefits of spinach | Source

Spinach Fun Facts

  • In the U.S., Texas and California produce the most spinach.
  • There are three types of spinach: savoy, semi-savoy and flat or smooth leaf.
  • Spinach is a native plant of Persia.
  • 'Birds Eye' was the first company to advertise frozen spinach.
  • Spinach grows best in cool, moist conditions.
  • Spinach contains 3 grams of protein per serving.
  • Catherine de' Medici, queen of France in the 16th century, loved spinach so much she ate it at every meal.
  • Spinach is available year round.
  • In the 19th century cookbooks advised cooking spinach for 25 minutes.

Source

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

1 pkg frozen chopped spinach (10 oz), thawed and squeezed dry

2 1/2 cups marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup low fat sour cream

1 tsp minced garlic

1 cup Parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded Fiesta blend cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray casserole dish with nonstick oil spray.

Combine all ingredient except for cheese and mix well.

Place mixture into casserole dish and cover with cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes, until top is golden brown.

This dip goes well with tortilla chips, blue chips, bagel chips and corn chips.

Serves 8.

Shrimp and Spinach Stir Fry

Ingredients:

1 bag fresh baby spinach leaves

1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined

2 tbsp olive oil

3 tsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

Heat oil in large skillet and saute garlic and cayenne pepper for 1 minute.

Add shrimp and saute until they turn a delicate pink, about 2 minutes.

Add fresh spinach leaves to pan and saute until spinach starts wilting, 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve and enjoy.

Serves 2.

Skillet Spinach Rotini

Ingredients:

8 oz rotini

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 tsp minced garlic • 3 cups sliced mushrooms

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 can Italian Herb diced tomatoes (14 oz)

8 cups baby spinach leaves

1 cup ricotta cheese

Parmesan cheese, to taste

Directions:

Cook rotini until just tender, drain and place in a large bowl.

While rotini is cooking heat oil in large skillet and saute onion and garlic until tender, about 3 minutes.

Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and saute for another 4 to 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes and spinach and turn to medium high heat, cooking until spinach wilts, about 4 minutes.

Add skillet mixture to cooked pasta and mix well.

Place on platters, add dollops of ricotta cheese and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4.

© 2013 Susan Haze

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    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
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      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      coffeeginmyrice, thanks for visiting. I can remember years ago my grandmother would slice a boiled egg on top of a bowl of spinach and eat it.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Audrey, I love them all. I especially like the Shrimp and Spinach = it's so quick and easy.

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      koffeeklatchgals, thanks for the added recipes! I enjoyed the Popeye attachments too as it is one of my old cartoon favourites.

      I love spinach in many ways I can imagine preparing and cooking it. I have fellow Chinese co-worker who brings fresh spinach to work. She'd let it sit in a bowl of hot water for a few seconds and simply lunch on it with chopsticks, nothing else. She does the same with bokchoy. What a plain but healthy way of eating!

      Cheers to you and more spinach power! Watch out Brutus!!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Your recipes look wonderful!!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      vespawoolf, I would love to see more vegetable loving super heroes. Maybe one like Super Squash who comes to the rescue of the weak and defenseless and teaches the children to become just like him by eating a helping of squash a day.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      You're so right---even my spinach-detesting husband loves spinach-artichoke dip. The stir-fry and rotini sound delicious, too! I remember when I was a child, a little neighbor boy always wanted to eat spinach to be like Popeye. Too bad we don't have more vegetable eating Super heroes these days! Voted up and shared.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Joanna, thanks for the recipe. It sound delicious. Any healthy recipe that is also kid friendly is worth it's weight in gold.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      aviannovice, I've been know to add spinach to anything that stands still long enough. Thanks for reading.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Eiddwen, I'm happy to add to your recipe collection.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      always exploring, I've never tried a little sugar in my spinach. I'll have to make it a point to try.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Dianna Lee, I also take a blood thinner and have to limit my Vitamin K intake. I love spinach so much that I set one day a month aside to allow myself a spinach dish.

    • Joanna Verdan profile image

      Joanna Slodownik 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Here is an idea for a healthy and quick spinach snack - green smoothie! Simply blend spinach with a banana, a cup of strawberries (or other sweet fruit), a cup of water and ... be prepared to be amazed. Even my 8 year old loves spinach in this liquid version, LOL.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Minnetonka Twin, I have always connected spinach with Popeye. It must be all the Popeye cartoons I watched when I was young.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I have loved spinach since I was a kid, and Popeye only reinforced it. It is a great food, though, and if everyone ate it, they would be a lot better off. I even throw it in my lasagna.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      kashmir56, thank you. I love spinach.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Mhatter99, you're welcome. I hope you try them.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image
      Author

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      drbj, I love spinach cooked or raw. As long as it isn't mushy it's ok with me.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Wonderful KK G some more to add to my ever expanding recipe book. Thanks for sharing and have a great day.

      Eddy.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Would you believe that i had spinach and salmon for dinner two days ago. I love spinach. I put a little sugar and salad vinegar which makes it really good. Thank you again for great recipes.....

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      This is very interesting. I love spinach, but I seldom serve it because it contains vitamin K much like lettuce which does not work well with the warfarin (blood thinner) my husband takes for his heart trouble. He has to limit his intake on spinach or lettuce for that reason. Good hub, well done.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Hi KKGals~loved this spinach hub and the cartoon. Popeye cartoon brings back such great memories for me. Loved all your recipes but especially the hot artichoke dip. Thanks for a great hub. Hit many buttons and voted up.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great spinach recipes and they all sound so good. Well done !

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I love spinach. I didn't have these ideas.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for the interesting facts about spinach, KKGals. I like it raw in a salad but am not a fervent fan of it cooked - despite Popeye.