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.
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.
Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
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
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.
Shrimp and Spinach Stir Fry
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
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.
Skillet Spinach Rotini
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
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.
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© 2013 Susan Hazelton