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10+ Ways to Add Fresh or Frozen Spinach to Your Cooking

Kathy is a busy mom of two teens who loves to cook tasty and simple food for her family and friends.

Spinach Is Good for Your Health

Spinach is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. It is a source of many essential vitamins and minerals, and it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that may help ward off illness and disease.

If you would like to incorporate more spinach into your meals, but aren't sure where to start, read on for 10-plus tasty ways to do it.

Spinach feta pasta is quick and easy to make

Spinach feta pasta is quick and easy to make

1. Add It to Pasta Dishes

If you're looking for an easy way to start eating more spinach, you can't go wrong by adding spinach to pasta dishes. There are many pasta recipes with spinach to choose from, including recipes for chicken spinach Alfredo, spinach feta pasta or spinach lasagna roll-ups.

You can also make your own spinach pasta dish by just adding a handful or two of spinach leaves to your favourite pasta recipe.

Spinach Lasagna With Ricotta Cheese and Bechamel Sauce

2. Make Spinach Soup

Making soup may not be the first thing you think of doing with spinach, but there are a lot of spinach soup recipes available, and they are surprisingly delicious.

Here are a few recipes to try:

Easy Cream of Spinach Soup

3. Serve It as a Side Dish

An easy way to serve spinach as a side dish is to boil or steam some fresh spinach leaves for a few minutes until wilted, and serve with butter and a bit of salt.

You can also sautee spinach leaves and slivered almonds in a bit of olive oil or butter for a slightly fancier variation.

Another spinach side dish that is popular at some restaurants, particularly steak houses, is creamed spinach. See the video below for one way to make creamed spinach at home.

Easy Creamed Spinach

4. Make a Crowd-Pleasing Spinach Dip

You're probably already familiar with the classic spinach dip recipe, made with dry vegetable soup mix and often served in a hollowed-out round pumpernickel bread bowl, but there are many other spinach dip recipes to try, including:

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5. Use Spinach in Your Baking

Spinach makes a healthy addition to baked goods. Believe it or not, you can make surprisingly delicious cakes, muffins and brownies with spinach and you have no idea you're eating the green stuff in most cases. (Hint: Chocolate does a great job of disguising the look and taste of spinach.)

Here are a few recipes to get you started:

6. Add It To Your Eggs

Spinach makes a great addition to various egg dishes, any of which can be served for breakfast, lunch or even dinner.

Here are a few possibilities:

  • Spinach omelette
  • Spinach frittata
  • Eggs Florentine: Similar to eggs Benedict, but the ham is replaced with either steamed spinach or baby spinach leaves and topped with hollandaise sauce or a creamy cheese sauce.
  • Spinach quiche
A baby spinach and feta omelette imakes a healthy and tasty breakfast or lunch.

A baby spinach and feta omelette imakes a healthy and tasty breakfast or lunch.

7. Make a Spinach Pie

Spanakopita, or spinach pie, is a traditional Greek dish that is made with a mixture of chopped spinach, feta, onions and eggs cooked in a filo dough pastry.

See the video below for instructions to make your own spanakopita at home.

Recipe: Spinach and Feta Cheese Pie (Spanakopita)

8. Make a Salad

Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse, and spinach salads are a great way to eat spinach on a more regular basis. Baby spinach leaves are typically used for spinach salads. Traditionally, spinach salads are made with chopped hard-boiled egg, crumbled bacon and a creamy poppy seed dressing. While very tasty, these salads pack quite a few calories and fat.

A healthier way to make a spinach salad is just to use baby spinach leaves in place of lettuce, and add fresh fruit and vegetable toppings of your choice. Good matches include berries, mandarin orange slices, roasted red peppers or cucumbers. Other topping I like to add sometimes are sesame seeds, slivered almonds or walnuts and goat cheese.

Spinach salads are a quick and easy side dish.

Spinach salads are a quick and easy side dish.

9. Use It as a Pizza Topping

Do you like to make homemade pizza? Why not add a few handfuls of spinach leaves to your next pizza to boost the nutrition level?

Feta cheese, roasted red peppers and spinach make a particularly yummy pizza combination, but really it goes very well with a variety of toppings.

10. Blend Up a Healthy Smoothie

Ever since Victoria Boutenko wrote the book The Green Smoothie Revolution, people have been adding leafy greens like spinach and kale to their smoothies in an attempt to improve their health.

Green smoothies may look strange, but they can be delicious and are a great way to add some nutrition to your daily diet.

Even More Ways to Use Fresh Spinach

Add a handful of spinach leaves to any of the following for a nutrition boost:

  • Stir-fries
  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Pasta sauce
  • Wraps and sandwiches

Spinach Nutrition Facts

Spinach contains:

  • Vitamins A, C and K, B6, Vitamin E, folate, calcium, beta carotene, lutein, iron and protein
  • 1 cup of raw spinach contains just 7 calories and 1 g of protein

Source: USDA Nutrient Database

© 2013 Kathy Sima

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