The home country of spinach is considered Persia, it was introduced in Europe in the XV century, in the beginning of the XIX century, spinach was often used in international cuisine. Eating and cooking spinach is easy and simple, as it is delicious both raw and cooked. You can find it fresh, frozen or canned, and it is easily incorporated into many dishes. Due to its diversity, it can be served raw in sandwiches and salads or added to sushi, meat, fish or other vegetable dishes.
Spinach is planted in the spring, at the earliest at the end of February. The yield and quality of spinach production decrease significantly if sown later. For spring production, the land is plowed and fertilized according to the culture. Before spring, the crop land is cultivated to a depth of 12-14 cm and fertilized.
When sowing, spinach seeds can be dispersed on a flat surface or line. Preferably, by drilling. Seeds of spinach are sown 2-3 cm deep. When planting, large areas can become a seeder, so keep a distance of 20-25 cm, row by row. About 100 square meters total area planted spinach requires 250-300 g seeds and 1 acre – an average of 2-2, 5 kg.
Well-rooted plants form 3-4 leaves without suffering damage in temperatures of minus 8-10 degrees Celsius.
Composition of spinach
Besides being delicious, spinach is popular because of its high nutritional value. It is not only low in calories but is also a good source of iron, vitamin A and C, minerals and fiber. A serving of spinach contains 3 grams of protein. The leaves of the vegetables are very rich in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins B1, B2, B6, PP and smaller amounts of vitamin K. It has been shown that 80 g fresh and 200 g of cooked spinach cover about half the RDA of vitamin C.
100 grams of spinach contains 23 calories, 70 mg sodium, 3 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 20% iron, 16% vitamin C, 210% vitamin A, 14% calcium.
Types of Spinach
Flat or smooth leaf. Spinach with churning or smooth, elongated leaves. The taste is softer than that of Savoy. This type of spinach is used for canning or freezing, as well as soups, baby food and other processing.
Savoy. Savoy has a wrinkled, dark green curly leaves. It’s texture is different from smooth leaf spinach, but the taste is almost the same. You can find fresh Savoy in your nearest store.
Semi-Savoy. Recently popular is a semi-Savoy, which has slightly curly leaves. They have almost the same roughness, but is easier to clean than ordinary Savoy. Usually, it is sold fresh, but is also found in processed foods.
Fresh spinach is available all year round.
Selection and storage of spinach
You can find fresh, canned or frozen spinach in the supermarket. It is best to choose green spinach, with solid sheets and a fresh smell. Avoid damaged or spotted leaves.
Fresh spinach should be dry and come in a plastic bag. It can stand inside the fridge for 3 or 4 days.
Culinary uses of spinach
Iron and calcium in plants is not easily absorbed by the body. Spinach contains a chemical called oxalic acid, which binds with iron and calcium and reduces the adoption of these substances from the body. For better reception of iron and calcium, spinach should be eaten with foods rich in vitamin C such as orange juice, tomatoes and citrus fruits.
Spinach grows in sandy soils, so it should be washed thoroughly before eating. The stalk must be cut off. Separate the leaves and place them in a large bowl with water. Wash them thoroughly, leaving the sand to settle to the bottom of the bowl. Remove the leaves from the water, rinse the bowl and repeat the process until the leaves are completely clean.
If you eat raw spinach, dry it completely with a kitchen towel. Slightly damp spinach can be steamed or microwaved without adding water.
Put the leaves in a large saucepan of boiling water. When the leaves are slightly cut, squeeze excess moisture from them. This method is used for quick cooking of spinach, sautéing or preparing for stuffing, and usually takes 2-5 minutes
Preparation with a microwave
Put washed, slightly wet spinach in a microwave dish. Cover and cook until tender (4-7 minutes for 1/2kg Spinach).
If you can steam spinach, not dry the leaves after washing. Steamed spinach can be a great garnish and only takes 5 to 10 minutes to make.
• Make spinach part of your plan five day eating plan
• Use fresh spinach for a delicious, healthy salad.
• Add to other fruits and vegetables, along with your favorite dressing for the salad.
• Add yogurt to the chopped spinach or spinach puree to make a low fat version of cream of spinach.
• Buy bagged spinach for quick meals.
Benefits of Spinach
Spinach is very healthy and beneficial food. Those eating spinach does not have to worry about their weight, on the contrary - they can include it in their diet. Spinach is loaded with large amounts of flavonoids that act as antioxidants and protect the body from the harmful action of free radicals.
The various nutrients contained in spinach provide a strong defense against disease. These green leaves provide much strength and energy to the body. This leafy green vegetable is extremely useful for people suffering from anemia.
Dangers of spinach
Potential risk of consumption of spinach is only present for people who have developed allergies to iron. Spinach contains oxalic acid, which is completely contraindicated in those with renal insufficiency.