Before kale came along and took the nutrition world by storm, there was spinach. It was a favorite of Popeye the Sailor and the Queen of France for a good reason. It is easy to grow, chock full of vitamins and minerals, and has a milder taste than kale, making is easy to add to your diet.
One cup of cooked (or 3 cups raw) spinach has only 45 calories and contains 3 g of fiber and 6 g of protein (1). It is a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, folic acid, manganese, magnesium, B vitamins, and contains twice as much iron than most other leafy greens (sorry kale) (2).
Quick Tip: Add a handful of spinach to your morning smoothie! It won’t change the flavor at all and will add a serving of vegetables to your diet.
Selection and Storage
You want to look for spinach that is medium-to-dark green in color, is not wilted and is free from any evidence of decay. It is best to store this leafy green unwashed and loosely packed in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper (2).
Before use, soak spinach in water to remove any dirt, then toss in a salad spinner to remove excess water.
Green Mango Breakfast Smoothie
- 1 cup of almond or soy milk
- 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1/4 of an avocado
- 2/3 cup of frozen mango
- Maple syrup to taste
- Toss all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a glass and serve.
 Colorado State University Extension. “Spinach Facts.” Farm to Table, 2015. Web. 5 March 2016.
 Murray, Michael, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno. Healing Foods. Toronto: Atria Books, 2005. Print.