Let’s talk about spinach. My love for this vegetable runs deep for so many reasons.
Popeye wasn't kidding when he preached about how good spinach is for our bodies. But the benefits go way beyond what he knew. And in my opinion, it is one of, if not the most versatile leafy green vegetable out there and can be incorporated into just about any recipe.
Spinach is packed full of nutrients and has even been known to be called a powerhouse food. It is an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K1, iron, folate and calcium. All of those nutrients combined may benefit your eye health, improve blood glucose control in people with diabetes, reduce oxidative stress, lower your risk of cancer, reduce blood pressure and more.
Not only is it loaded with all those nutrients, but it’s also a low-calorie option. For two cups of fresh spinach, there are only 25 calories. That means you could eat an entire bag of spinach for less than 100 calories.
You can buy spinach fresh, frozen, or canned. I love spinach because it has a very mild flavor which makes it easy to sneak in any dish. Now, you might be wondering, “Really? What exactly can I put it in?” The options are endless.
You can add spinach to soups, pasta, casseroles, eggs and sandwiches. I’ve even cooked it into my taco meat and enchiladas. Maybe you’re a smoothie fanatic; throw some spinach in. Making homemade pizza? Tear your spinach leaves up and sprinkle it on top or even mix it into the pizza sauce.
I’m telling you, think outside the box and you’ll be surprised you and your picky eaters won’t even notice it’s there.
Creamy Spinach Roll Ups
8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
8 oz. reduced-fat Monterey Jack Cheese Shredded
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 Yellow Onion Diced Small
1 - 10 oz. package of Frozen Spinach, thawed and drained really well
1 Box of Puff Pastry Sheets (2 Sheets)
1 tbsp. Water
1. Combine the egg and water and beat until well mixed.
2. Combine softened cream cheese, monterey jack Cheese, garlic powder and onion in a bowl and mix well.
3. Add spinach into the cream cheese mixture and stir.
4. Unroll puff pastry sheets and brush both sides with egg and water mixture.
5. Spread cream cheese and spinach mixture over one side of the puff pastry.
6. Roll up the puff pastry and slice.
7. Place rolls on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the puff pastry turns a golden color.
Jordan Luxa is a Food, Nutrition and Health educator for Nebraska Extension in Washington County. She can be contacted at 402-426-9455, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Washington County Extension website at www.washington.unl.edu.