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We all know that Popeye made himself super strong by eating spinach, but you may be surprised to learn that he may also have been helping to protect himself against inflammatory problems, oxidative stress-related problems, cardiovascular problems, bone problems, and cancers at the same time.

Calorie for calorie, leafy green vegetables like spinach with its delicate texture and jade green color provide more nutrients than any other food.

Among the World's Healthiest vegetables, spinach comes out at the top for nutrient richness. Rich in vitamins and minerals, it is also concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) and flavonoids to provide you with powerful antioxidant protection. Enjoy baby spinach in your favorite salads or make a salad made exclusively of baby spinach.

Spinach should be washed very well since the leaves and stems tend to collect sand and soil. Before washing, trim off the roots and separate the leaves. Place the spinach in a large bowl of tepid water and swish the leaves around with your hands as this will allow any dirt to become dislodged. Remove the leaves from the water, empty the bowl, refill with clean water and repeat this process until no dirt remains in the water (usually two to three times will do the trick). Do not leave spinach soaking in the water as water-soluble nutrients will leach into the water.

The Healthiest Way of Cooking Spinach

Spinach is only one of three vegetables we recommend boiling to free up acids and allow them to leach into the boiling water; this brings out a sweeter taste from the spinach. Discard the boiling water after cooking; do not drink it or use it for stock because of its acid content.

Use a large pot (3 quart) with lots of water and bring to a rapid boil. Add spinach to the boiling water and boil for 1 minute. Begin timing as soon as you place the spinach in the pot if you are using 1 pound or less of spinach. If you are cooking larger quantities of spinach bring the water back to a boil before beginning timing the 1 minute. Do not cover the pot when cooking spinach. Leaving the pot uncovered helps to release more of the acids with the rising steam. Research has shown that the boiling of spinach in large amounts of water helps decrease the oxalic acid content by as much as 50%. 

Garlic Spinach

1-Minute Spinach

1-Minute Spinach

Enjoy this quick and easy addition to your healthy way of eating that provides you with an excellent source of healthy promoting nutrients such as vitamin A,K, C, as well as manganese and folate.

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Greens and Cheese in Phyllo 

Greens and Cheese in Phyllo
yield: 6-12 servings

Notes: This is a great way to use up LOTS of greens. I used spinach and mustard greens, but just about  any variety will work for this recipe. You can make a lower-fat, but still delicious version by spritzing the layers of phyllo with canola oil, olive oil, or any spray vegetable oil instead of brushing with butter. Great as an appetizer, side or main dish.

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Pasta and Greens

Pasta and Greens
yield: 4-6 servings

Notes: Hope this is helpful, easy dinners that we make often.

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Spinach and Red Pepper Frittata

Spinach and Red Pepper Frittata
yield: 4 servings

Notes:  Frittatas are great served warm, room temperature, and cold! You can vary this by changing the kind of vegetables and cheese, so it is really versatile.  Frittatas are easy to cook and use a lot of vegetables. Make it your own!

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