Spinach Three Ways

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Happy National Spinach Day InDependent readers! Spinach is no longer only exclusively for salads. I have three great non-salad ways you can use this leafy green.

This bright and vibrant power packed leaf is full nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, and iron. Low in calories and full of water, you get full just eating a cup. Plus that cup of raw spinach you’re eating is only about 10 calories, if you were counting. The less cooking you do to this delicate green, the better it will be for you. So when thinking spinach, think raw, frozen, or lightly steamed if you must cook it.

I have a few of my favorite spinach recipes for you below. We are dairy free in this household due to allergies, so the recipes I have do not include dairy but it’s not difficult to substitute regular dairy milk in these recipes either, just make an equal exchange of regular milk for almond milk. Today, I have a Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Spinach Lemon Pesto, and a Tropical Green Smoothie recipe that will knock your taste buds’ socks off.

Spinach Artichoke Dip (Dairy-Free)
Spinach Artichoke Dip (Dairy-Free)

Spinach Artichoke Dip (Dairy-Free)

Makes 1 quart serving dish 

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup dairy-free milk (I used almond)
  • ¾ cup cashews (unsalted)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dry ground mustard
  •  a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Put almond milk, cashews, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth and no cashew pieces are visible. 
  3. Add spinach and artichokes and pulse 7-10 times until spinach and artichokes are incorporated but not blended. 
  4. Pour into an ovenproof dish and bake 15-20 minutes. To keep your spinach fresh, do not cook any longer.
  5. Enjoy warm or cold, spread on a sliced baguette.
Spinach Lemon Pesto (Dairy Free)
Spinach Lemon Pesto (Dairy Free)

Spinach Lemon Pesto (Dairy Free)

Makes 2/3 cup pesto (serves 4) 

Making fresh, homemade pesto is so easy, fresh, and delicious.  There’s so much room for experimenting with flavors too. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or blender, blend together spinach, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, and basil leaves.   
  2. Add the oil slowly while still blending. 
  3. Scrape down sides of bowl and pulse once more to make sure it’s well blended.
  4. Serve as a pasta sauce, spread on a sandwich, or served on toasted baguette slices.
Tropical Green Smoothie
Tropical Green Smoothie

Tropical Green Smoothie

Serves 1 

It’s tough to get at least three servings of vegetables in a day, but this smoothie recipe has a serving of vegetables and a serving of fruit. Before you start your workday, you already have two cups of fruits and vegetables to get your day started right.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed spinach
  • 1 ½ cup frozen tropical fruit mix (I used pineapple, mango, papaya, banana, and strawberry.)
  • 1 cup+ dairy free milk (I used original almond milk but I bet vanilla flavored almond milk would be great too!)

Instructions

Add all ingredients into blender and blend until desired smoothie consistency.  You may need to add more milk if it is too thick. 

What is your favorite way to eat spinach?