For years I thought blanching was a total waste of time and unnecessary. In fact it is essential and not much of an extra effort. Blanching vegetables in salt water for 1-2 minutes improves the flavours and texture of the spinach considerably. Children are much more likely to eat this vegetable if it has been prepared the traditional way by blanching and coating the leaves in pat of natural fat. Blanching removes any anti-nutrients present in the dark leaves that are responsible for leaving a bitter, unpleasant flavour. Butter is rich in fat soluble vitamins meaning your body will absorb, not waste, the bountiful supply of excellent nutrients in this dark green vegetable.
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein, and choline. Additionally, spinach is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, pantothenic acid, and selenium. While this mixture of conventional nutrients gives spinach a unique status in the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory department, it is the unusual mixture of phytonutrients in spinach that “seals the deal” in terms of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components. In terms of flavonoids, spinach is a unique source of methylenedioxyflavonol glucuronides, and in terms of carotenoids, its difficult to find a more helpful source of lutein and zeaxanthin. The epoxyxanthophyll carotenoids neoxanthin and violaxanthin are also welcomed constituents of spinach leaves. Taken from whfoods.org.
I bought my spinach from Rashid who advised me not to discard the tips of the stems. He swore they were rich in nutrients and flavour. Following his advice I kept mine and I have to agree – they tasted good. Give it a go.
1 kg of spinach.
A generous pat of butter.
Salt & pepper.
Bring a pot of water to the boil and add 1 tbs. of salt. Whilst the salt water comes to the boil wash the spinach thoroughly to remove any excess soil on the leaves.
Once the water is boiling dip the spinach into the water and leave to boil for 1-2 minutes.
Pour the water and spinach into a colander and rinse the spinach under cold water.
Squeeze as much of the water as you can out of the leaves. Return them to a chopping board and cut into stripes.
Heat a generous pat of butter on a medium heat in a frying pan.
When the butter has melted add the chopped spinach leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Fry for around 1-2 minutes before serving.