11 Benefits of Spinach That Will Convince You to Eat More Leafy Greens Plus 15 Instant Pot Recipes That Use Spinach
As a child I loved to watch Popeye the Sailor Man. Popeye was a cartoon character who got his strength from eating Spinach. Do you remember the cartoon? Whilst I never had spinach as a child, I started experimenting with spinach as an adult whilst looking for ways to increase my Iron intake.
Spinach is a fantastic vegetable and superfood full of goodness. Today I’ll be sharing some of the benefits of spinach along with some delicious Instant Pot spinach recipes that use the superfood as a main ingredient.
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What Is The Benefit Of Spinach?
Spinach is a great superfood and has many benefits. Here are 11 benefits of spinach.
Spinach is packed full of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, iron, manganese and calcium. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber, potassium and choline.
Vitamin A is important for healthy vision, the immune system health and skin.
Vitamin C is a great antioxidant that can be used to support the immune system.
Folate is important for the body to form new cells and it may also help to reduce levels of homocysteine in your blood which can increase risk of heart disease. Folate is also good for women during pregnancy as it helps prevent neural tube defects in babies.
Spinach is a great source of Iron. Iron is important for transporting oxygen around the body. It can also help to boost energy levels and reduce tiredness.
Manganese is also found in spinach. It’s an an important mineral that plays a role in supporting your bones, kidneys and thyroid gland. It may also be used by the body to support growth, repair of tissues and helps form bone structure.
You can find calcium in spinach. Calcium is important for supporting your body to help form healthy bones and teeth.
Spinach also has dietary fiber which can keep you feeling fuller for longer so you eat less. It’s also great for digestive health.
Can Spinach Help You Lose Weight?
Yes. Spinach has a low calorie content and it’s high in dietary fiber which can keep you feeling fuller for longer and reduce cravings.
Cruciferous vegetables like spinach also contain substances known as glucosinolates. Glucosinolates break down when the vegetable is chewed or chopped to form isothiocyanates (ITCs). Certain ITCs can increase the activity of enzymes which are involved in detoxification. This means if you have some spinach, your body will be able to help eliminate carcinogens and metabolize some hormones that could cause cancer.
Is Spinach A Good Source Of Iron?
Yes, spinach is a good source of Iron. Spinach has about 3mg per 100g serving which for the average adult woman who needs 18mg each day; this would provide 6% of their daily intake ( 1 ).
Some factors that can affect how much iron you absorb include:
– other foods eaten at the same time
– having tea, coffee or calcium rich foods with your meal
– taking some medicines like antacids, antibiotics and heartburn tablets
– having certain medical conditions such as Anemia (low red blood cell count)
All of these factors can affect how much iron you absorb from the food you eat.
IS CANNED SPINACH GOOD FOR YOU?
It depends on the type of canned spinach you’re eating. Canned fruits and vegetables can be a good source of nutrients – depending on what they are packed in.
Canned foods need to have some sort of liquid added to them for storage which means they can lose some nutrients when they are in the can . The liquid that is used could also be high in sodium which is not so healthy.
Also, if you buy canned vegetables, choose ones that are low in salt or have no added salt. Some canned vegetables can contain added sugar to enhance the flavour.
If you need to buy canned spinach because it’s quick and convenient, just make sure to pick a brand that is low in salt and make sure you eat it soon after opening the can.
IS RAW SPINACH GOOD FOR YOU?
Whilst you could eat raw spinach, it may not be as good for you as cooked spinach. Raw spinach contains substances which can interfere with the absorption of certain minerals like iron and zinc. You would need to eat a lot of raw spinach to make up for any loss of nutrients when compared to cooked spinach.
Is It Easy To Grow Spinach?
Yes, spinach is easy to grow as it is a cool climate plant. You can either grow your own or find fresh spinach in the supermarket.
To harvest: pick individual leaves off the plant and discard any that are discoloured.
– Spinach will keep in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 5 days.
– It can be frozen if you blanch it first, which lengthens its shelf life.
– Be sure to squeeze the air out of the bag before sealing it and place in a shallow container so that it’s easier to take out what you need.
– You can also buy spinach seeds online if you want to grow your own.
How Long Does It Take To grow Spinach?
You can grow it yourself. It’s easy and quick to germinate so you don’t need to worry about waiting long, or buying it in the shops. Spinach can take between 37 to 45 days to grow.
Will Spinach Grow Back After Cutting?
Harvesting spinach correctly can help it grow again. When you cut the leaves, make sure that you don’t cut too close to the ground and that you don’t damage the growing point. You will be able to harvest again in 4 weeks.
Can You Freeze Spinach?
Spinach can be frozen after you blanch it. This means that before freezing it, you need to plunge the spinach in boiling water for a couple of minutes and then quickly put it into iced water so it stops cooking.
Once it’s cool, drain and squeeze out excess moisture and place into freezer bags or containers and pop into the freezer.
Spinach can last about a year in the freezer.
What Temperature Does Spinach Freeze At?
-202°F or -325°F (-321°C or -163°C).
5 Instant Pot Recipes That Use Spinach
So, here are 5 fantastic Instant Pot spinach recipes that you will want to try. Remember, this is just one of the leafy greens you can add to your meals to make it more nutritious and delicious.
If you don’t have an Instant Pot then you might like to start out with this one! I have this model and love to use it all the time!
Instant Pot Spinach Gnocchi Soup
Try our very own Instant Pot Gnocchi soup made from delicious spinach gnocchi. This recipe is simple and easy to cook and is full of goodness. It’s an Olive Garden copy cat and one you are sure to enjoy time and time again.
Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken WIth Spinach
Try Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken And spinach recipe today. This quick and easy instant pot recipe is perfect for busy weeknights. The base of this creamy white sauce is made with fresh spinach which adds a ton of flavour and nutrients to the dish without any extra effort on your part. It’s definitely my go-to when I’m short on time.
Instant Pot Creamy Spinach Fettucine
This spinach fettucine recipe is a classic Italian dish that you can make in your instant pot. The whole family will love this rich and creamy pasta recipe the next time you need to get dinner on the table fast.
Curried Quinoa Spinach
Try this Instant Pot Curried Quinoa Spinach. It’s a healthy and delicious one pot quinoa dish that’s packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals from the spinach. This is a very mild curry so if you like it spicy add a few more red chillies.
Instant Pot Spinach Soup
Instant Pot Spinach Soup is an iron rich recipe that is rich in antioxidants and has cancer fighting properties. The best thing about this recipe is that it can be easily made in an instant pot or a pressure cooker in no time.
5 Iron Rich Spinach Recipes For Your Instant Pot
As mentioned before spinach is a great source of Iron and these 5 recipes are Iron rich which is always good when cooking healthy Instant Pot recipes.
Instant Pot Brown Rice And Spinach
This delicious brown rice and spinach recipe is made in the instant pot. If you like to make brown rice, but don’t want to spend forever standing over it tending to every little bubble as it simmers, try doing it this way!
This is one of those delicious instant pot recipes that yields a whole lot of food and is also really healthy for you.
Spinach Chana Masala
This chickpea chana masala is packed with spinach and goodness. It is quick and easy to make in the instant pot. All you need are 15 minutes to whip up this tasty meal which is also vegan and gluten-free friendly.
Instant Pot Spinach Dal
Try making Instant Pot Spinach Dal in your pressure cooker. This recipe is made with toor dal or yellow split peas, spinach, tomato and Indian spices. The dal is cooked in the instant pot along with whole spices so it’s quick and easy even if you are cooking for one or two peopl.
Instant Pot Spinach Lasagna
Instant Pot Spinach Lasagna is a great recipe and so easy to make. This fool proof recipe is a great vegetarian lasagna and this cheesy vegetarian spinach meal will surely win your heart.
Instant Pot Spinach Artichoke Dip
Try this Spinach and Artichoke Dip recipe t’s tasty and full of flavor. Make Pot Spinach Artichoke Dip for your next get together. It’s always a party pleaser and it tastes just like the real thing with its cheesy deliciousness.
5 Delicious Instant Pot Spinach Recipes You Can Cook In Minutes
These Instant Pot spinach recipes are super quick to cook in the Instant Pot and can be ready in minutes!
Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese
Why not try this tasty spinach and artichoke mac and cheese recipe. It’s a healthy macaroni and cheese recipe that everyone will love.
Instant Pot Garlicky Spinach
This Instant Pot Garlicky Spinach by Corrie cooks is a tasty and easy side dish that can be made in less than 15 minutes in the instant pot.
Instant Pot Creamed Spinach
This Instant Pot Creamed Spinach Recipe is made with fresh spinach and feta cheese. It’s super tasty and a great source of iron.
Have you tried Palak Khichdi before? Here’s a simple Palak Khichdi Recipe in the Instant Pot. Enjoy this delicious spinach and rice recipe with your family for an easy weeknight meal.
Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas With Spinach
This black eyed peas and spinach recipe is really tasty! Enjoy this spinach salad as a side with a tasty family meal or curry.
So is spinach really good for you?
Spinach was a great superfood for popeye and it’s also a great vegetable for you to add to your recipes. Of course all foods should be eaten in moderation but you can pop spinach into many dishes from Instant pot chili to spaghetti bolognese and much more. In fact the more veggies you can pack into a meal the better it is fro your body and the more nutrition you will get. Enjoy these Instant Pot Spinach Recipes and reap the benefits of adding spinach to your daily diet.
About Angela Milnes
Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and adults. Angela has also taught cooking classes and loves to share both family recipes and easy instant pot recipes here on The Instant Pot Table. Follow her on Pinterest!