Origin of our modern day Spinach.
Thought to have originated in ancient Persia, Spinach was carried by the Arab traders along their trade routes all the way to India, from there it was introduced into China. Where it is still known by its country of origins name ( Persian vegetable ) bosi cai.
The Earliest record of Spinach
The earliest record of spinach in China was around 647 AD, the first time spinach was mentioned in a western cookbook was in an old English Cookbook Printed in 1390 ( the Forme of Cury ) a notable medieval recipe book for its time. The English having been introduced to this wonderful vegetable by the Spanish, its subsequent spread throughout Europe was a rapid affair.
While there are many varieties of Spinach, they fall loosely into three Distinct Categories
the Savoy , the semi-savoy , and the flat leafed spinach. Each having their own subfamilies/hybrids.
Flat Leafed Spinach :
Popeye likes it so should you.
Children often associate Spinach with the famous cartoon character Popeye the sailor man. Popeye gained popularity in the early 1930's and has since become closely linked to the theory among children that eating spinach will make you grow stronger. Since the introduction of the cartoon character, Popeye the Sailor man to main stream children's entertainment, Many parents, have used the iconic cartoon character to convince their children to eat spinach.
You can purchase spinach in a can, as depicted by Popeye, Frozen in leaf form, prechopped, air dried in vacuum sealed packets, in bottles like dried herbs or fresh from the market.
Al Dente Spinach Fettuccine, 12-Ounce Bag (Pack of 6) Al Dente
Allen's Popeye Spinach, 13.5000-Ounce (Pack of 6) Allens
The top 2 Spinach Producing countries in the world today.
China, the locals swear by the healing and nutritional properties of this vegetable.
United States Of America, It has gained popularity since the early 1930's mostly through the endorsement from Popeye.
Baby Spinach Salad
A healthy quick way to eat spinach, is just to make a simple, baby spinach salad.
Spinach to be cooked
Feta cheese cut to small cubes
Apple cider vinegar
Croutons ( optional )
Clean baby spinach , separate leaves
Place spinach in large salad bowl.
In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, water and finely chopped garlic .
Splash dressing onto the baby spinach and mix well
To serve place some spinach salad on a plate, top with feta cheese and croutons.
This is a delicious way to eat spinach, its a popular dish in most parts of Europe. I first tried this when I was really young, in fact I do not even remember the first time. My mother tells me creamed spinach was one of the first dishes I tried, along with blended carrots. The precursor to power drinks perhaps :)
6 cloves Garlic
4 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Flour
Salt to taste
Pinch of Pepper
Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 3 minutes.
Remove from water and chop spinach till fine.
In pan, melt the butter and add flour stir continuously for five minutes or until rue turns light brown. Do not burn the rue as it will not be usable.
Add chopped garlic and stir for a few seconds.
Whisk the water slowly into the rue
Add chopped spinach, salt and pepper
Cook on low heat for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
This is great with mashed potato and sausage.
Stir Fried Spinach
This is one of the fastest and easiest ways to cook spinach, it takes just a few minutes of your time. Stir fried spinach is popular in many Asian countries.
Heat a pan, add olive oil and garlic
Put in the spinach and salt, stir for five minutes or until spinach is cooked
Serve with rice or noodles.
Spinach has long been known for its nutritional values, Especially Vitamin A and Iron, it is also known to have high levels of antioxidants.
Nutritional Value per 100gm ( data extrapolated From the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2012. USDA National Nutrient Database f
Total lipid (fat)
Carbohydrate, by difference
Fiber, total dietary
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
Vitamin A, RAE
Vitamin A, IU
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
Fatty acids, total saturated
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated
© 2013 ketage
ketage (author) from Croatia on May 12, 2013:
I hope your kids like spinach to peachpurple , make them watch a popeye cartoon before serving them spinach :) thanks for visiting my hub :)
peachy from Home Sweet Home on May 11, 2013:
different spinach from asian. Our spinach has long leaves or round type of fragile, not as firm looking as the picture. Wonderful hub. Lots of nutrition stated and recipe looks easy to whip up for dinner. Hopefully my kids will eat them as they love popeye too
ketage (author) from Croatia on April 09, 2013:
Thanks for Commenting Faythef :) I am having spinach salad this evening, although I am having it with home made Riccota cheese, too lazy to go to the shop and buy feta. Bon Appetite :)
Faythe Payne from USA on April 08, 2013:
I love spinach..and it is such a healthy food..giving this a try