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National Spinach Day

March is typically filled with just about everything green, from St. Patrick’s Day to a great time to start planting your spring leafy vegetables. March 26th is National Spinach Day and is also one of my favorite leafy greens. Spinach can help compliment any meal whether stewed, tossed with other vegetables or blended into a smoothie. Spinach is naturally fat-free, cholesterol free and high in dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, and folate. For more information on folate, see HGIC 4068, Folate.

When shopping for spinach to compliment your meal, be sure to look for fresh, bright green, crisp, whole leaves without bruises or tears. For more information on leafy green basics, see HGIC 3532, Leafy Green Basics. Spinach by the bunch can cost less than purchasing pre-packaged ready to eat spinach, so if you’re into saving a few bucks, spinach by the bunch is the way to go. Before you enjoy this tasty and nutritious leafy green, be sure to wash your spinach under cool running water. Rub briskly with your hands to help remove dirt and surface microorganisms. When storing, loosely wrap spinach in a damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

National Spinach Day is a great day to set new goals to help increase your intake. Try a new spinach dish or even start your home garden off with this mighty green, you will be in for a nutritious treat! For more information on growing spinach see, HGIC 1320, Spinach.

Walnut Raspberry Salad and Raspberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons raspberry preserves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
8 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup slivered red onions
6 ounce package raspberries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped and toasted walnuts
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl whisk together preserves, oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add spinach and onion and toss gently to coat with dressing. Add raspberries and walnuts and toss very lightly again. Serve immediately.

Do not let leftovers make you sick! As soon as you are done eating, refrigerate your leftovers. Place a piece of tape on the container and write the day’s date on the tape to remind you to eat the leftovers within four days. If you cannot eat leftovers within four days, freeze them if possible.

Source: Adapted from www.walnuts.org

Sweet Green Machine Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
1 apple peeled, cut into cubes
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup spinach
1 ripe banana, cut into pieces
1 cup ice cubes
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Combine pineapple, apple, and almond milk in blender. Cover; blend until smooth.
  2. Add spinach, banana, ice, and lemon juice. Cover; continue blending until smooth. If a little thinner consistency is desired, add a little cold water. Serve.

Do not let leftovers make you sick! As soon as you are done eating, refrigerate your leftovers. Place a piece of tape on the container and write the day’s date on the tape to remind you to eat the leftovers within four days. If you cannot eat leftovers within four days, freeze them if possible.

Source: Adapted from www.dole.com

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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