Spinach is a versatile green vegetable that contains a variety of nutrients that the body requires. It is very affordable and can therefore be considered a good food item to boost your healthy diet, due to its inexpensive nature and many benefits to one’s health.
In addition to being versatile, spinach has several health benefits due to its high levels of antioxidants in it. Antioxidants are molecules that prevent or delay some types of cell damage, thus reducing the risk of many diseases.
Tanya Mapitsha from Khayelitsha in Cape Town, who is the owner of Siviwe Home Garden & Lady T, sells vegetables, including spinach and spinach seedlings. She says she became interested in growing spinach because of its ease and fast growth. It is easy to grow and the best choice for beginner gardeners.
“I got interested in growing spinach because it does not take long for you to grow it, start eating it, or start selling it for income. It is also very healthy because you grow it without using any chemicals. It is 100% organic,” she says.
Grow it yourself
Spinach is fast-growing, and it can be ready to harvest in as little as one month after being planted as a seed.
“Spinach’s enemies are snails, so I plant flowers and herbs next to it and also take dry eggshells, crush them, and put them around the spinach for protection,” Mapitsha explains.
Easy spinach recipes
Besides just planting spinach for extra income or having it as a normal side salad for your dish, there are many other healthy ways you can add it to recipes for your meals.
Professional chef Thando Ntshangase from Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal, takes us through a few delicious ways that one can experiment with spinach and enjoy a nutritious, healthy meal.
- 600g spinach
- 1 onion
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- Coconut cream/ mayonnaise
- Veg seasoning
- Salt to taste
- Vegan butter
- Olive oil
- Red pepper
- First, wash and dice all your vegetables.
- In a pan, heat some olive oil and add the onions, and then the spinach.
- Remove from pan and place in a bowl when done.
- Sauté the remaining vegetables in the same pan with the butter until soft.
- Add your coconut cream and seasonings, reduce the heat, and add your spinach.
- Simmer until ready.
- 5½ cups flour
- 6 eggs
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 500g spinach
For the filling you will need:
- Olive oil
- 400g mushroom
- 2 garlic cloves
- 150g feta cheese
- Wash your spinach and let it dry. Make sure it is dry, so it is easy to blend and incorporate with the flour.
- In a blender, pulse your spinach until it is almost dusty.
- Mix your spinach thoroughly with the flour.
- Sieve your spinach flour into a large bowl.
- Make a well in the centre, then whisk together the eggs, water, and oil before pouring it into the well.
- Stir together, forming a ball. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 4-6 minutes, adding remaining flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Cover and let it chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
For the filling:
- In a pan, add a dash of olive oil, add your minced garlic, and cook.
- Add your diced mushrooms, season with some veggie seasoning and salt, and add your feta cheese. Set aside.
- Retrieve the dough from the fridge, and portion it into the desired size.
- Roll it out super thin, add your mushroom filling in the centre, close, and seal with a fork.
- You should have a pot with boiling water on the side. Add salt to taste.
- Throw your ravioli in the pot and cook for about 5 minutes, making sure the ravioli is properly sealed.
Make a sauce using:
- Olive oil
- Cherry tomatoes
- Baby spinach
- Basil pesto
- Diced onions
- Fry your onions and tomatoes until your tomatoes pop, add spinach, cook well, and season. Add your ravioli and basil pesto.
Healthy smoothie bowl
- Coconut water ice cubes
- 80g baby spinach
- 50g avocado
- 1 banana
- 40g mango
- Chia seeds
- Chop up all your fruits and veggies.
- Blend with the coconut water ice cubes in a blender.
- Transfer into a bowl and top up with your favourite berries, coconut shavings, seeds, etc.
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