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Quick–Use Up That Spinach

August 1, 2013

Too much spinach gets thrown out at my house.  I like to use fresh spinach in salads and anywhere that lettuce would normally be used.  Examples:  I add fresh diced spinach to crab salad, and sprinkle some on a burrito along with diced tomato, shredded cheese and chopped green onion.  I do the pack-ahead Mason jar salads.  They are great!

Salad jars2

But even eating a salad a day, I can’t use up the bag of spinach from the grocery store before it starts getting wilted and smelly.  I have a life-long intense dislike for canned spinach, so buying canned is not an option.  So, today I did what I needed to do a long time ago; I went in search of ways to use fresh spinach when it is starting to go bad.

But first, found a bit of knowledge on spinach shelf life:  http://www.eatbydate.com/vegetables/fresh-vegetables/spinach/  According to this source, shelf life is about 5 days, if you want it completely fresh.  I try to make my package last 2 weeks, and by the end of that time, what’s left in the bag is pretty rank.

Lots of helpful spinach ideas came up on my search.  Here are some I particularly liked:

Freeze it for pizza or quiche.  http://healthyconfidentyou.com/2013/02/18/what-to-do-with-spinach-that-is-going-soggy/

Make Spinach Pesto; toss with fettuccine, or mix into Alfredo Sauce.  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/655245

Puree and freeze in ice cube trays for adding to smoothies.  http://rowdystroudy.blogspot.com/2012/08/good-things-and-green-smoothie-tip.html

More freezing advice.  http://runeatrepeat.com/2012/07/31/just-the-tip-tuesdayfrozen-spinach/

And more good ideas for using spinach.  http://eatathomecooks.com/2011/03/ingredient-spotlight-spinach.html

[Update;  Suggestion from Redhenrun.wordpress.com:  Yotam Ottolenghi’s Skillet-Baked Eggs with Spinach, Yogurt, and Spiced Butter.  http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/03/yotam-ottolenghis-skillet-baked-eggs-with-spinach-yogurt-and-spiced-butter-recipe.html ]

And here are the nutritional facts about fresh (raw) spinach, per the USDA:

Nutrient Unit Value per 100.0g cup
30g
bunch
340g
leaf
10g
package (10 oz)
284g
Proximates
Water g 91.40 27.42 310.76 9.14 259.58
Energy kcal 23 7 78 2 65
Protein g 2.86 0.86 9.72 0.29 8.12
Total lipid (fat) g 0.39 0.12 1.33 0.04 1.11
Carbohydrate, by difference g 3.63 1.09 12.34 0.36 10.31
Fiber, total dietary g 2.2 0.7 7.5 0.2 6.2
Sugars, total g 0.42 0.13 1.43 0.04 1.19
Minerals
Calcium, Ca mg 99 30 337 10 281
Iron, Fe mg 2.71 0.81 9.21 0.27 7.70
Magnesium, Mg mg 79 24 269 8 224
Phosphorus, P mg 49 15 167 5 139
Potassium, K mg 558 167 1897 56 1585
Sodium, Na mg 79 24 269 8 224
Zinc, Zn mg 0.53 0.16 1.80 0.05 1.51
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid mg 28.1 8.4 95.5 2.8 79.8
Thiamin mg 0.078 0.023 0.265 0.008 0.222
Riboflavin mg 0.189 0.057 0.643 0.019 0.537
Niacin mg 0.724 0.217 2.462 0.072 2.056
Vitamin B-6 mg 0.195 0.058 0.663 0.020 0.554
Folate, DFE µg 194 58 660 19 551
Vitamin B-12 µg 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Vitamin A, RAE µg 469 141 1595 47 1332
Vitamin A, IU IU 9377 2813 31882 938 26631
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) mg 2.03 0.61 6.90 0.20 5.77
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) µg 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Vitamin D IU 0 0 0 0 0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) µg 482.9 144.9 1641.9 48.3 1371.4
Lipids
Fatty acids, total saturated g 0.063 0.019 0.214 0.006 0.179
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated g 0.010 0.003 0.034 0.001 0.028
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated g 0.165 0.050 0.561 0.016 0.469
Cholesterol mg 0 0 0 0 0
Other
Caffeine mg 0 0 0 0 0

Data Source

According to USDA charts, it takes 14-15 leaves of fresh spinach at 10g each to meet my entire recommended daily intake of Vitamin A.  Source

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From → Food, Running

2 Comments
  1. Yotam Ottolenghi has a spinach and egg recipe combination which is not very attractive looking in my opinion, but is super nutritious. Thank you for the other spinach uses listed here. I generally end up throwing too much of it away.

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