Spinach (Palak) is a green leafy bush grows up to a height of 1 foot, generally cultivated in cooler places. In temperate regions, spinach is cultivated during cool season or winter of these regions.
Spinach is a leafy vegetable which has deep, lush green leaves of elongated shape and variable sizes. Spinach is a very nutritious vegetable which a subtle bitter taste when chewed raw.
The name ‘Spinach’ has an Arabic history; it is said that the name was derived from the Arabic word ‘asbīnākh’ means ‘green hand.’
Spinach is cooked in many styles; below mentioned are some of its culinary uses across the world.
Top Most Culinary Uses Of Spinach
Spinach Sandwich: Spinach leaves are used to make sandwiches for its lush green color, taste and dietary nutrients. The spinach leaves are stuffed in sandwich raw or sometimes sautéed in some olive oil or butter.
Palak Paratha: Palak Paratha is a recipe made in Indian sub-continent which is made by kneading chopped spinach in wheat flour mixed with some spices. This mixed spinach dough is rolled in small circles roasted on Tawa with fresh butter.
Palak Puri: Palak Puri is another spinach recipe in Indian sub-continent; made by boiling spinach leaves knead in the flours of wheat, Bengal gram flour and spices like carom seeds, red chili powder, turmeric. The dough is rolled in small circles of 4 cm diameter and deep fried. Palak Puri is a good snack for traveling as it lasts for two to three days.
Spinach Rice: Spinach rice is a south Indian rice recipe; made with chopped spinach boiled with rice and added spices; ginger-garlic paste and sometimes dry fruits. Spinach rice is very light, easy to digest and healthy recipe served with fresh yogurt.
Spinach Wada: Spinach Wada is a snack in Indian sub-continent made with spinach and soaked Bengal gram; chopped spinach is mixed with roughly ground soaked Bengal gram and spices according to taste. Small patties are made out of dough; deep fried and served with sauces and fried salted green chili pepper.
Sautéed Spinach: Sautéed spinach is served as the side dish along meals; spinach leaves are roughly chopped and sautéed in a teaspoon of oil; added with required spices.
Dal Palak: Dal Palak is made with spinach and any legume; pigeon pea or Bengal gram. Grams are boiled and added to sautéed chopped spinach.
Palak Aloo: Palak Aloo is a kind of Sabzi made in Indian sub-continent cuisine. Spinach is sautéed, and chopped potatoes are mixed to make a nice Palak Aloo Sabzi.
Palak Paneer: Spinach is purred; sautéed with chopped onion, spices, ginger-garlic paste, and tomato puree. When all ingredients are cooked nicely; stir-fried cottage cheese cubes are added and mixed in the puree. Palak Paneer is served with hot Roti, Naan or Jeera rice.
Palak Pakoda: Spinach leaves are coated with a paste made of Bengal gram flour and spices; deep fried and served with sauces as a snack.
Smoothies: Lush green colored spinach is used to give a green color to many fruit smoothies. Due to the mild taste of spinach; it does not change the core taste of smoothies only gives the green color to it.
Salad: Spinach salads are very famous among diet conscious people for its large vitamins content and low-calorie value. Raw spinach is added with other salad veggies; sprinkled with sea salt and Chat Masala tastes good.
Omelet: Spinach is added to egg omelet or layered with the scrambled egg between the bread slices to make a nice healthy egg spinach sandwich or omelet.
Pancakes: Spinach pancake is a Scandinavian recipe made using eggs, feta cheese, sour cream, frozen chopped spinach and chopped onion. Eggs should be lightly beaten to make the spinach pancakes fluffy.
Healthy Spinach Shots: Spinach juice is healthy to consume in the early hours of the day with the empty stomach. Our body gets direct nutrients from spinach sometimes which is reduced due to cooking or boiling.
Platting & Garnishing: Large spinach leaves are used to make garnishing platters for many grilled dishes like grilled fish, seafood, grilled chicken or meat, veg and non-veg Kababs. Green spinach leaves not only absorbs sweat of grilled food but also enhances the food presentation.
Pasta & Pizza: Spinach is used in some kinds of pasta and also as pizza toppings.
Nutrients In Spinach:
Spinach provides many vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and B group vitamins; it also provides dietary minerals like magnesium, manganese, and iron.
Health Benefits of Spinach:
Anti-oxidant: Spinach contains anti-oxidants in abundance which helps to fight free radicals and saves the body from degradation.
Good Brain Health: The folate, potassium and various anti-oxidants help to keep good neural health and fights against neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Makes Bones Strong: Vitamin K present in spinach is responsible for creating a type of protein known as Osteocalcin which is necessary to maintain the bone calcium level keeping bones strong and healthy.
Good Eyesight & Immunity: Spinach contains beta-carotene and chlorophyll in a good amount which is responsible for good eyesight and improves the immune system of the body.
Anti-microbial: Spinach contains vitamin A in the good proportion which is used to repel the microbes like disease-causing bacteria and viruses from our skin and mucous membrane.
Good Heart Health: Vitamin C content of spinach helps us to keep the heart in good health; vitamin C is also useful in preventing wrinkles from the skin and prenatal health problems.
Energy Booster: Spinach juice in the early hours of the day or spinach consumption in food makes a good flow of energy in the body. The dietary magnesium is highly essential to generate energy to do every work of the day. The folate in the spinach is used by the body to convert food into body usable form of energy.
Good Metabolism: Spinach is very easy to degrade by enzymes to form simple amino acids which are very useful for muscle development, wound healing and gives a boost to metabolism making all organs of the body to work to their optimal levels.