It’s Spinach Planting Time!
My sweet little helper is planting spinach seeds next to my pepper plants. Did anyone else get a million peppers this year? I can’t give them away fast enough! The box behind her will all be spinach soon. Can hardly wait!
I am lucky to live in an area with an extra growing season. I plant quite a bit in the Spring, but certain plants like spinach will die off in the intense Summer heat. As luck would also have it, we’re set for a mild fall, and spinach doesn’t take long to grow (only about 6 weeks to maturity), so I take advantage of that extra time and grow more of this amazing vegetable!
I am not exaggerating when I say that I add spinach to almost everything. You can’t taste it, and it is loaded with phytochemicals. They don’t call it a super food for nothing!
Spinach is a good source of protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin A, folate, and potassium. In fact, it is one of the best sources of potassium–even better than a banana.
POTASSIUM BENEFITS: reduces risk of stroke, good for heart and kidney functions, manages your blood pressure, even lowers anxiety and stress levels (if you're trying to lose weight, it also increases metabolism)
Some of the benefits of spinach:
- Diabetes management
- Healthy skin and hair
- Lowers blood pressure
- Promotes healthy bones
- Makes your gut happy by promoting regularity
- Some new studies even show evidence that spinach can act as an appetite suppressant.
Our spinach consumption can put a dent in the wallet. I typically buy one large tub of baby spinach (my favorite) per week. Now spinach is cheaper if bought frozen, but I don’t prefer it in most recipes because it takes on a bit of a slimy texture. It does work fine in my Sausage Italian Soup recipe though. It is also cheaper to buy spinach in bundles and not in the tub, but I have been through a few too many salmonella recalls for comfort.
Lucky for me, spinach is easy to grow, and it matures within 6 weeks. Growing my own spinach saves us $5 per week on average. That may not sound like much, but that is $260 over the course of a year. Remember it’s the small purchases we make all the time that add up the most!
When growing spinach, we sow a row, wait two weeks, sow another row, and so on. Keep it damp until it sprouts, and then I only water it every other day. Provided I can keep my rabbits and chickens out of it, my first spinach will be ready to harvest in about 48 days!
I just cut the whole plant down because harvesting leaves takes longer, and spinach tends to shoot and go to seed quickly.
Foods Best With Spinach:
- Salads (of course)
- Vegetable Fried Rice
- Fried Potatoes
- Any Casserole
- Pretty much my girls have gotten used to green in all their food.
My 2 year-old is eating brown rice pasta with a cauliflower alfredo sauce with wilted spinach on top. This recipe is loaded with veggies, and my kids absolutely love it (recipe will follow).