Spinach with Raisins – A Very Healthy Vegetable in a Honeyed Dish
Unlike many people, I don’t have any bad “spinach memories” from my childhood. And it is not because I liked it. It is because I didn’t have it at all for the first several years of my life. When I finally tried it, I wasn’t impressed as it looked and – probably – tasted like boiled grass. Luckily I was wise enough to give it a second chance. So when I tried pancakes with well-seasoned, slightly garlicky spinach filling, I felt it was the beginning of a long-term relationship.
This relationship evolved slowly. At first, I would just have pureed spinach with béchamel sauce, and garlic served either with pancakes or even – only but so yummy – with mashed potatoes and a fried egg. After a while, to my small repertoire of spinach recipes, I added a spinach soup. And that was it for quite some time. That was it until I spent more time researching spinach attributes.
Probably we all have heard that spinach is a very healthy vegetable but what does it really mean?
- Due to a wide variety of phytonutrients (polyphenols are one of them), spinach provides excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits, especially in the case of stomach, skin, breast and prostate cancer.
- It also has anti-oxidant properties that prevent (or at least lower the risk) of blood-vessel related problems like atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.
- Spinach is an excellent source of Vitamin K, Calcium, and Magnesium that are key for maintaining healthy and strong bones.
- It is also a very good source of 16 other nutrients: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C and E, Manganese, Folate, Iron, Copper, Potassium, Fibre, Phosphorus, Zinc, Protein and Choline.
So no wonder that this green leafy vegetable is on top of the list of nutrient dense food.
Realising how healthy spinach was, I decided to use it much more often. These days I include it in soups, dhals, pasta, salads or smoothies. I know that addition of a few handfuls of spinach to a dish is so easy but will make it healthier and prettier. But I also know that it deserves to be the main ingredient. Like in the recipe below, Spinach with Raisins, in which I re-created an excellent meal I had a few years ago in a restaurant. It can be served either as a warm starter or a side dish perfect with baked/roasted fish.
My spinach story is clearly a love story. If you haven’t started yours yet, please give spinach a chance with the below recipe. It is highly likely you will fall for it just the way I did.