The first harvests of spring involve an abundance of leafy greens. One of the first to grow is spinach. Spinach is direct seeded into the ground after the threat of frost is over. It is ready for harvest about a month after planting and will continue to produce throughout the season as long as it is well cared for.
Spinach, like other leafy greens, packs a punch in terms of nutritional value, high in both vitamin A and K, iron, and calcium. It has a mild taste compared to other greens and is easily incorporated into many different recipes. Spinach is also high in fiber, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and promotes eye health. Spinach contains a high amount of chlorophyll, which has well documented health benefits.
When you get your spinach, rinse under cold water to clean. It can be dried either between layers of towels or with a salad spinner. Store in your refrigerator after washing. If spinach becomes wilted, it can be soaked for an hour or so in a bowl with cold water to perk it back up.
Tips for using spinach:
Blend a handful into a smoothie. This is a great way to increase intake of any greens, and the taste of spinach is well hidden. One of our favorite ways to "hide" spinach from our toddler.
Green Smoothie 101: Our favorite resources for everything you ever wanted to know about making green smoothies. We highly recommend trying their 7 days of smoothie experience. We have loved every recipe we tried off of this site (and our toddler does too)!
Incorporate a handful of spinach in pesto. Another one of our favorite ways to sneak in a little extra greens, and another way our toddler loves them.
Spinach is one of the best greens for a nutritious salad. It is also very easy to whip up a healthy salad dressing using ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen.
Throw a handful of spinach into scrambled eggs, an omelet, or a frittata to add some green to your breakfast.
Storage Tips: If you have more spinach than you can use that week, a great way to store it for later use is freezing the spinach into ice cubes. To do this, bring a pot of water to a boil and add spinach for 2-3 minutes to blanche quickly. Remove from boiling water and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water. Roughly chop the spinach and pack in ice cube trays. Cover with a little bit of water and place in the freezer. This is a very simple process and extends the life of your CSA share beyond the end of the season. This method can be used for other greens as well. Grab a few cubes of spinach out of the freezer later to use for cooking or smoothies!