Spinach is one of those vegetables that I cannot have enough of especially sautéed with the least of ingredients. I never really knew that there were different species of spinach untill I came to Germany. Back home, we used the small leaf pale green spinach (also known as Ceylon Spinach or waterleaf) for Eru and other soups so in my search for spinach, I had no other picture in mind.
I was quite surprised to find that what is called spinach here is nothing like spinach back home: European spinach is dark green with larger leaves. The only similarity is in the softness of the leaves and the almost neutral taste.
Here is my easy peasy sautéed spinach recipe. This dish is great for supper with or without tubers but best served with ripe plantain or cassava.
Happy and healthy cooking xoxo
Who said African food is boring? Lie lie! This recipe will make your taste boards sing! It’s so delicious, you probably won’t imagine how much unless you give it a try! 🙂 I can already hear you say “give me the recipe now” but no rush mate! First things first. Here’s why you should include spinach in your diet in the first place.
Spinach is a super food loaded with tons of nutrients in a low calorie package. Including dark leafy greens like spinach in your breakfast is important for skin and hair, bone health, and provide protein, iron, vitamins and minerals. What healthier way to include spinach in breakfast than adding spinach to your smoothie breakfast?Spinach is also one of the best sources of dietary magnesium, which is necessary for energy metabolism, maintaining muscle and nerve function, heart rhythm, a healthy immune system and maintaining blood pressure.
If you have been diagnosed with a digestive disorders, if you are an alcoholic, an older adult andor you are taking medications such as antibiotics or diuretics which puts you more at risk of having a magnesium deficiency, you should incorporate more dark leafy greens like spinach in your diet.
Possible health benefits of spinach
Diabetes management: spinach contains an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid, which has been shown to lower glucose levels in patients with diabetes.
Cancer prevention: The chlorophyll content in spinach and other green vegetables has shown to be effective at blocking the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines which are generated when grilling foods at a high temperature.
Asthma prevention: Studies show that persons whose diets are high in beta-carotenes have lower risks of developing asthma. Spinach is an excellent source of beta-carotenes another reason you should include in more often in your diet.
Lowering blood pressure: Have you been diagnosed with high blood pressure? Spinach is one natural medication for you because of its high potassium content, it negates the effects of sodium in the body thus helps to lower blood pressure.
Prevents constipation: Spinach is high in fiber and water content, both of which help to prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract.
Healthy skin and hair: If you are a naturalista like me, you know important moisture is for our curls. Incorporating lots of spinach in our diet fuels us with vitamin A, which is necessary for sebum production to keep hair moisturized. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair. Spinach and other leafy greens high in vitamin C are imperative for the building and maintenance of collagen which provides structure to skin and hair. So you see, the food you eat also determines how lushful your hair will be among other benefits. Maybe you are experience severe loss. One reason for this could be iron-deficiency which can be prevented by an adequate intake of iron-rich foods, like spinach.
I mentioned in another post that you could have a sweet eat without compromising your health. Sweet potatoes are the natural sugar your body needs. I even noticed that when baked, a caramel-like cream which is ultra sweet and sticky oozes out of sweet potatoes (more on this discovery and an amazing recipe I created in another post).
For this smoothie you need half a sweet potato, previously baked and frozen, 3 dates without the seeds, 2 hands full of fresh or frozen spinach, a half a cup of unsweetened almond milk and a teaspoon of marble syrup. Though sweet potatoes are sweet enough for this recipe, I added dates and marble syrup for that extra bit of sweetness. I like to kick off the day with a sweet breakfast because it keeps me happy and helps me not to craze foods and drinks with unhealthy or refined sugar. It might just be me but I have discovered it works wonders. Think about how you feel after eating a pack of chocolate. Ahhhh now you understand! But the difference with sugar from dates and sweet potatoes is, it is natural and waaaay healthier.
If you don’t like it sweet like me, leave the dates and maple syrup out. Your smoothie will still taste just fine and will keep you fuller for longer, aid in digestion and weight loss. It is low fat, cholesterol free and just 84 calories a serving! Thank me in the comment area below! 🙂
Happy and healthy cooking xoxo
I love pizza a lot. This is one of the foods that when I start eating, I can’t stop and I know that’s bad! The problem is, I don’t want to refrain from eating my favorite foods.
Many experts say avoiding what you can’t refrain from eating is the solution to avoiding eating too much and putting on weight. I disagree to some extent. The problem with completely avoiding what we love is one of the reasons why we fall into the “Jojo effect” trap because the momemt you lay your hands on your “lover” (the food you dearly love) you eat uncontrollably and if it is unhealthy, then you pile on the pounds.
From my personal experience, I have realised that instead of avoiding my favorite foods, I make them healthier, replacing unhealthy ingredients with healthier ones.When you make you food healthy, you can indulge without feeding yourself with garbage!
SmartCooks Tip: Swap unhealthy ingredients for healthy one to avoid eating a lot of the wrong food!
Spinach is one of my favs ingredients on pizza. Nevertheless, pizza crust made with refined flour or even wholemeal flour though healthier than white flour, can be a calorie bomb. To be honest, I never eat 1/8 of a pizza. That portion size is just too small and never satisfies me.When I eat pizza I eat at least half of it (when accompanied with a salad side dish).
So – if gluten and calories are your enemies – go spinach crust and make my africanized pizette. If you are a food and particularly a pizza lover and you don’t want to refrain or stop completely, then these pizette (mini pizza) is for you! It is super easy to make (if you have a food processor) and you would be surprised at how super delicious they taste.
But on a side note, have you noticed my love for the color red? I absolutely love it’s vibrance. I just feel red brings lifeless items to life! Is it just me? Nearly all my kitchen gadgets are red or bourdeaux. Anyways, this is my red food processor. It comes in handy anytime, I need to dice, chop or purée food.
A food processor, mozarella cheese and an egg is all you need for the crust. If you do not have a food processor, you can always use a mortar and pestle. If you are using frozen spinach, sqeeze out the excess water after defroozing. Then coarsely puree your spinach, add mozzarella cheese and egg. The egg helps to hold the spinach together while the cheese gives it the crisp.
Spread 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil or whatever oil you have on a patchment paper sheet. Now form small spinach balls and make your desired pizza shapes with your fingers. Bake the crust at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.
THE TOMATO SAUCE
This pizza does not really need pizza tomato sauce but if you really want it to look like a real pizza, then making a tomato sauce is as easy as a,b,c. Simply blend fresh tomatoes and an onion together with dried basil and oregano, add a drop of olive oil or not.
Note that the tomato sauce is spread on the crust after it has been baked for 15 mins depending on how thick or thin your crsut is.
TOPPING THE CRUST
Once your spinach crust is ready, you can top it with anything. Make it vegetarian with fresh corn, tomatoes or any vegetable of choice. Make it hot and tasty with minced meat seasoned with suya spice or any other seasoning of your choice.
Happy and Healthy Cooking!
I went to the fish market to get my weekly ration of fruits and vegetables and was surprised to find that fresh spinach was still in season. This time of the year? To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised! It really is amazing how much a bunch of green leaves can brighten up ones day, taking into consideration that we don’t find our favorites foods often in these parts.
Spinach is a super food loaded with tons of nutrients in a low calorie package. Including dark leafy greens like spinach in your breakfast is important for skin and hair, bone health, and provide protein, iron, vitamins and minerals. What healthier way to include spinach in breakfast than making spinach omelette for breakfast?
In case your a newbie to spinach, you should know the fastest and healthiest way to cleaning your fresh spinach. Trust me, washing your spinach properly before cooking is essential to removing grites and sand.
THE BEST WAY TO WASH SPINACH
- Add 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to a large bowl of cold water.
- Soak spinach leaves in water for 5 minutes.
- Rinse and drain.
SmartCooks Tip: Soak fresh fruits and vegetables in Apple Cider Vinegar to kill microbes!
Now that you know the secret of cleaning your spinach, we can move on to zeelicious stuff, how to make spinach omelettes! Using just 3 eggwhites and 1 whole egg, tomatoes and extra virgin Olive oil, you can make your own nutrient-rich, high fibre breakfast. Want to make it hot, add habareno peppers or my special hot sauye make from habanero peppers, garlic, onions and white pepper.
Enjoy your omellete with oven-grilled plantains, sweet potatoes or whole wheat bread. Zeeliciousness garanteed! Does this Omelette recipe seem too good to be true? I’ll let you judge for yourself. Go ahead and try it and let me know what you think in the comments below!
Happy and Healthy Cooking!