Do you remember this song? “I’m Popeye the sailor man (toot toot); I live in a garbage can!” What does it make you think of? If your guess was a delicious, leafy green, then you’d be correct. We’re quoting Popeye because it’s National Spinach Day this March 26! We’re gearing up to celebrate everyone’s favorite green by finding some recipes and singing some Popeye. Sing along with us as we celebrate!
Why We Love Spinach (and National Spinach Day)
A. It’s healthy
Spinach is one of the healthiest vegetables, and it’s delicious to boot! It’s rich in water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, iron, calcium, cancer-fighting antioxidants, phytonutrients … we could go on, but we’d run out of space. When it’s raw, spinach is basically a super-food. And, although it loses some of its nutrients when it’s cooked, it still maintains enough of them to be incredibly healthy. A bit of spinach a day keeps the doctor away!
B. It’s adaptable
There are so many different, yet iconic, ways to cook spinach. And they all go way beyond boiling it into mush like your mother. The classic unhealthy way to cook spinach is to boil it and add heavy cream – voila, creamed spinach! You can also use it completely raw to make a salad. Just add vinaigrette and craisins. Sprinkle some spinach leaves into your next stir-fry or add them into your homemade burrito for a quick calorie and nutrient boost. Spinach is useful, and delicious, in all of these different forms.
C. It reduces like crazy
To us, one of the world’s most amazing sights is how much spinach reduces in size when it’s cooked. Have you ever added an entire bag of baby spinach to a pan until it was overflowing? Have you questioned how you were going to add any of the other ingredients in your recipe? And then have you watched it reduce at least 6 times in size until it barely took up any space in the pan? Spinach constantly reminds us of how amazing science is, and we love it.
How to Celebrate National Spinach Day
1. Try a new spinach dish.
We’ve talked about a lot of different ways to enjoy spinach, but we bet you’ve only tried a couple of them. If you usually enjoy cooked spinach, make a spinach salad for your next meal. If you love you some raw-spinach-y goodness, try it cooked! It’s always nice to expand your palette, and to get a couple new recipes under your belt. You go, Master Chef.
2. Grow some spinach
If you have a green thumb, embark on a fun project and grow some spinach on your windowsill or your backyard. There are a couple bonuses to this plan. It will save you money, because you’re not buying spinach from the store. It will provide you with a challenge—keeping a plant alive is no walk in the park. And it will put you on the path to sustainability. Maybe you’ll grow a whole garden one day!
3. Watch or read Popeye
Open an old comic book or go troll Youtube for some old shows where Popeye was featured. Then, enjoy the tale of the salty sailor who has an on and off fling with Olive Oil! Everyone’s favorite spinach-eating hunk definitely deserves a little extra love this National Spinach Day. Do you think spinach would be as popular as it is now without him? We don’t.