Spinach is one of the few foods that has had a massive television campaign aimed at convincing the American population to consume it. Everyone in my generation has fond memories of Popeye the Sailor Man. Some of us can probably still sing the little song that accompanied the show. The central point of the show was to convince the American population, which at that time was not used to the regular consumption of garden vegetables, to include more spinach in their diets.
Spinach is actually a member of the Amaranth family, which also includes the now well-known “grain” quinoa. It originated in the Middle East and is now included in one form or another in most traditional cuisines.
Many current varieties of spinach date back hundreds of years, and the ancestors of spinach have been around for at least thousands of years. Personally, even though I appreciate the flavor and nutritional value of spinach, in particular, the high antioxidant levels and high iron and chlorophyll content, I have tended not to eat much spinach because it can be finicky to grow.
Its temperamental nature might also partially explain why it has been such a popular vegetable in many cultures. Spinach is definitely a cool-weather crop; any heat wave, such as we have frequently in Napa, will cause the plant to immediately bolt and become inedible. Early spring and late fall are prime spinach-growing times. During these seasons, the plant is fast growing and regenerates quickly after each harvest. The leaves are intensely green because they contain one of the highest chlorophyll contents of any edible green leaves.
We tend to overlook anemia these days, but iron deficiency and its resultant low-oxygen carrying capacity of the blood is a primary illness affecting humankind, in particular, menstruating or pregnant women. We build the oxygen-carrying molecule, hemoglobin, with the heme protein, which is identical to chlorophyll and iron. By combining chlorophyll and iron in one package, particularly when mixed with fat (like butter) to aid in absorption, you end up with a food uniquely poised to combat anemia. The rich buttery taste of spinach makes it a form of iron supplementation enjoyed by children and adults alike.
Our organically grown, slowly dehydrated Spinach Powder is an easy and convenient way to include spinach in your daily diet. Better than any iron supplement, spinach is a time-tested way to build a healthy blood supply. We enjoy our Spinach Powder in smoothies, on eggs and in many other savory dishes.
Popeye was definitely on to something. Spinach should be a part of almost everyone’s regular diet.
It’s easy to get stuck in a food rut. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. I remember a time when I existed solely on loaded potatoes, cheddar cheese and coleslaw. This was my go-to dish almost every day for about a year. I loved it. I could probably still eat it today. But there comes a time when we move on from childhood comfort foods and discover other culinary delights. I have a ‘gut’ feeling stuffed cabbage rolls could become one of my favorite go-to meals, and maybe yours too.
What would you think if I told you I use it as pizza sauce, smothered on grilled ham and cheese, as an omelette filling, in cocktails and with Hors D’oeuvres? Whether it’s strawberry, blueberry, fig, apricot or other fruits, this scrumptious spread compliments many delicious dishes. And the best thing about it is, when preserved using the water bath (WB) canning method, you can enjoy this tasty treat all year round.
Since the writings of Democritus in ancient Greece about 2,500 years ago, humanity has grown more and more accustomed to thinking in purely material terms. Increasingly, in normal conversation, we refer to actions, thoughts, and feelings that we have as being caused by certain chemicals found in our bodies. We often hear people say that oxytocin causes them to feel close to another person, or that “my hormones” are off or raging or low, as explanations for certain behaviors. We claim that diseases such as “bipolar disorder” are caused by a chemical imbalance in our blood.