Spinach has long been one of my favorite vegetables. But I’m not talking about the overcooked mush served at cafeteria steam tables, which also results from cooking frozen spinach. Ideally, you should choose fresh spinach and serve it lightly sautéed to preserve its nutrients and appealing deep-green color.
But there is much more to spinach than good taste. Calorie for calorie, spinach and other dark-green leafy vegetables provide more preventive-health nutrients and anti-aging antioxidants than most other foods. Spinach is one of the vegetables with the highest amount of chlorophyll, a fat-soluble substance that stimulates hemoglobin and red blood cell production.
Spinach is extraordinarily rich in a variety of powerfully antioxidant, anti-inflammatory phyto-nutrients, including flavonoids like quercetin and carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lutein. Spinach is also excellent for sharpening the mind. Researchers at Tufts University report that men who consumed foods high in folate (such as spinach) for three years displayed sharper cognitive skills at the end of the study period.
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 2 lbs. baby spinach leaves, coarse stems discarded, washed well and drained in a colander
- Fresh lemon wedges
- sea salt and black pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté garlic 1 minute, until soft. Add spinach and cook 2 to 3 minutes, turning with tongs until bright green and just wilted Season with salt and pepper and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Serve immediately.