National Spinach Day

National Spinach Day is celebrated on the 26th of March each year. For many of us when we think of spinach – Popeye comes to mind. The younger ones won’t know who Popeye is but it was a fun cartoon that showed this tiny meager man getting strength from eating a can of spinach. It was a good message and while it wasn’t entirely true, spinach really is good for you. This vegetable is packed with iron, calcium, fiber, folic acid, Vitamins A, C, and K and it even contains healthy amounts of protein.

We were unable to find the origin behind National Spinach Day but we can still celebrate it. If you don’t like the taste of spinach you will be glad to know that it is quite versatile. So you can use this in a number of ways. The plant grows all year round and is a native of Southwestern and Central Asia. It is thought that the vegetable has origins in Persia where Arab traders carried it into India and introduced to the Chinese as a Persian vegetable.

Fun history fact about Spinach.

Catherine de Medici was a well-known Spinach lover and liked to have the vegetable at every meal. Dishes with the name “Florentine” reflecting the queen’s Florence birth.

Spinach can be had in a number of ways outside of Florentine recipes. You can eat the vegetable raw or cook and you can purchase it in a can as we saw in Popeye. It is also sold frozen as well. There are a couple of different types of spinach as well.

  1. There is Savoy which has dark green leaves that are curly in appearance.
  2. There is also the Smooth or Flat leaf spinach which features broad flat leaves. This is typically the type you find in canned and frozen packaging. It is often used for baby food, soups, and processed foods as well.
  3. There is Semi-Savoy which is a hybrid variety which features leaves with a crinkly texture. This type is sold both fresh and processed.

This National Spinach Day why not enjoy a meal including the antioxidant-rich vegetable which is grown the world over with the largest producer being China followed by the United States.