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  • Spinach useful properties

    Spinachia oleracea L. is an annual herbaceous plant of the Marev family with triangular-spear-shaped, fleshy, tender leaves. Greens can be obtained from open ground in early spring, when there is a particularly lack of fresh vegetables. By the amount of protein, spinach is second only to peas and beans. In addition, it contains a little sugar, mineral salts( iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium), a significant amount of iodine, vitamins C( up to 64 mg%), B1( up to 0.30 mg%), B2( up to 0.30 mg%), P, K, E, D, folic acid and carotene.

    The homeland of spinach is Iran. Wild species are found in Transcaucasia and Central Asia. In Europe, it appeared in the XV century from Spain, where it was imported earlier by the Arabs. Arab scholars awarded him the title of "King of vegetables".Spinach spread widely in Europe during the Renaissance. In Russia, it appeared in the middle of the XVIII century.

    Varieties

    There are more than 20 varieties of cultural spinach, characterized by high dietary properties and differ in shape, size and juiciness of the leaves. For room conditions, the varieties are best suited: Victoria, Virofle, Godri and hybrids from Holland - Melody, Mazurka, Tarantella.

    Victoria - is relatively late. Rosette leaves compact, pressed, shallow, 10-20 cm in diameter. Leaves rounded or round-oval, with short petioles, dark green, strongly bubbly. Plant weight 25-28 g. Fatty acid - mid-ripening. Rosette medium-compact, semi-elevated, with a diameter of 25-28 cm. Leaves are large, juicy, slightly bubbly-wavy, green. Plant weight 20-32 g.

    Giant - is early-ripening, it has a fairly compact rosette with a diameter of up to 40-50 cm. The leaves are elongated-oval, slightly bubbly, light green. Plant weight 20-39.

    . Care: in the phase 2 leaves of the plant is thinned to a distance of 6-8 cm. To prevent premature stalking in dry and hot weather, the crops are regularly watered and fed with ammonium nitrate( 7-10 g / m2).

    Accommodation. Spinach needs intensive lighting, so after emergencies( during sowing in January - February) boxes or pots with plants are installed on windowsills or in heated glassed verandas, loggias and greenhouses as close as possible to the light. The optimum temperature of the content is +14 - + 18 ° С.If these conditions are met, you will be able to gather fresh fresh spinach greens in a cold, winter time in a month.

    The best substratum for growing spinach is an earth mixture consisting of rich soddy land, humus and river sand( 2: 2: 1).High yields of spinach are obtained by using the universal "Biogrunt".The substrate is best buried in small boxes or pots with a layer of 12-15 cm.

    Pests and diseases - miner fly and aphid. Spine diseases are most often affected by downy mildew and root rot.

    ♦ Reproduction of - seeds. Before sowing, the seeds are soaked for 1-2 days in water and sowed to a depth of 1.5-2 cm. When sowing in room conditions, it is optimal to place 30 seeds per 1 m2.Sow spinach in the grooves with a distance between them of 5-6 cm, between plants 3-4 cm. If necessary, the shoots are thinned out. Often and abundantly watered.12 to 15 days after emergence of plants, the plants are fed. It is best to use a liquid concentrate fertilizer "Rainbow" as a fertilizer. For more information on growing spinach, see here.

    Useful properties

    Leafy vegetables - chard, spinach, garden quinoa, sorrel and rhubarb - belong to a group of spinach plants, the herbs of which are suitable for consumption in raw and cooked form.

    The greatest value from this group of plants is spinach as a source of a complex of vitamins. And vitamin C and carotene spinach are very resistant and almost not destroyed during cooking. The plant is rich in mineral substances, especially iron. The protein in the dry matter of spinach is 1.5 times more than in the dry matter of milk.

    This leafy plant contains easily digestible proteins, carbohydrates, and also a lot of potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, iodine, vitamins and secretin, which promotes better digestion.

    Spinach greens are rich in vitamins, mineral salts, proteins. By the amount of protein it stands next to milk and second only to meat.

    Spinach leaves are eaten raw( as a salad) and boiled. Of these, together with sorrel soup is cooked, mashed potatoes and sauces are prepared. Canned spinach puree, in which significant quantities of carotene( provitamin A) and vitamin C are preserved, has proved to be very good. Green juice from leaves is used to tint canned food( for example, green peas).Thanks to the large amount of protein, as well as the variety and high content of vitamins, spinach is a very valuable product for children's and dietary nutrition and a preventative against scurvy and other avitaminosis. Spinach is rich in iron, and its chlorophyll is close in chemical composition to the hemoglobin of the blood. Therefore, it is very useful for patients with malignant anemia and tuberculosis.

    There are several early ripening varieties in Russia. The most famous are "Rostov", "Dutch", "virofle".The cultivar "godri" is common in Latvia and Moldova.

    Young leaves harvested in a basal rosette are used for food. As soon as the flower stem appears, the leaves coarsen and lose nutritional value. Spinach is resistant to low temperatures and is promising for consumption in early spring, when there are still few plants containing a significant amount of vitamins.

    Spinach is the second piggy bank of vitamins after rose hips. Of particular importance for therapeutic purposes is folic acid. An adult needs about 2 mg per day. In children under 1 year, the need for it is 0.5 mg, and from 1 to 10 years - 1 mg per day. Usually in healthy people, its insufficiency in the body is not observed, because it enters the body with food, and is also synthesized in the intestines by bacteria. Insufficiency may occur in people suffering from colitis with impaired absorption of nutrients in the small intestine or liver disease, treatment with antibiotics and sulfa drugs. Lack of folic acid is manifested mainly in the violation of the hematopoietic function of the body. In this case, there are also violations of the function of the gastrointestinal tract, the defenses of the organism decrease. Folic acid is used to treat anemia of various origins.

    Currently, folic acid is produced industrially and is prescribed by a doctor, used in tablets.

    Physiologically important for humans, the chemical compound present in the plant is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll and its preparations are able to enhance the hematopoietic function of the human body. Thus, folic acid and chlorophyll have a complex effect on the body and make spinach useful not only for healthy people, but also for patients. It is indicated for use in anemia.

    Spinach leaves are used for medicinal purposes. So, for example, the property of a saponin contained in spinach is used to stimulate the activity of the digestive glands and the intestinal peristalsis. With constipation and the accumulation of gases in the intestine, take 10 g of leaves per cup of boiling water, cook for 10-15 minutes, drink after cooling 1/4 cup 3-4 times a day before eating. The same broth can be recommended in all cases when dietary meals are shown with spinach.

    Useful properties of this culture allowed to use it as a therapeutic and dietary remedy for diseases of the blood, digestive organs, cardiovascular system. It is very useful in children's nutrition - to form bones, as an anti-cancer drug.

    Decoction of spinach leaves is drunk with constipation and accumulation of gases in the intestine( 10 grams per 1 cup boiling water, boil for 10-15 minutes, decant) 0.5 cup 3-4 times daily before meals. The use of spinach juice is recommended for the violation of the growth of children, constipation of the most severe form, gum diseases( mixed with carrot juice), as a means of nourishing the nervous system of mental workers and people of neurasthenic warehouse.

    Thanks to a considerable quantity of valuable mineral salts and an abundance of various vitamins it is used in the treatment of malignant anemia and thyroid diseases. Regular consumption of it contributes to the normal functioning of the heart. Recently, spinach has also been used as a medicine against radiation sickness.

    Application in Cooking

    Spinach is an annual spicy vegetable, the leaves of which are universally used for food. Spinach has an unflavored aroma and slightly sour taste.

    Spinach is eaten fresh, steamed, stewed, fried, frozen, dried or canned in the form of a fried puree.

    Spinach and numerous dishes from it act on the body beneficially.

    Spinach is mainly used in cooked form. Mistresses can preserve it for the winter. With skilful preparation of leaves, spinach does not lose vitamins.

    From the leaves of spring spinach you can prepare an excellent salad: 300-400 g of spinach leaves cut into small strips, finely chop 2 steep eggs, mix with mayonnaise.

    Young green spinach is put in salads, soups( nettle soup, okroshka), sauces, hot dishes from eggs, meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, served with cheese, bacon, croutons, cream, pine nuts, tomatoes, beans, peas,rice.

    The defrosted spinach is suitable for making salads, soups, filling with mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs, spinach snack cream, garnishes for meat, chicken and fish, pie fillings, casseroles, etc.

    Dried and canned spinach is good as a source of vitamins in wintertime. Such spinach is added to soups and main dishes from meat and fish.

    The chefs advise: to make the spinach dish tastier, you need to fill it with a mixture of freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil( in a ratio of 1 tbsp butter to 1 tsp juice).Or add a little sorrel in the dish to the greens of spinach.

    Spinach combines well with nutmeg, citrus peel, black pepper, dill, fennel, parsley, basil and other spices.

    Spinach is eaten boiled, braised or stewed and raw. Before use, spinach is picked, removing rotten and spoiled leaves, and thoroughly washed several times in large amounts of cold water. Saute

    spinach leaves. Pour the prepared dressing: 1/2 cup of curdled milk with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 1 tbsp.spoon of vinegar, adding sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with finely chopped dill and parsley on top.

    Omelet with raw spinach

    200 g of raw spinach finely chopped. In a bowl, whip four yolks with salt and 2 tablespoons of hot water, mix with the leaves of spinach. From proteins And two tablespoons of cold water beat a thick foam and gently mix it with spinach and yolks. From this mass, bake 2 omelettes on a heated frying pan, greased. Finished omelettes roll up and immediately served on the table. Spinach omelets are a useful dinner for children, for adults they can be served as a snack.

    Salad from raw spinach

    500 g spinach, 1 lemon juice, 3 ct spoonfuls of vegetable oil, 1 tsp grated horseradish, small onion, parsley or dill.

    Finely chopped raw spinach mixed with grated horseradish, onion, chopped parsley or dill, add lemon juice, vegetable oil. All mix well. Salad can be served to a variety of meat and fish dishes.

    Spinach soup

    400 g spinach, 30 g margarine or butter, 100 g oat flakes or rice, 1.5 l water or broth, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup sour cream, kefir or yogurt, fried onions( sliced ​​in circles).

    In the melted fat quickly fry the oat flakes or rice, pour in boiling water and cook the croup until half cooked. Then add finely chopped spinach, salt, a pinch of pepper and cook a little.

    Spinach garnish

    1 kg of spinach, 2 onions, 40 g of margarine or butter, 30 g of flour, pepper.

    Spinach pour 3/4 cup of boiling water and bring to a boil. The broth is separated and used to prepare the sauce, and spin the spinach together with the onion. Separately prepare the sauce: fry the flour with fat to light yellow, dilute with hot broth, bring to a boil and cook for 5-7 minutes. In the received weight to enter the prepared vegetables, salt, pepper and at stirring to boil still within 2-3 minutes.

    Spinach baked with sausage

    1 kg of spinach, 200 g of white bread, 2-3 eggs, 150 g of sausage or boiled meat, margarine, salt, nutmeg or red pepper.

    Finely chopped spinach to salt, put out in its own juice and mix with soaked and squeezed white bread, eggs, diced sausages or meat and spices. Place the mass in a greased ring-shaped shape( such as "miracle"), bake and oven.

    Put the prepared dish on a warmed plate. The middle of the ring can be filled with hot mashed potatoes or boiled rice.

    Omelette with spinach

    500 g spinach, 8 eggs, nutmeg, 2 tbsp.spoons of flour, margarine or butter, salt.

    Chopped spinach to put out with fat. In the prepared mass to introduce egg yolks, flour, salt, spices. Mix everything and add whipped protein. Pour the mixture over a hot, greased frying pan and bake.

    Pancakes fritters with potatoes

    500 grams of spinach and potatoes, 100 g of flour, 2 eggs, sour cream, melted fat, nutmeg, salt, grated horseradish.

    Boil the potatoes, mash, mix with flour, nutmeg, salt. Raw spinach finely chopped and mixed with eggs and prepared potato paste. Fry fritters on both sides on a hot, greased frying pan. When serving, sprinkle with sour cream and sprinkle with grated horseradish.

    In Italy, spaghetti sauce is served with cheese and spinach sauce. It is easy to prepare and at home. To do this, 150 grams of frozen spinach, 100 grams of roquefort cheese, 1.5 cups of cream, 2 tbsp.spoonful of grated cheese "Parmezat" and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Defrosted spinach brought to a boil in oil, mixed with crumbled cheese such as roquefort, parmesan, cream and pepper. Simmer the cheese on low heat.

    You can make a spinach and baked pudding: 500 g spinach, 100 g of soaked cheese, egg, 1/2 glass of milk, 2 tbsp.tablespoons sunflower oil, salt. Shredded and washed spinach finely chopped and slightly extinguished in oil, cheese with a fork, beat with egg and milk. Spread the spinach on a baking sheet, smooth, pour the mixture and put into the oven for 10 minutes.

    Spinach lasagne with cheese sauce

    Cooking time: 15 min. Baking: 45 min.

    In one serving 720 kcal.

    4 servings of

    1 kg of frozen leaf spinach, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp.a spoon of butter, salt, 200 g of fatty cream cheese, 150 g of sour cream, pepper, nutmeg, 150 g of lasagna plates( do not boil before), 150 g of grated cheese.

    1. Defrost the spinach, squeeze and cut into strips. Onions and garlic chopped. Preheat the butter and put out both. Add the spinach, salt and simmer for 3 minutes.

    2. Heat the oven to 200 ° C.For the sauce, melt in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, cream cheese with sour cream. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

    3. Grease the baking dish. Lay it in layers alternately cheese sauce, lasagna plates and leaf spinach. Finish with cheese sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. If desired, decorate with fresh spinach leaves.

    Spinach with toast

    Spinach leaves are peeled, washed in cold water, piled in a saucepan, poured a little water and cooked on high heat under the lid. Cooked spinach is wiped. At the same time, prepare the milk sauce, which is mixed with spinach, add salt, a little nutmeg in powder, then warm well. To prepare toast, take white bread, cut into small slices, soaked in milk, mixed with egg and sugar, and fry in oil until a ruddy crust is formed. When serving, ready spinach is laid out in a deep plate and on the edges in the form of a side dish put toast. On spinach, you can also put peeled eggs cooked "in a bag".A kilo of spinach consumes a tablespoon of flour, a fourth of a glass of milk( for sauce) and 1-2 tablespoons of Russian oil.

    Spinach in breadcrumbs

    4 servings of

    300 g of fresh or frozen spinach, 3 tbsp.spoonfuls of sunflower oil, 1 cut onion, salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 150 ml plain yogurt, 100 g breadcrumbs of coarse flour, 50 grams of any cut nuts, poached eggs.

    Wash and dry the spinach, after which, without adding water, cook it in a closed pan for 5 minutes until soft, if the spinach is frozen, follow the instructions on the package. Throw it in a colander. In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp.a spoonful of vegetable oil and fry the onion for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Put spinach into the pan again, adding a little salt and nutmeg, and continue cooking for 5 minutes, mixing once. Dissolve in yogurt, place in greased pot( Dutch oven).Mix the breadcrumbs, cut nuts and the remainder of sunflower oil, sprinkle with a mixture of spinach. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 ° C for 20 minutes. Serve hot with poached eggs.

    Drink

    20 g of green spinach are poured into 100 ml of water, boiled for 15 minutes, cooled and drunk in a warm form before eating.

    Contraindications

    When receiving a large amount of spinach, there are violations of the digestive tract. In spinach, there is a lot of oxalic acid, which is contraindicated for people with impaired salt metabolism. Spinach should not be used with urolithiasis, nephritis, gout, colitis, enterocolitis, liver, gallbladder and pancreas diseases.

    The use of spinach requires certain precautions, especially when feeding children.

    The fact is that when storing food from spinach during the day in a warm room under the influence of special bacteria from nitric acid, the formation of nitrate salts occurs.

    These salts are poisonous, as they are absorbed into the blood leading to the formation of methaemoglobin and thereby turn off a significant part of the red blood-balls-erythrocytes from the respiration process. Because of this, children already 2-3 hours after eating poor-quality spinach food may appear cyanotic, then dyspnea, vomiting, diarrhea, chocolate-brown color of blood and in severe cases - collapse. Therefore, ready dishes from spinach must be stored in the cold. It should also be remembered that adding sugar to food from spinach inhibits the formation of poisonous salts in it. Freshly prepared dishes and spinach canned food do not contain harmful substances. But with diseases of the liver, kidneys and gout, it is undesirable to use them.