Remember, Popeye the sailor man’s epic love for spinach? Why did Popeye eat so much spinach? Well, Spinach is a magical food. Spinach, also known as Palak, is one of the green leafy vegetables that tops the chart of healthy veggies and is loaded with tons of healthy nutrients and anti-oxidants.
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It is an excellent source of proteins, iron, numerous vitamins (Vitamin A, C, E, K, folate, and thiamine), minerals (Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus), and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. So, including spinach in your diet is sure to boost your immunity and help you enjoy good health. Keep reading to learn all about it.
Nutritional and Health Benefits of Spinach:
Here are some nutritional and health benefits of spinach that you should be aware of.
1.It boosts brainpower and strength.
2.Encourages healthy immune functioning
3.Healthy for the heart and helps regulate the blood pressure
4.Has anti-inflammatory qualities reduce oxidative stress and keep the skin healthy
5.It is essential for gastrointestinal disorders improves digestion, and helps relieve constipation.
6.Spinach promotes healthy eyes, bones, and muscle health
7.It has numerous cancer-fighting properties.
8.It’s healthy food for diabetics.
9.Spinach is a must-have food strongly recommended for all age groups, be it a growing child, an adult, or the elderly age group.
10.It is normal for children or even elders to fuss about eating spinach.
If you are wondering how to add this nutritious food to your regular diet, here are some attractive, healthy, and delicious tips to present Spinach recipes in the most appealing way for picky eaters.
This blog will help you know about some easy and healthy spinach recipes in the diet.
1.Palak /Spinach Cheese Balls:
Add oil (2-3 tbsp) to the pan, add garlic (1 clove), ginger (1 inch) roughly chopped, 1 green chili, onion all roughly chopped and sauté well for 2-3 minutes till its color changes.
Palak Puree: Sauté roughly chopped palak for 1 minute in the pan till it shrinks slightly. Then, cool the palak completely and blend it smoothly in the blender.
For Spinach Balls Dough: Add palak puree to the bowl, add bread crumbs (half cup), cornflour (2 tbsp), and salt (1/4th tsp). Combine it well and make the dough.
For spinach balls: Take a chunk of the dough, flatten slightly on the greased hand, add the cheese cube, and seal the dough. No cracks should be there.
Deep fry in medium hot oil, and stir it occasionally till it becomes golden crisp and is ready to serve.
2. Palak/ Spinach Chutney:
Add oil (3tbsp) to the pan, urad dal (1 tbsp), chana dal (1 tbsp), and cumin (jeera) (half tbsp). Sauté well on low flame till it becomes golden brown.
Next, add green chills (3 whole), ginger (1 inch) to this, and sauté well.
Add palak, roughly chopped (1 bunch), and sauté till it shrinks slightly and changes color, don’t overcook and cool completely.
Add in a blender grated coconut (half cup), tamarind (small ball), salt (half tbsp), and water (half cup), and blend it smoothly
Give Tadka/Tempering: Add oil, mustard seeds, urad dal, red dried chili, few curry leaves in a pan. Heat till you hear the spluttering sound.
Mix this tempering well to the puree and palak chutney would be ready to serve.
3.Palak/ Spinach Corn Cheese Toast:
Spinach–Corn Mixture: Add butter(1tbsp), onion finely chopped, and sauté well till it shrinks slightly. Then, add finely chopped palak 1 cup and corn, sauté again till it shrinks slightly. Cook well.
Add mixed herbs, chili flakes, pepper, salt, and mix well with the spinach corn mixture.
Sandwich Preparation: Take 2 slices of bread, apply green chutney, and add spinach corn mixture. Now, add cheese and prepare the bread sandwich.
Toast Sandwich in the pan. Spread butter on both sides of the sandwich. Toast in a pan till it becomes crispy and golden brown and is ready to serve.
4.Palak/ Spinach Chakli
Chakli dough preparation: Rice flour (2 cups), Besan (half cup), putani (roasted Bengal gram) (2 tbsp powder), jeera (half cup), hing (asafoetida) (pinch), salt, butter (1 tbsp), crumble and mix the mixture.
Palak Puree: Now take a handful of spinach, 2 green chilies, 1/4th cup water, and blend smoothly.
Mix palak puree to the dough mixture prepared. Knead well. Prepare a soft dough.
Put 1 tbsp oil in the chakli maker. Fill the dough in the chakli maker. Now prepare the shape of chakli with secure ends. Deep fry it in hot oil. Stir occasionally on medium flame till you get crisp and tasty palak chaklis.
5. Palak /Spinach Chaat:
Palak Pakoda: Besan (1 cup), rice flour (2 tbsp), turmeric (1/4t tbsp), chili powder (1/4th tbsp), ajwain (1/4th tbsp), hing (asafoetida) (pinch), salt, baking soda (1/4th tbsp), mix well, and then half cup of water. Mix well. Prepare a thick batter.
Now, dip 1 Spinach leaf in this batter completely and coat it. Deep fry this in hot oil till it becomes golden and crisp.
Now you can prepare your Spinach/Palak chaat recipe: Place all these pakodas in a plate, spread 1 tbsp of curd on it, 1 tbsp tamarind chutney, 1 tbsp green chutney, sprinkle some chaat masala, cumin powder, amchur, chili powder, 2 tbsp of finely chopped onion, 2tbsp of finely chopped tomatoes, 3 tbsp of nylon sev, a pinch of salt, and some finely chopped coriander. Palak chaat is now ready to be served.
6. Palak/ Spinach Paratha:
Palak Puree: Boil 1 bunch of spinach for 1 minute. Put this blanched spinach into a blender. Add ginger and chili to this, 1 each. Cool completely and blend the puree.
Paratha Preparation: Take 2 cups of wheat flour in a bowl, a half tsp of ajwain seeds, salt to taste, oil 2 tsp, and now add the prepared palak puree to the mixture. Combine it well. Add water as required, knead 5 times, add water as required, and prepare the soft and smooth dough. Add 1 tsp oil, grease well, and cover with a small wet cloth. Rest this for 30 minutes. Now, prepare the parathas!
You can serve these parathas hot and fresh with mint raita.
Sales of spinach spiked across the world because of the character of Popeye, the sailor man, had become a household name in thousands and millions of homes across the world. Even today, when you think of Spinach you remember Popeye, the Sailorman, and vice-versa. Popeye and Spinach are indeed inseparable!
These are some of my favorite Spinach recipes. So, why not prepare and present them to your loved ones these healthy foods, such as spinach, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, beets, etc., in a more attractive form like salads, sandwiches, halwas, parathas, and pakodas so that they not only enjoy their meals but also get the adequate dose of nutrition! The list of these delicious Spinach recipes does not end here. There are many other different recipes that we all can try to take advantage of the health benefits of this vegetable, to sharpen and transform your cooking skills, and tickle your taste buds!
-Written by Dr. Anam S., Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah