Spinach


Age of Introduction|  12 months 

Yield|  6 oz. fresh baby spinach (6 c. loosely packed leaves) – do not add water = 3-1/2 c. finely chopped

Storage|  Refrigerator 2-3 days/ Freezer up to 3 months

Prep Time|  10-15 minutes


Choose| 
Spinach leaves should be bright green and crisp with no wilting, off-color spots, slimy spots, or holes (indicating insect damage).

Prep|  Place spinach leaves in clean sink full of cool water and leave approx. 10 minutes.  Swish to remove any dirt that has not soaked off.  (Prewashed spinach can be placed in a strainer and rinsed.)  Strain off water, then pat leaves dry using paper towels or clean kitchen towel, working with about 2 handfuls at a time to ensure even drying.  Pulse in food processor to finely chop (or do it by hand on a cutting board using a very sharp knife).

Serve|  The sequence of baby ages is listed to show the appropriate stages of introduction for foods that pair well with spinach puree.  All of the suggestions are also appropriate for older children and adults. 

12 months Mix with cream cheese or plain whole milk yogurt and serve as a dip for small pieces of whole wheat bread or bagelMix with cream cheese and spread inside grilled cheese sandwich made on whole wheat breadMix with cooked brown rice or cooked whole grain pasta, ground beef/turkey, and shredded cheddar or mozzarellaMix with cooked brown rice or whole grain pasta and butternut squash puree  Stir into scrambled eggs and top with shredded cheddarStir into pasta sauce and serve over whole grain pastaStir into soups

Stir into ricotta cheese and add to pizza

15 months Serve with cooked diced chicken, cooked brown rice or whole grain pasta, and/or diced cooked butternut squash
2 years Mix with reduced-fat cream cheese or plain nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt and serve as dip for thin veggie strips (sweet bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, etc.)Mix with cooked whole grain pasta, diced tomatoes, and small cubes of mozzarella

Related Recipes|  Creamy Spinach Dip – Ham, Egg & Swiss Breakfast Pockets – Minestrone Soup – Meat, Cheese & Veggie Breakfast Pitas/Sandwiches – Spinach Scrambled Eggs – Spinach, Mozzarella & Ricotta Mini Calzones – Sweet Potatoes Au Gratin with Spinach and Ham – Tropical Green Smoothie – Veggie Cream Cheese Dip

 
Creamy Spinach Dip (coming soon!)

Main Nutrients|  Vitamin K – Vitamin A – Vitamin C – Iron – Folate – Manganese