IN SEA­SON: SPINACH Fill up on this great green su­per­food

POPEYE WAS ONTO SOME­THING WHEN HE LOADED UP ON THIS SU­PER-NU­TRI­TIOUS GREEN

Food - - Contents - RECIPES AND STYLING SO­PHIE GRAY PHO­TO­GRAPHS MANJA WACHSMUTH

Spinach

Whether you have it raw, sautéed, steamed or baked, there’s no deny­ing spinach is good for you. With high lev­els of chloro­phyll and carotenoids, this leafy veg­etable is also rich in fat-sol­u­ble vi­ta­mins, min­er­als and iron, and will help give you healthy hair, eyes and bones. Stud­ies have shown spinach can also im­prove your sleep and re­duce your ap­petite.

Spinach was said to be the favourite veg­etable of the Queen of France in the 16th cen­tury, Cather­ine de’ Medici. Con­se­quently, dishes served on a bed of spinach are known as ‘Floren­tine’, re­flect­ing Cather­ine’s birth­place in Florence.

Don’t be shy with your por­tions when cook­ing spinach; its high wa­ter con­tent means it re­duces in size by about a quar­ter when cooked.

Avoid rins­ing be­fore stor­ing, as the mois­ture will cause it to spoil. How­ever, the leaves and stems can trap soil, so en­sure you give spinach a thor­ough wash im­me­di­ately prior to cook­ing or eat­ing.

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