Spinach, a nutrient-dense leafy green hailed for its health benefits and versatility in cooking, is a popular Texas crop. For quite some time, Texas was the top spinach producing state in the nation, thanks to the ideal growing conditions of the “Wintergarden” region. The Wintergarden region is an area in south Texas recognized for its long growing seasons.
Spinach prefers a full sun environment with enriched, well-drained soil, and grows best when given plenty of fertilizer. Spinach can be planted in the spring or late fall.
Spinach contains many vitamins and minerals and can be a low-calorie source of added nutrients to any meal. Spinach is also very heart-healthy.
In addition to the nutritional benefits outlined above, spinach also contains flavonoids, an antioxidant compound that helps build our body’s defenses and can help reduce the risk of cancer. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) also cites beta carotene, Vitamin E and many other vitamins and minerals as benefits of this mighty green.
Spinach is a great addition to any meal and can be used in far more than salads. Try spinach cooked in an omelet, in soups, pasta dishes or as a side with a lean protein like chicken or fish. AgriLife Extension’s Dinner Tonight has developed many simple and healthy recipes to incorporate spinach into your meals as the main ingredient, including Chicken and Spinach Lasagna, Spinach Quiche, Black Bean and Spinach Quesadillas, and Spinach Pasta Toss.
To find more nutritious spinach recipes, visit dinnertonight.tamu.edu/.