Palak or Spinach is a green leafy vegetable with high nutrition content. Many of us have grown watching the classic Popeye animated cartoons, where Popeye eats spinach to become stronger. Even as such health claims are exaggerated, it remains a fact that Spinach consumption is good for health as it has a good dose of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
Spinach is believed to have originated from Persia centuries back but is now grown throughout the temperate regions of the world. Spinach is planted either in early spring or in the fall and is generally consumed all year around except for monsoon season as it is quite susceptible to germs in the rainy season.
Palak or Spinach is a versatile vegetable and can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw spinach is many times used in Salads and has a neutral, mild and refreshing taste. On blending and cooking Spinach has a distinct taste. The good thing is that Spinach can be adapted into a number of dishes and it not only enhances their nutritional value but also goes well with other ingredients and lends a unique taste. Green and vibrant Palak leaves are not only nourishing but are also appealing to eye when combined with other ingredients.
Spinach is low in calories and fat, yet extremely high in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Raw spinach contains 91% water, 4% carbohydrates, 3% protein and is rich in vitamin A, many forms of Vitamin B, vitamin C and minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron and folate. Spinach loses much of its nutritional value with storage of more than a few days. Refrigeration helps to prolong its life & retain significant nutritional value for few days. Further excessive cooking also leads to loss of nutrients and the same happens in case of excessive blanching.
Spinach is a versatile leafy vegetable that can be used in preparing a host of recipes, be it salad, snacks, gravies, breads or rice. In Indian cooking Palak leaves are often cooked with spices in a gravy of onions and tomatoes. Different ingredients like Paneer, vegetables or lentils are added to this gravy to create a variety of Spinach based curries. Palak Leaves are also be mixed with flour to create flavored Indian breads. Baby Spinach is used in salads due to its taste, appearance and texture. Spinach Soups are also very appetizing.
Check out this collection of vegetarian Spinach or Palak recipes which can be easily made at home.
A Collection of easy Palak Recipes (Spinach Recipes)
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