Potatoes are so versatile. You can put almost anything on them and eat them any time of the day. In this recipe, super foods like spinach, dill weed, and chickpeas are featured as a simple and filling way to top your potatoes.
Potatoes can make a great base for an easy lunch or dinner. Add in this nutrient-packed topping and you’ve got a filling meal on your hands!
Spinach - the Superfood!
Spinach is a nutritious, leafy green. This vegetable has been shown to benefit health in several ways, classifying it as a superfood, which is an easy way to say it’s a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.
This leafy vegetable is considered a superfood. But, why? The reason why spinach is considered a superfood is because of the loads of nutrients and low-caloric value that it possesses. These greens also benefit your skin, hair, and bones.
Spinach may decrease oxidative stress, improve eye health, and help prevent heart disease and cancer. If you're interested in capitalizing on its health-boosting potential, spinach is also an extremely versatile food that’s easy to add to numerous recipes.
Spinach is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, including:
Vitamin A. Spinach is high in carotenoids, which your body can turn into vitamin A.
Vitamin C. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that promotes skin health and immune function.
Vitamin K1. This vitamin is essential for blood clotting. Notably, one spinach leaf contains over half of your daily needs.
Iron. Spinach is an excellent source of this essential mineral. Iron helps create hemoglobin, which brings oxygen to your body’s tissues.
Calcium. This mineral is essential for bone health and a crucial signaling molecule for your nervous system, heart, and muscles.
In order to truly maximize the nutritional value of spinach, pair it with a food rich in vitamin C. Such foods – citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, or tomatoes – improve absorption of the iron and calcium in the spinach.
When buying whole bunches of spinach, look for leaves that are crisp and dark green, and avoid those that are yellow, limp, or wilted. Spinach stems should be fairly thin. Thick, coarse stems indicate overgrown leaves that will be tough and bitter tasting.
If buying pre-washed, packaged spinach, inspect the bag for any slimy or yellow leaves, and also check the expiration or a "best if used by" date. Also, give bags a gentle squeeze; if the spinach has a springy feel, it’s fresh and crisp.
Did you know that fresh spinach can last up to 10 days? The best way to store spinach depends on whether the greens are fresh or cooked.
How to Store Fresh Spinach
Gently wrap fresh spinach in a paper towel to absorb excess water. Moisture speeds up the decaying process, so you'll want to keep it to a minimum.
Place the paper towel-wrapped spinach in a storage container or bag. Seal the container tightly.
Store the spinach in the crisper drawer of your fridge for about 10 days.
How to Store Cooked Spinach
Allow cooked spinach to cool to room temperature.
Place the spinach in an airtight storage container or zip-top bag.
Cooked spinach can last anywhere from three to five days in the refrigerator.
Add In Potato Power!
Potatoes are a versatile root vegetable and a staple food in many households. Aside from being nutritious, potatoes are also incredibly filling.
Potatoes are a good source of fiber, which can help you lose weight by keeping you full longer. Fiber can also help prevent heart disease by keeping cholesterol and blood glucose levels in check. Potatoes are also full of antioxidants that work to prevent diseases and vitamins that help your body function properly.
Potatoes are also quite filling, which means they may help you lose weight by curbing hunger pains and cravings. One large baked russet potato has 8 grams of protein, or 14 percent of men's and 17 percent of women's recommended daily allowances.
All in all, potatoes are a great addition to your diet in moderation. They are also naturally gluten-free, which means they can be enjoyed by almost everyone.
Buying and Storing Potatoes
When buying potatoes, choose ones that are firm, have smooth skins, and are without any sprouts or blemishes. Avoid potatoes with wrinkled skins, sprouted eyes, cut surfaces, soft or dark spots, decayed areas, or sunken spots. If possible, purchase potatoes that are fairly clean but unwashed. Potatoes that have been washed will spoil quicker.
Store potatoes in a well-ventilated cool, dry, dark area such as a cool closet or dry basement. When stored between 45F to 50F, potatoes will keep for several weeks. If stored at room temperature or in a warm place, potatoes will remain at top quality for only about 1 week.
Do not store potatoes in the refrigerator. The starch will begin to change to glucose and alter the taste; the potatoes will also turn dark after cooking.
Spinach in a Jacket (Potato)
- 1 large Russet potato cleaned
- 1 tbsp dill weed
- 4 cups spinach chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- pinch nutmeg
- 1/2 cup chickpeas mashed
- Prick the potato well with a fork and bake on a baking sheet for one hour in a 400 degree F oven.
- Steam the spinach for 1 minute or until wilted.
- To the spinach add garlic, dill, nutmeg and set aside.
- Once the potato is cooked, let it cool until you can handle it. Cut the potato in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh.
- Mix the potato and the mashed chickpeas and add the spinach mixture. Mix well.
- Pile the mixture into the potato shells.
- Return the potato to the baking sheet and brown under a preheated broiler for a few minutes.