If you’re doing a whole foods-based clean eating cleanse or detox, spinach is a versatile staple that you want to have at the ready.
An excellent source of vitamins (K1, A, B2, B6, folate , E and C), minerals (manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, calcium, potassium) and fiber, spinach is a nutrient-dense leafy green. Fresh spinach is also one of the richest sources of chlorophyll, the pigment that gives spinach its green color and helps your liver break down and eliminate toxins. By binding with environmental toxins, like heavy metals, some carcinogens and pesticides, chlorophyll can prevent the body from absorbing these harmful substances.
Spinach is versatile and easy to prepare. When you buy fresh bunches of spinach from the farmer’s market, be sure to wash the leaves well to remove any residual grit. The easiest way to do this is to soak the spinach in a large bowl of water with a tablespoon or so of apple cider vinegar. Agitate the leaves before transferring spinach to a salad spinner. Spin dry.
If you like garlicky spinach, thinly slice a few cloves of garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a stainless steel skillet or 3 quart saucepan, and sauté the sliced garlic for a minute. Stir in spinach and let cook 1 to 3 minutes, or until wilted.
Or, you can simply heat a large stainless steel skillet (I like to use a 10- or 12-inch skillet with high sides) over a medium flame. Add the spinach, stirring until it wilts. Spinach releases a lot of water when it cooks, so there’s no need to add anything to the pan. When all the spinach has wilted, transfer to a serving dish and season with Celtic sea salt, to taste, and toss with a drizzle of quality extra-virgin olive oil.
Organic boxed baby spinach is readily available at most supermarkets. Even if it’s “pre-washed” baby spinach, give the spinach a good rinse (I always wash anything that’s been packaged in plastic) to perk up its flavor. You can make a baby spinach salad, flavored with crumbled, nitrate-free, reduced-sodium all-natural bacon and toasted walnuts. Or, you can add to green smoothies or protein shakes. You can also make this delicious, light and creamy raw spinach “soup”—no “cooking” required.
Creamy Raw Spinach Soup
1 cup water
1-1/2 cups spinach
1 stalk celery
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger root
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened, dairy-free milk
Place all ingredients into a high speed blender or Nutribullet and blend to a smooth and creamy texture.