Spinach: Keeping the Green in Your Wallet

January 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Alison Spath in Breakfast

This is the container of spinach I typically buy from Wegmans.

Spinach Container

For $3.99 you get 3.5 (2 cup) servings.  $3.99 divided by 7 cups of spinach works out to be $0.53 cents per cup.  This is in line with the spinach price listed in the 44 Healthy Food Items Under $1.

Spinach and kale are among the dirty dozen – I rarely make an exception when it comes to buying leafy greens, I feel strongly about sticking with organic when it comes to spinach, lettuce, kale and the like.  Conventional greens are said to be highly sprayed, spinach alone is covered with 48 different pesticides and chemicals.  (ACK!)

Nutritionally speaking, spinach is a source of calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and iron.   It offers protection from certain cancers and is beneficial for cardiovascular health too.  It’s worth noting that spinach contains oxalic acid, which blocks the absorption of calcium and iron.  You can remedy this by pairing spinach with something that contains Vitamin C or cooking it to help break down the oxalic acid.  Spinach is one of those vegetables that is good to try and eat both raw and cooked to get the maximum health benefits.

(Blah, blah, blah.  I heart spinach!)

I buy one of those big tubs of organic spinach every week or so and use it in salads with other greens (usually red leaf and/or green leaf) to make my own “mixed greens”, sometimes for sauteing and adding to eggs or pizza or a quinoa bowl.  Or straight from the tub into the blender to make an infamous green smoothie.

Spinach Top Green Smoothie Profile

I make green smoothies for one of two reasons:

1. Because I want one.

2. Because the spinach is going to go bad soon and we need to eat it in a hurry.

On this particular day, #2 was the primary reason for a green smoothie – our spinach had passed its expiration date the day before.

Green Smoothies

(If it looks OK and smells OK, it’s probably OK.)

And so it was green smoothies for breakfast for me and the boy.  This green brew contained frozen strawberries, banana, frozen mango, plain yogurt and enough water allow it to blend and give it my desired consistency.

Breakfast Craziness

This would be Kaz climbing into his seat to get at his smoothie that I’m trying to take a picture of.

This would also be my argument for learning to eat better BEFORE you have kids.

Kaz Vitamix

Of course, eating well yourself is no guarantee that your kid is going to eat anything and everything that you put in front of them – but for the time being, Kaz happily eats and drinks much of what I eat, mostly because he doesn’t know any different. I also know that he might not be as willing to eat a wide variety of foods as he gets older – but for today – he eagerly drinks the bright green beverage that makes his big sisters run screaming into the other room. I’ll take what I can get.

Kaz Green Smoothie

At $4 a container, I have a hard time calling organic spinach “cheap”, but if you’re comparing a big container of spinach to some pre-made green drink for nearly the same amount of money, then yes, spinach is the winner when it comes to how much green goodness and nutrition you get for the other kind of “green”. In that case, go with the spinach, save some bucks and make your own green drink at home while still having a lot left over to use in a myriad of other meals and snacks. Good stuff.

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