Today is National Spinach Day!

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A Brief History

On March 26, 2020, not only Popeye the Sailor Man but all Americans should be celebrating National Spinach Day.  Loaded with water soluble vitamins, iron, calcium antioxidants, and other nutrients, eat it raw to gain the maximum benefit from its nutrition.  In honor of this special day and this special dark green leafy vegetable, we offer several ways for you to enjoy spinach and to celebrate this holiday.  Feel free to share other spinach ideas with the rest of us!

Digging Deeper

Watch Popeye cartoons and/or the movie.

Popeye and his buddy Wimpy, his girlfriend Olive Oyl, her baby Swee’ Pea, Jeep, Sea Hag, Alice the Goon, and his nemesis, alternately known as Bluto or Brutus, live in the cartoon world and have done so since first appearing in a comic strip in 1929 (along with some other characters).  The animated cartoons followed in 1933, culminating with a live action major motion picture in 1980 starring Robin Williams.  Popeye is probably the most famous advocate of eating spinach, a food he would eat when he needed an extra boost of muscle and energy producing power.  His famous theme song reminded people of the power of eating spinach for nearly 9 decades now.

Raw Spinach in salads.

Either alone as the main green in the salad, or mixed with other greens, spinach is a staple of salad bars everywhere and should also be a main component for salads made at home.  Accept no imitations such as Collard Greens or Swiss Chard!

Cooked spinach.

Cooked from fresh, either steamed or boiled, or from cans or from frozen packages, a little butter makes for a delicious hot vegetable to go with your meal.  Perhaps a bit of bacon for extra flavor?  Add cream for creamed spinach.

Plant a spinach garden.

If you live where March 26 is too early for outdoor planting, start your plants indoors in your greenhouse or atrium.  Or under appropriate growth lamps if you lack access to natural sunlight.  Transfer the plants outdoors when the weather is appropriate.  Then savor the special enjoyment of eating your own home-grown crop.  Be sure to share with your pet Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, and Bearded Dragons.  You will not have to worry about pesticides and E. coli contamination with spinach from your own organic garden.

Add it to other dishes.

Mix in some spinach with soup, stew, other vegetables, meat pies, pot-pies, scrambled eggs, whatever!  Potatoes Au Gratin?  Add spinach!  Put it on your veggie pizza.  Add it to your omelet.  Let your imagination be your guide.

Specific Spinach Creations listed below (go online for lots of enticing recipes):

-Spinach Souffle.

-Spinach Casserole.

-Spinach Quiche.

-Spinach Smoothie.

-Spinach Burritos and Enchiladas.

-Toasted Sesame Oil Spinach.

-Spinach Dip.

-Spinach Lasagna.

-Spinach Balls.

-Spinach Calzones.

Question for students (and subscribers): What is your favorite spinach concoction? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Chow, Chef Maggie. Easy Spinach Cookbook. BookSumo, 2015.

Hansan, Kimberly. Spinach Recipes: The Ultimate Guide. Amazon, 2014.

The featured image in this article, a photograph by Leonard J. DeFrancisci of Spinach Can Collectables, 1001 State StreetChesterIllinois, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.