by Kymythy Schultze

Dear Kymythy,
I’ve heard that spinach is good for me, but I don’t like the taste. Do you have a good recipe?

 You’re correct about spinach being good for you – Popeye was right! This “superfood” is loaded with good nutrients including protein, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, enzymes, and fiber. It has a great calcium to phosphorus ratio and is a good source of vitamins A, C, E, K, and B. Spinach also contains a large amount of the carotenoid lutein, which protects cells from free-radical damage and must be obtained from food because it’s not made within the body.

People who consume a lot of leafy green veggies like spinach are 43 percent less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration than people who don’t eat many greens. Keep in mind that lutein is oil-soluble and you’ll absorb more if you put a little oil or fat on the spinach.

Unlike Popeye, forego the canned variety and purchase fresh spinach from the market. Choose crisp, dark green leaves, avoiding those that are limp or yellow. Wash well just before using, as spinach is sometimes quite sandy. Store in the refrigerator.

Here’s a recipe so tasty that you won’t even notice the spinach or the fact that all the ingredients are good for you:

Spinach-Avocado Dip

1 pound spinach

1 avocado

1 tomato

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon each thyme and garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Peel avocado; chop spinach, avocado, and tomato. Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Makes about 2 cups. Enjoy!