Spring into greens!

Courtesy Photo

By Taylor Sutton, MS, RDN, LD

United Supermarkets Dietitian

Spinach is one of those vegetables that is so versatile and doesn’t get enough credit. This is an awesome vegetable filled with vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C, K, A, iron, folic acid, and calcium. Spinach may help lower blood pressure, reduce oxidative stress, and even prevent cancer. So, how can we incorporate more of this leafy green into our diet?

Although some might think one form of spinach is better than the other, there is not much difference between fresh, canned, and frozen spinach. Fresh spinach is great for salads and sandwiches, frozen spinach may be ideal for sauces, smoothies and soups, canned spinach can be sauteed and used in dips. Regardless of how spinach is prepared, it’s a great way to add nutrients to each meal!

Fresh spinach contains 90% water and is low in calories making it a great option for year-round eating but especially when higher temperatures are coming up.

When fresh spinach isn’t in season we can find it in the frozen section. Frozen spinach is blanched before freezing. Due to this process causing a loss in water mass, the spinach is condensed thus making the nutrient content much more concentrated per cup. This provides a little bit more calories than fresh spinach, but just as nutritious. Since it’s picked in season and frozen you may find some better deals here throughout the year over its fresh counterpart. Another thing to take into consideration would be that it cooks up differently than fresh or canned. It is still so versatile but has a more concentrated flavor.

Canned Spinach will provide you with the softest texture and may have a greenish-brown appearance. Canned spinach is also condensed, like frozen, thus providing us with concentrated nutrients. This form of spinach may also be easier to digest and absorb nutrients due to it already being cooked down. This would be especially helpful for babies, young toddlers, or when the body is healing from trauma. Canned spinach also has more magnesium than its fresh or frozen counterparts which is due to the heating process in canning. The downside is that canned spinach may have more sodium since it’s more condensed. If you are buying canned spinach, be sure to rinse the spinach once out the can or opting for low-sodium or no salt added alternatives. With no cooking required, this is a great time saver as well.

Despite their differences, fresh, frozen, and canned spinach provide great nutrients and go well with many meals! And as we spring into green, it’s not just about spinach but getting a variety of greens, and other colors is key. Think lettuce, kale, broccoli, arugula, sprouts, Swiss chard, and the list goes on!

Plant Based Pasta Salad


  • 1 16 oz jar red peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 c walnuts
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • Salt and Pepper as desired
  • 1 box Chickpea pasta
  • 1 pint tri-colored Cherry tomatoes
  • 4 oz burrata
  • 2.5 oz Arugula


1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. In a blender combine red peppers, garlic, walnuts, cayenne, and lemon juice.

3. Blend until smooth (about 3 minutes or until granular texture is smooth).

4. Slice cherry tomatoes in half.

5. Drain pasta and put in a bowl.

6. Add in sauce, tomatoes, arugula and combine.

7. Tear burrata in small pieces and scatter across salad.