In the Midwest, spinach should be planted in the spring and in 6-7 weeks it is ready to harvest!

Description & Health Benefits

  • Spinach is a member of the Amaranthaceae botanical family which also includes amaranth, beets, chard, quinoa, sugar beet, and Swiss chard.
  • Spinach varieties vary by size, shape, and texture.
  • Spinach grows best in the spring and fall when temperatures are cool.


  • 1 cup of raw spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K and a good source of vitamin A, folate, and manganese.
    • Vitamin K is vital for healthy bones and blood clotting.
    • Vitamin A is important for immune health, vision, and reproduction.
    • Folate helps to prevent neural tube birth defects while also enhancing protein metabolism and red blood cell formation.
    • Manganese regulates nerve and muscle function, and blood pressure.

How to Purchase, Prepare, and Store

  • Purchase spinach year round at grocers. Fresh spinach is also available in the Midwest in the spring and fall from farmers markets and farm stands.
  • Choose green, fresh bunches of spinach free from insect damage, yellow leaves, and wilting.
  • Clean spinach by soaking leaves in a large bowl of cold water and gently swishing to remove dirt. Drain in a colander. Repeat as needed in fresh cold water. Once washed, pat dry with a clean towel or spin dry using a salad spinner.
  • Spinach can be eaten raw or cooked – sauteed, baked, or boiled.
  • Store in a clean plastic bag and refrigerate until use. Do not wash spinach until ready to use. Consume within 5-7 days for best freshness.
  • Freeze clean, dry spinach in a freezer bag. Press extra air out of the bag, label with date, and freeze.
  • Use raw spinach as a base to your favorite salads. Add to smoothies, soups, egg dishes, pesto, or dip recipes.

1 cup raw spinach

Calories:  7.0 | Protein:  0.86 g | Fat:  0.12 g | Carbohydrate: 1.09 g | Fiber: 0.7 g | Sugars:  0.13 g | Calcium:  30 mg | Magnesium: 24 mg | Potassium: 167 mg | Vitamin C: 8.4 mg | Folate: 58 µg | Vitamin A: 2813 IU |Vitamin K:  144.9 µg

1/2 cup cooked spinach

Calories: 21.0 | Protein: 2.67 g | Fat: 0.23 g | Carbohydrate: 3.38 g | Fiber: 2.2 g | Sugars: 0.39 g | Calcium: 122 mg | Magnesium: 78 mg | Potassium: 419 mg | Vitamin C: 8.8 mg | Folate: 131 µg | Vitamin A: 9433 IU | Vitamin K: 444.2 µg


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