Although it is available for most of the year, spinach is one of the highlights of spring. Then its tender young leaves make such a refreshing change after the sturdy greens and hearty roots of winter. First cultivated in Persia, but now a staple of cuisines worldwide, spinach is a versatile vegetable. The soft baby leaves can be used raw in salads or make a lovely addition to risottos, stir-fries and even mashed potato; larger leaves, sautéed with a little garlic, then seasoned and served with a squeeze of lemon, make a delicious accompaniment to grilled meats and fish.
Spinach has a natural affinity with butter, cheese, cream and eggs, but is also delicious matched with various herbs and spices. In India, a blend of spiced spinach and potato is often served with rice or flatbreads. In Spain, it is cooked with garlic, raisins and pinenuts to make a popular tapas dish, while in the Middle East it is added to stews and used in fillings for pies and pastries.
Choose fresh-looking leaves, and avoid any that are yellowing, wilting or becoming slimy. Cut off tough stems and always wash well in cold water to remove any soil or grit. Then shake off as much water as possible, patting the leaves dry on kitchen paper if necessary, before cooking in a dry, tightly covered pan for a few minutes, until they have wilted. Spinach gives off a lot of liquid while cooking, so always drain well before serving or using in a recipe.
Light and refreshing, the burst of chlorophyll and protein in this juice is incredibly nourishing and helps cleanse your body and boost liver function. It’s a wonderful juice to keep you feeling light and vibrant.
1 large handful kale leaves
1 large handful spinach leaves
1 lemon, peeled
150ml/5fl oz/scant 2⁄3 cup coconut water ice cubes, to serve
Juice the vegetables and fruits, then stir in the coconut water and serve over ice.
Coconut water is often called the “Fluid of Life” containing a balanced proportion of the electrolytes potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium, which help the body achieve correct fluid balance. Wonderfully revitalizing, it is the perfect isotonic drink for rehydration following exercise.
The Juice Diet