Spinach or Silverbeet
Silverbeet is more popular than English spinach in Australia and easier to grow as it is more heat tolerant. In other countries, Silverbeet can be known as Chard or Swiss Chard. It may be green or green with red stems and veins. Many Australians feel that spinach and Silverbeet are interchangeable. There is a difference in nutrient analysis and some recipes work better with one rather than the other.
|Nutrient Content/100g||Cooked Spinach||Cooked Silverbeet|
|Energy||KJ-128, Calories-18.6||KJ-88, Calories-14.8|
|Carbohydrate||0.8 grams||1.3 grams|
|Protein||3.0 grams||1.9 grams|
|Fibre||6.3 grams||3.3 grams|
|Iron||3.57 mg||2.3 mg|
|Folate||90.0 µg||108 µg|
|Beta Carotene||2190.0 µg||410.0 µg|
|Sodium||20 mg||185 mg|
|Oxalate||750 mg||645 mg|
As can be seen the low energy value for both vegetables helps in the control of weight.
Spinach has just about double the fibre content and is very high in Beta Carotene. Beta-carotene is a strong anti-oxidant that helps to protect the eyes against sun damage, heart disease and cancer.
Spinach is also significantly lower in sodium. This would be important on a low salt or sodium diet.
Spinach and silver beet are excellent sources of folate. Folate is associated with helping to prevent heart disease, cancer, Neural Tube Defects in infants and may be degenerative nervous system disease in adults such as Parkinson and Alzheimer disease. It also helps to strengthen the immune system.
Spinach and silver beet are both high in iron and many vegetarians depend on these vegetables to maintain iron levels.
The downside with spinach and Silverbeet is that they are high in oxalate. As oxalate forms an insoluble substance with iron, it reducing the amount of the iron being absorbed from the bowel. We don’t know what percent is actually absorbed but the lower the body’s reserves; the more is usually absorbed.
Wash well and remove stalks. If it is a bunch, cut off stalks using kitchen scissors before washing. Serve raw or steam for 4 to 5 minutes or microwave for 2 to 3 minutes until wilted. Use as a vegetable or raw as salad in any of the suggested recipes.
Frozen Spinach is ready to use in cooking or can be heated and served as a vegetable. It is economical and saves time in some recipes. Thaw and drain well, squeezing out as much moisture as possible by placing in a strainer or squeezing the box. Reheat for 2 to 3 minutes and serve as a vegetable or in one of the suggested recipes.
Silverbeet or Swiss Chard
Try and choose young leaves of moderate size without blemishes. Wash well, remove portion of lower thick stalk and finely slice. Steam for 5 to 6 minutes or microwave for 4 minutes. Use as a vegetable or in cooking as indicated.
Eat more English Spinach and Silverbeet
Incorporate more spinach and Silverbeet in your diet with the following recipes.
Many recipes can use Silverbeet or spinach. Refer to the recipe section for the recipe.
|Recipe||Spinach, fresh||Spinach, frozen||Silverbeet|
|Greek Feta roll||x||x||x|
|Spinach cocktail bites||x||x|
|Chicken Cheese Spinach Pasta||x||x||x|
|Spinach Mushroom Carbonara||x||x||x|
|Spinach Salad with Orange & Chick Peas||x|
|Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing||x|
|Green and Yellow Mash||x||x|
Added to site on : Thursday, 1 May 2003