My spinach is sprouting! This is so great! Spinach is one of my favorite green, leafy vegetables (sorry, kale). It’s a great source if vitamins A and C, and it’s a good source of iron and calcium. Eating one cup of this is actually a better source of calcium than one cup of milk! Go figure.
Fun health fact: vitamins A, D, E, and K are what are known as fat-soluble vitamins, which means they require a fat source to carry them into your body, which will allow them to be absorbed as nutrition by your body’s tissues. So butter, olive oil, and salad dressing are actually active players in this design. Without their assistance, the nutrients won’t be absorbed as sufficiently.
The caveat with many green, leafy vegetables, including spinach, is that it begins to lose its vitamins and minerals almost immediately after being harvested. This is why it is recommended to use these vegetables as soon as you bring them home from the grocery store, and in a way that will preserve the nutrients while being cooked. Soup is a great way to keep vitamins and minerals prevalent, and slightly wilting leaves instead of cooking them limp is a good method.
My spinach is not going to be big enough to use for a while still, but no matter. In celebration, I will share one of my favorite recipes with you. This recipe was inspired about a year ago when a friend invited me over for breakfast one morning. She made this sweet potato and scrambled egg hash that was so simple and so yummy, that I went home and duplicated it…and then added my own spin to it.
Housewarming Sweet Potato Hash
1-2 Sweet Potatoes
1 Cup Baby Spinach
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
Feta Cheese, crumbled
Kosher Salt, to taste
- Dice the potatoes into small cubes. Make them as uniform in size as possible so they all cook evenly.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter, and wait until it is melted and bubbly.
- Add the sweet potatoes. Stir in order to coat them all with the butter. Add salt. Cook the potatoes for 8 to 10 minutes, or until soft, but not mushy, and the outside of the cubes are light to dark brown.
- Crack the two eggs into the potatoes. Stir until the eggs lose most of their moisture, completely scrambled.
- Take the skillet off the heat. Add the spinach. Gently fold the spinach into the potatoes until the leaves wilt. Add feta cheese. Serve hot.
If that doesn’t make you hungry, I don’t know what will.
So why do all of this? Why grow your own food when it seems so much more convenient to go to the store, pick out your items, and then make it at home? It takes so long for things to grow, and there is a grocery store full to the brim with all the produce, meats, breads, etc that you could possibly want. Why do it yourself?
I will endeavor to explain my reasoning behind the choices I’ve made to do this, and some of the reasons why I want to share my experiences with you:
In this day-and-age, it can be hard to argue with the convenience factor. It’s become almost second nature to simply grab and go. Instant gratification has made us look for the quickest route to the fastest food choices, among other things. The world we live in can often be fast-paced and unrelenting, and it can seem almost impossible to keep up with the workload and put a meal on the table. This can mean fast food drive-throughs, processed foods that get nuked in the microwave and served on a plastic tray, a package of nutrition bars that resemble nothing truly edible.
There may be some start-up costs when beginning a garden, but once it’s up and growing, it almost pays for itself. Also, many of the plants I have I will let go to seed after it’s past peak harvest. That way, I will have seeds for the following year, and I don’t need to buy more from the garden store. Also, extending the life of the produce by canning, freezing, or even infusing into oils or extracts will ensure that you have other options to use what you’ve grown, and you don’t have to run out to the grocery store for it!
Living on a budget, it’s nice to be able to save money where I can. I love being able to scratch even one ingredient off my shopping list. I can go, “Nope, I have that on my deck, so I don’t need to spend money on it”.
Cultivating a garden is also a lesson in patience, which seems to be a theme in this blog. Everything in its own time. Plants don’t strain to grow. They don’t try to rush their own growth because the sun decides to be too hot one day. It’s a simple reminder to relax and let go of any stresses I might be harboring.
So that’s it for this post! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Until next time!
(By the way, if you don’t understand the title of this post, look up Popeye the Sailor Man and Spinach on Youtube. It’s an old cartoon from 1956.)