Monday, March 27, 2006

Spinach 101 or more about spinach then you would ever want to know

Spinach 101

We use the energy it makes for electricity . It sounds bizarre, but it's true: researchers are using phytonutrients found in spinach plants to create fascinating new "green" solar panels that covert sunlight into electricity. The idea stems from the realization that spinach plants turn sunlight into energy. That would be the process of photosynthsis.
There is a Sustainable House of Spinach- This incredible single family dwelling runs on a photosynthetic and phototroic skin made of spinach protein that produces so much energy it shares with its neighbors!!

We use it to cure blindness. A truly extraordinary cure for some forms of blindness is being proposed. The idea is to add light-absorbing pigments from spinach to nerve cells in the retina, to make the nerve cells fire when struck by light

We are speculating as to its use to power a computer. We have crossed the first hurdle of successfully integrating a photosynthetic protein molecular complex found in spinach with a solid-state electronic device,


Why Eat It
It is exceptionally rich in carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lutein, and also contains quercetin, a phytochemical with antioxidant properties. Spinach is rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly folate (folic acid), vitamin K, magnesium, and manganese; it also contains more protein than most vegetables.
Raw spinach is a healthy addition to salads, but to get the full benefit from this leafy green, eat it cooked at least some of the time. Cooking makes the antioxidant carotenoids responsible for much of spinach's nutritional potency easier for the body to absorb.

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Spinach and Apple Salad with Warm Cider Dressing

Serves 4

½ pound baby spinach, washed and spun dry2 of your favorite apples, for this I like the Fuji variety. Peeled, cored and sliced into thin wedges6 ounces fresh goat cheese½ cup pecan halves toasted½ cup dried cranberries
Cider Dressing1 tablespoon olive oil¼ cup minced shallots1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped½ cup fresh apple juice 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar1 cup olive oilsalt and pepper to taste
1. To make the dressing: In a non-reactive sauce pan on medium cook the shallots and apples with the tablespoon of oil, stirring constantly until lightly caramelized. 2. Add the juice and reduce to almost dry. 3. Place mixture in a blender, add vinegar and oil and puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 4. Return to pan and keep just warm. Or, you can re-heat the next day if you want to make this ahead.5. To assemble the salad: In a large mixing bowl place the spinach, apples, pecans, cranberries and toss with just enough of the warm dressing to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 6. Distribute among 4 plates garnish with pieces of goat cheese.

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