We all know that Popeye made himself super strong by eating spinach, but you may not know exactly why.
Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely high in antioxidants, especially when fresh or lightly steamed. It is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, Vitamin K, magnesium, iron, calcium, folate, Vitamin B12, folic acid, zinc and selenium.
The vitamin K provided by spinach (1 cup of fresh leaves provides almost 200% of the RDI) is important for maintaining bone health. It is difficult to find vegetables that are richer in vitamin K than spinach, Kale is the only other vegetable to contain more micrograms of vitamin K per cup.
So while spinach probably won’t make you super strong the minute you eat it, as it did for Popeye, it will promote your health and vitality in many other ways. Popeye was onto something!
Spinach and Sweet Potato Balls
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 1/2 cup wilted spinach (lightly steamed, drained and squeezed of excess moisture)
- 1 large brown onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 small egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp tapioca or brown rice flour
- Oil for frying (you can use coconut oil, macadamia oil,)
- Place cubed sweet potato in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook for around 10 minutes or until soft when poked with a fork.
- In a medium pan, sauté onion in olive oil over medium/low heat until translucent and golden brown. Add chopped spinach, garlic, lemon zest and thyme leaves and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice.
- Strain the sweet potato completely and pour into a large bowl. Mash with a fork or a potato masher, leaving a little texture. Add spinach mix, salt, pepper and tapioca flour, egg and mix well together.
- Roll mixture into golf ball sized balls.
- To cook, either place balls onto greased tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with olive oil and cook at 180degrees for 12-15 minutes. OR In a fry pan, heat a shallow layer oil of oil and add balls of mixture, taking care to leave a little space in between them.
- Fry for 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown crust forms. Turn gently with tongs or a spatula, taking care not to break the balls.
- These are great as a snack served with a squeeze of lemon or as a side dish with fish & they also freeze well.