In this brief guide, we’ll explore the query: “Can you cook kale and spinach together?” Also, we’ll describe how kale and spinach can be cooked together, what the differences between kale and spinach are, what the nutritional content of each is, and which of the two is considered healthier.
Can you cook kale and spinach together?
Yes, kale and spinach can be cooked together. One may find many recipes in which both of these leafy greens are thrown together and sautéed, steamed, steamed, and even eaten together raw in salads.
How can I cook kale and spinach together?
Kale and spinach can be cooked together in a variety of recipes, where they can be salads, side dishes, garnishes, and even soups.
Regardless of the chosen recipe, to prepare both kale and spinach for cooking, it’s necessary to rinse both greens beneath running water, to wash away any dirt or other particles, as both are harvested from the ground.
Once any debris has been cleared away and the excess water shook off, kale and spinach leaves can be stacked, and gently rolled to then be cut into strips. When cooking kale, some authors recommend removing the middle stem, as it is known to concentrate a mildly bitter taste.
Once cut, both kale leaves and spinaches are ready to be:
- Sautéed – which consists in lightly cooking with oil or butter. This can be done to brown the kale and spinach leaves, as well as flavoring them with other ingredients such as pan-melted garlic and onions.
- Baked – Kale and spinach can be baked into casseroles, and crisped along with roasted meats. As a dry cooking method, it’s ideal for dishes into which they’ll be incorporated, rather than the main ingredients.
- Boiled – in water or broth for flavoring, this is commonly done to make chopped kale and spinach soup, which will often contain other ingredients such as cheese, salt and pepper, and perhaps garlic.
- Steaming – similarly to boiling, it is done to give kale and spinach a much more bland consistency, only without waterlogging. It helps the leaves retain many nutrients, as they won’t seep out into the broth or water.
How are kale and spinach different from one another?
Kale and spinach differ from one another in many aspects, mainly they each come from different plant families and are therefore different species. Strictly speaking, kale is a variety of cabbage from the brassica family, and spinaches are related to beets and quinoa, all of which are members of the Amaranthaceae family.
In terms of nutrition, they differ in the concentrations of vitamins and minerals, with kale being richer in vitamin C and vitamin K, while spinach has a higher iron concentration.
Visually, kale leaves are curly and their coloring can oscillate between shades of green to purple, while spinach leaves are smooth to the touch, and are always a shade of green.
In organoleptic terms, kale has a mildly bitter taste, whereas spinach has only a mild, leafy taste.
What is the nutritional content of kale?
On average, raw kale contains 84% water, 9% carbohydrates, 4% protein, and 1% fat.
In more specific terms: Kale is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. As a leafy green, it’s low in calories and rich in fiber, and a ration of 21 grams of Kale contains:
Calories – 7
Vitamins – A, C, K.
Minerals – Vitamins B, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese
What is the nutritional content of spinach?
Raw spinach is reputed to be made up of 3% protein, 4% carbohydrates, negligible fat, and 91% water, Additionally, 100 grams of raw spinach contain
- 23 calories
- 2.9 grams of protein,
- 3.6 grams of carbohydrates – of which 0.4 grams are sugar, 2.2 grams are fiber,
- And a mere 0.4 grams of fat.
Also, spinach is a rich source of calcium, iron, vitamins A, C, K, and folic acid.
Is kale healthier than spinach?
Both kale and spinach are healthy options for cooking, as they are both low in calories, sugars, and fat. This makes both ideal for weight-loss dieting and regulating fat and sugar intake.
Deciding which one is healthier boils down to deciding which nutrients are necessary for higher concentrations, as spinach contains more vitamin K, and kale contains more vitamin C.
Spinach has been linked to stimulating healthy blood pressure levels, and eye health, and with its antioxidant content, contributes to lessening the effects of free radicals, which may, in turn, contribute to treating and preventing some types of cancer. The high fiber content of spinach also stimulates digestive health, as it reduces constipation.
Kale can also help reduce the risk of diseases associated with oxidative damage such as cancer (not all types), heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
However, both are rich in oxalates, which have been found to make up some kidney stones and gallstones that may require surgery, which means that their consumption should be taken into account by people with a history of these conditions.
Notably, raw kale is a rich source of substances known as goitrogens, which are substances that may interfere with how a person’s thyroid gland works. These substances are known to reduce the amount of iodine a person can assimilate. Poor thyroid may manifest with symptoms such as
- Weight gain
- Sensitivity to cold
- Irregular heart rates and more.
Ultimately, both are healthy food choices that can easily be part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
In this brief guide, we have explored the query: “Can you cook kale and spinach together?” Also, we have described how kale and spinach can be cooked together, what the differences between kale and spinach are, what the nutritional content of each is, and which of the two is considered a healthier option.