DESCRIPTION: Raw spinach and other greens in the same family (beet greens, chard, and even lamb’s quarters) are all high in oxalic acid. This means that, when eaten raw, these greens interfere with calcium absorption. Oxalic acid breaks down when cooked, so it’s best to eat spinach in a wilted salad or cooked, so you can absorb all the good vitamins and minerals it has to offer.
RECIPE: Spinach is a very tender and moist green. Cook it lightly, steamed or sauteed with just the water from washing the leaves, for just a couple minutes. For the simplest spinach, pour off any liquid, and drizzle olive oil and a little lemon and serve. For other ways of preparing, remove from pan to colander to drain water out of leaves. These wilted leaves can then be added to a bechamel sauce for creamed spinach or go back in the pan with some olive oil, raisins, and nuts for Roman style spinach, or into a casserole. Draining off excess water and not overcooking is the key to enjoying fresh, vibrant spinach.