When it comes to spinach, you either love it or can’t stand it. If you’re in the latter group, you may be wondering what exactly it is that you’re not liking. So, what does spinach taste like?
Fresh baby spinach has a slightly sweet taste, which adds a delicious flavor when used in salads. Mature raw spinach has a mildly bitter taste and is better suited as an ingredient in recipes. Cooked spinach has a mushy, slimy texture which turns off some people from eating it.
Let’s take a closer look at what spinach tastes like and some tips on how to make it more palatable.
Does Spinach Have A Taste?
Yes, spinach has a unique, grassy, or earthy green taste that can be paired with various dishes or even stand alone as its own meal. This leafy green vegetable is also packed with nutrients, making it a healthy option for any home cook.
Taste Of Fresh Spinach
When I think of the taste of fresh spinach, I think of baby spinach in an assortment of mixed greens topped with dressing.
Baby spinach has more flavor than your regular iceberg lettuce and can add a slight hint of bitterness, acidity, and sweetness.
It depends on your spinach’s quality, and how it’s stored, but I find the taste goes through those three profiles as it’s eaten and chewed. And it’s best to clean spinach and use quickly as it doesn’t last long in the fridge.
Taste Of Cooked Spinach
Forget about the texture of spinach for a moment. Cooked spinach can have a watery and slightly bitter taste when prepared correctly.
However, overcooked spinach will become much more bitter tasting. I think this is one of the reasons why it’s often added to a dish rather than a side dish on its own. The other flavors can help hide the bitterness.
Texture Of Spinach
The texture of raw spinach is slightly crunchy, like any other leafy vegetable. Baby spinach has an even softer crunch. The texture of the leaves also helps hold onto more salad dressing than regular lettuce.
The texture of cooked spinach can be described as soft, mushy, and slightly slimy. It is often used as part of filling in pies, pastries, soups, and dips or as a side dish. Bad spinach will also have a similar feel to it.
When cooked with other ingredients, spinach can take on a variety of textures depending on how it is prepared.
For example, it’s better to cook it and wring out excess moisture when used in dips. This can leave your spinach feeling dry and stringy in dip compared to using it in a soup where it may have a slimy mouth feel.
Should You Cook Spinach Or Eat It Raw?
I think most people can manage the taste of either, but it’s the texture of cooked spinach that many people dislike.
You can eat spinach cooked or raw. However, cooking spinach will reduce the amount of oxalic acid. This will help make calcium, iron, and other nutrients more digestible.
So if you’re looking to get the most nutrients out of spinach, cooking it is the way to go.
What Does Spinach Taste Good With?
Spinach tastes good with other leafy greens in salads, creamy dressings, soups, healthy smoothies, pastries filled with cheese, or in spinach onion dip.
Can You Hide Spinach In Food?
Yes, it’s possible to hide spinach in your recipes so that no one would notice. But if you’re not a fan of the taste of spinach, I recommend avoiding using it or another vegetable you might enjoy more.
If you’re trying to use up the spinach that you have on hand, and have picky eaters, try cutting it as small as possible before cooking or adding it to a salad. In the worst case, you can freeze spinach and use it a little at a time until it’s all gone.