Don’t throw away Spinach Stems
Did you know that Spinach stalks are edible, in fact delicious? They have the taste of spinach without the harshness that the leaves have. There are several ways that you can cook them. Some recipes are designed specifically for the stems. In others, spinach stems are combined with leaves. And in still others, stems can replace the leaves in the recipes.
Use the stems in your vegetable or fruit and vegetable juices. If you have a cold press juicer, it is best to pulse them in a food processor first so that the pulp doesn’t clog the pulp shoot.
Chilli Spinach Stems
Simply chop the stalks into 2 – 2.5 cm lengths, and saute them with a little chilli, then add a sprinkling of water, cover, and allow to steam until cooked.
Buttery Spinach Stems
Looking for other ways to use up the Spinach Stems, I made this wonderful, easy buttery hot salad of Spinach Stems, and added some verjuice while the stems were cooking: Buttered Spinach Stems. This must be my favourite way of using spinach stems.
Spinach Stems Salad with Sweet Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts
- This salad utilises the more gentle flavour of the stems in a salad that is balanced in flavour and has the crunch of pine nuts: Spinach Stems Salad.
One of the recipes that uses both leaves and stems of Spinach is the South Indian pureed chutney, Spinach Thogayal. Eat a spoonful or two with rice and vegetable dishes. It is an intense, concentrated spinach flavour.
- Very similar to this dish is an Andrah Pradesh Spinach Pachadi. It can be made with spinach stems or a mixture of leaves and stems. The recipe is here. Make sure you pop back then to see it. Use a mixture of leaves and stems or make a milder version using only tender stems.
Spinach with Yoghurt
Try this recipe using the younger tender stems on their own or in conjunction with leaves. Spinach Pachadi.
Spinach Poriyal and Spinach Thoran
Poriyals come from Tamil Nadu and Thorans are from Kerala in India. They are quite similar in style, stir-fried or sauteed vegetables with spices and coconut, producing a flavoursome dish.
A Spinach Poriyal recipe is here – make it using spinach stems for a wonderful variation. Cook a little longer than specified, until the stems are tender.
- This beautiful Spinach Thoran recipe combines spinach with spices and coconut. Traditionally using spinach leaves, it will work beautifully with finely chopped spinach stems. Just cook longer than the leaves, until tender.
Recipes where Spinach can be replaced with Spinach Stems
Simply replace the spinach in these recipes with chopped spinach stems, cooking them longer than the leaves until tender.