Growing up we were told that if we ate our spinach it would make us strong. Who can forget the popular cartoon character Popeye with his bulging muscles and can of spinach? Today we know that spinach has so many benefits that go beyond helping us get strong muscles.Packed full of fiber and antioxidants, spinach is surely a super food. Finding ways to incorporate greens into my diet is endless as I know how they help with my digestion and give me the nutrients I need to stay healthy. Just one cup of spinach provides 20% of your daily need for fiber which will improve digestion, prevent constipation and help you to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Spinach is an excellent source of flavonoids which have been shown to reduce the risk of stomach, skin and prostate cancers. And if that’s not enough of a reason to eat your spinach, consider that this super food is loaded with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Wow! So really, can you guess why I am promoting these little gems?
These Spinach Cups are a delicious way to enjoy your spinach and a healthy addition to any meal or snack. Although I like spinach plain, many people will only eat spinach when its incorporated into a dish with other flavors. Here we take the spinach and add some cheeses for flavor and consistency along with lots of spices. Adding in some chopped carrots adds more nutrition and flavor. This recipe offers tofu as a dairy free option using tofu. They are actually really good using the tofu in place of the soft cheese. Keep these in a container in the refrigerator and enjoy them with meals or snacks to help keep your blood sugar level, improve digestion, fight cancer, lower blood pressure and even squelch inflammation in your body. The benefits are unbelievable and I think you will find these little “muffins” to be a staple in your diet. Enjoy!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tins with a non stick cooking oil (I prefer coconut spray) and I make 18 of these.
16 oz package of frozen organic spinach, thawed and drained well
3 large carrots or 2 cups baby carrots, chopped in food processor
1/2 cup part skim ricotta, fat free cottage cheese or tofu for a dairy free option
1/2 cup fat free cheddar or fat free mozzarella cheese or additional 1/2 cup tofu for a dairy free option
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 T cayenne pepper flakes (if you like a hot spicy taste)*
2 tsp Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
*I use a food processor or my new Ninja to chop the carrots by pulsing until they are in small pieces. I used frozen spinach in this recipe because its easy but you could use fresh and also chop it by pulsing in the processor. If you use fresh you would need a large package to make enough spinach. Be sure to buy organic as spinach is one of those “dirty” foods.
Combine all ingredients and distribute evenly in muffin tins pressing down lightly to mold them together.
Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool and store in a container in refrigerator. These are delicious cold but you can reheat in the microwave if you prefer them warm.
Makes 18 servings:
Fat: 0 g
Carbs: 2 g
Protein: 4 g
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