Have you ever tried to get a 1-year-old to eat spinach? Some years ago I was trying with my first son, but every recipe I found called for heavy cream, butter and flour – which might make spinach appetizing to young taste buds, but certainly wouldn’t make a healthy meal. I started to substitute fresh, non-dairy, gluten-free ingredients and found that with a few simple tweaks, I could make a sound nutritional meal with real food that my son was happy to eat. This was my very first recipe 6 years ago and has been a favorite in our house ever since. I guess you could say that it was the ‘birth’ of Tapp’s Tips.
If you ranked veggies by their health benefits, spinach would sit very close to the top. High in vitamins B, K and A, spinach is a great source of phytonutrients and essential minerals, including zinc. This leafy green is a good source of plant based, or non-heme, iron and vitamin C. Since the non-heme iron needs the C to be absorbed by the body, you get all you need in one shot. That, plus the Allicin you get from the onions and the garlic, both of which are anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, make this dish a power boost for your immune system.
Along with the caramelized onion, the “cream” in this recipe comes from the cashew butter. It will make you feel like you are eating creamy, buttery, creamed spinach. Cashews are packed with healthy fats and essential minerals. They are also the “feel good” nut as they act as an anti-depressant. Bring on the cashews!
My total favorite cashew butter is Artisana Raw Cashew Butter. It’s a little pricey, but it is so good that it’s worth it. This creamy delight is light and fluffy and, amazingly, has no sugar added. Count me as their biggest fan.
It’s helpful to remember that organic frozen spinach that is flash frozen in the fields is just as nutritious as fresh spinach that has travelled a long distance, and may have retained even more of the nutrients.
Buy organic local greens in season and freeze them for use all year round.
I originally made this dish with vidalia onion because the sweetness was appealing to my 1-year-old. Now that my boys are a little older, and their taste buds are more mature, I make it with a large white onion.
Add a carmelized vidalia onion to any savory recipe that needs to be sweetened up for younger kids.
- spinach - 6 cups chopped
Spinach is a dark green leafy powerhouse. It contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals as well as anti-oxidant vitamins like vitamin A, and Vitamin E. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals. The nutrients in spinach play a role in protecting against aging and disease.
- onion - large white, chopped
- garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Garlic is a powerful antiviral, antibacterial, and natural antibiotic. Garlic produces a chemical called allicin which promotes the production of white blood cells which help fight against toxins.
- salt and pepper - to taste
- sesame oil - 1 tablespoon
- cashew butter - 1 tablespoon
After you wash the spinach, make sure that you dry the leaves well.
Saute onion and garlic in a sauce pan with the oil. When the onion is translucent, add the spinach and cover for @ a minute. The spinach cooks very quickly. You don't want to overdo it.
Transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor.
Add cashew butter.
Blend until smooth.
Add salt and pepper to taste.