1

votes

Baby Spinach vs. Regular Spinach

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 16, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Is one better than the other one? There's only a market on sunday here (when I went to France there was one every day in a different city nearby), and that's the only place where I can get great vegetables for a normal price. I can only find baby spinach in supermarkets, but I like the "real spinach" more (feels more paleo).

597781a8183304eacc7a38401c5f13d3

(20)

on January 16, 2013
at 05:21 AM

Kashkillz, that is what I said. I also said where I am from baby spinach is a different cultivar than the mature spinach grown here. For example in Seed Savers Exchange you can America, Bloomsdale, and strawberry spinach seeds all are spinach seeds that will grow to spinach plants. however America spinach has smooth leaves like our baby picked spinach here, and Bloomsdale has furled leaves like our mature picked spinach where I am from. I am sorry for any confusion with my earlier answer.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 15, 2013
at 05:31 PM

Hmmm...I eat the stems. I've never understood the logic of tossing perfectly good things like that. I eat kale stems, too. Sure, they're tough, but that just means they need to be cooked longer than the leafy portions, and then they're fine. (Wouldn't eat 'em raw, that's for sure.)

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on January 15, 2013
at 01:47 PM

Have you ever grown spinach? It's not two separate plants. The leaves change as they mature. I'm not guessing.

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on August 17, 2011
at 01:08 PM

Korion, you are most welcome. Air_hadoken, thanks for the cooking tip! I will definitely use mature spinach more often when I'm cooking! Thanks!

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 17, 2011
at 08:19 AM

I use rubber gloves. I wonder how i should process them for freezing so i could enjoy them even in winter:)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2011
at 07:01 PM

Use a glove or a plastic bag over your hand when you pick them to avoid getting stung.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on August 16, 2011
at 06:39 PM

In addition to the upvote for this answer, I just wanted to add that from a culinary standpoint, baby spinach makes nicer raw preparations (i.e. salad greens) while mature spinach is better when cooked. If you get mature spinach, try combining it with coconut milk, onion, salt, and pepper, and letting it stew for about 30 minutes. It's a Western form of palusami, a Pacific Islands preparation of taro leaves, and it's delicious.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 16, 2011
at 05:45 PM

they are quite dirty, so soak the leaves in a full kitchen sink and change water few times. I have been wondering if i could wash it in washing machine, and dry it also :D Saw a good eats episode where Alton Brown dried his greens in cloths drier :D

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 16, 2011
at 05:41 PM

You should blanch them in large pot rolling boil and heavily salted water. 2mins is enough. Actually this is also the preferred method for spinach also. Nettles and spinach have alot of oxalic acids, that the boiling water will dissolve. After that i can squeeze it dry with a towel and saute on pan with bacon, garlic lemonzest, however you like your spinach.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 16, 2011
at 05:22 PM

nettles??? I'm actually quite interested in these kind of things. Any website that explains how to cook them or something like that?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 16, 2011
at 05:21 PM

My mother said that's the reason you can't find real spinach anywhere :). Lazy people ...

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 16, 2011
at 04:52 PM

Well you need to blanch them in boiling water for two minutes, does not sting.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 16, 2011
at 04:11 PM

but they sting!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:52 PM

That was exactly the answer I was looking for. Thanks!

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10 Answers

best answer

7
5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:17 PM

Baby spinach is not a bio-engineered version of regular spinach or anything, it's just harvested earlier. With that in mind, it would make you wonder if the nutrient content would be diminished since most plant matter is less nutritious the earlier you harvest it. Some studies show that baby spinach to be more concentrated than mature spinach in nutrients like vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoids while others show the opposite. The soil, the season, and climate seem to have more of an impact, so I would say baby spinach is definitely a good choice.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on August 16, 2011
at 06:39 PM

In addition to the upvote for this answer, I just wanted to add that from a culinary standpoint, baby spinach makes nicer raw preparations (i.e. salad greens) while mature spinach is better when cooked. If you get mature spinach, try combining it with coconut milk, onion, salt, and pepper, and letting it stew for about 30 minutes. It's a Western form of palusami, a Pacific Islands preparation of taro leaves, and it's delicious.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:52 PM

That was exactly the answer I was looking for. Thanks!

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on August 17, 2011
at 01:08 PM

Korion, you are most welcome. Air_hadoken, thanks for the cooking tip! I will definitely use mature spinach more often when I'm cooking! Thanks!

4
Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:28 PM

I would say that if you like the 'adult' spinach better, then eat it. Like Jared said, there is conflicting info out there as to which is more nutritious for you, but all the info leans towards saying that it is all packed with good things for you - so eat the one you like better, or the one you can find cheaper and fresher at the time!

1
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 16, 2011
at 04:04 PM

If you can gather nettles go ahead, its like spinach on steroids. Much high nutrient density. I dont buy spinach in summer cause nettles are free :)

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 16, 2011
at 04:11 PM

but they sting!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2011
at 07:01 PM

Use a glove or a plastic bag over your hand when you pick them to avoid getting stung.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 16, 2011
at 05:45 PM

they are quite dirty, so soak the leaves in a full kitchen sink and change water few times. I have been wondering if i could wash it in washing machine, and dry it also :D Saw a good eats episode where Alton Brown dried his greens in cloths drier :D

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 17, 2011
at 08:19 AM

I use rubber gloves. I wonder how i should process them for freezing so i could enjoy them even in winter:)

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 16, 2011
at 05:22 PM

nettles??? I'm actually quite interested in these kind of things. Any website that explains how to cook them or something like that?

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 16, 2011
at 05:41 PM

You should blanch them in large pot rolling boil and heavily salted water. 2mins is enough. Actually this is also the preferred method for spinach also. Nettles and spinach have alot of oxalic acids, that the boiling water will dissolve. After that i can squeeze it dry with a towel and saute on pan with bacon, garlic lemonzest, however you like your spinach.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 16, 2011
at 04:52 PM

Well you need to blanch them in boiling water for two minutes, does not sting.

1
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:27 PM

Baby spinach is more tender, stalks are smaller, its more expencive as well.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 16, 2011
at 05:21 PM

My mother said that's the reason you can't find real spinach anywhere :). Lazy people ...

0
C18a48e35ebc13acade03ea4f2eff1a0

on June 10, 2013
at 06:08 AM

Baby spinach is just the smaller leaves on a regular spinach. The smaller leaves are picked off and the rest is mature spinach! I would say the same nutritionally & because u don't tend to boil baby spinach it won't lose it's Vit C.

0
7413f172cf8c7651aa5d84af8b9dc8b9

(0)

on March 08, 2013
at 05:09 PM

i bought "regular" spinach just last night. there were several different brands (dole, house brand and another I hadnt heard of) right next to the baby spinach, and it was dark, gree, large leafy regular spinach. And it was cheaper.

0
Ea792d5bc2c19f7dab98d9b78dbff7a1

on February 16, 2013
at 01:18 AM

"I would say that if you like the 'adult' spinach better, then eat it."

You can't eat it. Nobody sells it. There's nothing in the stores but baby spinach, which is okay in salads but I like cooked spinach which means real spinach.

0
597781a8183304eacc7a38401c5f13d3

on January 15, 2013
at 10:10 AM

Baby spinach is the immature version of spinach however the named varieties grown is often different than what is grown and sold as reg spinach. This is why in the US you have tiny rounded leaves for baby spinach and larger "frilly" leaves for mature. You can also wind up with different colors due to different named varieties being grown. Now I am in the Southwest US, for France in a farmers market the best person to ask is the person selling it. If they dont know where / what their seed or plant came from I would move on.

As far as the spinach being Paleo, If our ancients ate spinach it would have been an early green and after winter most ancients ate things as soon as they grew in and could get a harvest. You still see that in hunter gather groups. Baby veg, mini or baby greens and herbs, tender shoots... Unless starving they will leave some to mature as they come back through a region but what is growing gets eaten.

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on January 15, 2013
at 01:47 PM

Have you ever grown spinach? It's not two separate plants. The leaves change as they mature. I'm not guessing.

597781a8183304eacc7a38401c5f13d3

(20)

on January 16, 2013
at 05:21 AM

Kashkillz, that is what I said. I also said where I am from baby spinach is a different cultivar than the mature spinach grown here. For example in Seed Savers Exchange you can America, Bloomsdale, and strawberry spinach seeds all are spinach seeds that will grow to spinach plants. however America spinach has smooth leaves like our baby picked spinach here, and Bloomsdale has furled leaves like our mature picked spinach where I am from. I am sorry for any confusion with my earlier answer.

0
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on January 15, 2013
at 03:06 AM

Baby spinach is a little more expensive because most people don't eat the stems on mature spinach. So baby spinach has less waste.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 15, 2013
at 05:31 PM

Hmmm...I eat the stems. I've never understood the logic of tossing perfectly good things like that. I eat kale stems, too. Sure, they're tough, but that just means they need to be cooked longer than the leafy portions, and then they're fine. (Wouldn't eat 'em raw, that's for sure.)

0
Bacb668c02c916152208394bb975ccd1

on January 15, 2013
at 01:07 AM

I do not believe "baby" spinach is the same plant as regular spinach, just immature. I think its stem length and growth habit are due to it's being hydroponically cultivated to make harvesting easier. I think baby spinach is mostly water and thus not as flavorful or nutritious.

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