Health benefits of spinach during pregnancy:
Spinach is a rich source of folate. Folate is a form of Vitamin B9. Most doctors prescribe Folic acid supplements (synthesized version of folate) for pregnant women. Folate is a key nutrient that is necessary for the neural (brain and spine) development for your baby. Spinach helps the mother with keeping her blood pressure levels in control, helping her with mood swings and anxiety disorders and balances cholesterol.
Spinach is a super food rich in vitamins and minerals. Hence, it is important and necessary for women to include green leafy vegetables like spinach as part of their regular diet. It offers wonderful immunity for both the mother and the child.
Recipe for spinach soup:
- Butter or oil of your choice (I generally prefer extra virgin olive oil) - 1 tbsp
- Onion - 1 large, chopped finely
- Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped finely
- Washed, dried and coarsely chopped spinach (Make sure that the spinach is completely free of any mud or small insects or infested leaves. Wash 4-5 times till water runs clear) - 500 g or one big bunch
- 1/2 cup boiled and cooled milk (optional)
- Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp (adjust to taste)
- Fresh cream - 1 tbsp (optional)
How to prepare:
- Heat the oil or butter in a saucepan or kadai
- Add the chopped garlic and saute till it is light brown in colour
- Add the chopped onion and saute till it changes colour and becomes soft
- Add the spinach and cook till it the moisture goes. (Please note spinach cooks quite fast. )
- Add salt and pepper as the spinach cook and turn off the heat
- Let the mixture cool and blend it along with the milk if you are using milk. Else, blend with half cup water.
- Once the puree is smooth, transfer again to the saucepan, add 2 cups water, bring to a boil and then simmer for 2-3 minutes (Depending on how thick or thin you need the soup, adjust the quantity of water.)
- Turn off the heat and top the soup with the fresh cream.
This soup may be served hot or cold. Enjoy.
The other variations of this soup include adding a tbsp of flour while cooking the spinach. I personally prefer leaving out the flour. You may also top with grated cheese or paneer.