What is creamed spinach?
When I was last looking for recipe inspiration I came across a dish called creamed spinach. Now I’d heard of creamed spinach before, I knew it existed, although I wasn’t really sure what it was. When I think of it I think of an American family sitting down to dinner with a creamy spinach dish in place of regular vegetables. I’m not wrong, it is primarily used as a side all across America and adding a fat source such as butter of cream to vegetables is a very common thing in many cultures. In England making vegetables really unhealthy isn’t so common but I was still surprised at myself for having never tried a healthy creamed spinach recipe seeing as spinach is one of my favourite vegetables. I sneak it into every dish I can and will always opt for fresh spinach over iceberg in a salad, I was pretty disappointed in myself for having never made spinach the star of the show. Unlike most creamed spinach recipes you may find, this is a healthy creamed spinach recipe.
The inspiration for creamed spinach
First off I tried the recipe i had found whilst looking for inspiration. It called for quite a large quantity of heavy cream (double cream to us brits), spinach and a few herbs. Others called for butter and milk and many involved cheese. The recipe was beautiful, but very unhealthy and contained so much cream that my mouth actually felt greasy afterwards. I then tried a cheese based recipe which was perfect but again, far to unhealthy. Now that I had tried a few creamed spinach recipes I decided I was ready to take on my own. I much preferred the cheese based recipes so I decided that i too would use cheese to give creamyness to my healthy creamed spinach recipe. When im using cream cheese I always get Asda’s low fat cream cheese, just like Philadelphia, but cheaper! If your not in the UK I’m sure whatever low fat cream cheese you can find will work just as well.
Making the creamed spinach healthy
I was also left with a bit of a dilemma on the best ways to use my healthy creamed spinach recipe. A vegetable side dish just wasn’t working for me, even if you love spinach as much as me, after the first few mouthfuls cooked spinach does become a bit of a chore on its own. I ended up trying it on toast one day and it was like a match made in heaven! Now I have this healthy creamed spinach recipe on toast, on the regular and I don’t know why I never thought of it before!
Do you have a diet restriction?
This recipe is great for the following diet restrictions:
- Gluten Free
- Nut Free
- Low GI
Step 1: Prepare the spinach
To start with, cook up your spinach if your not using frozen. I’m a huge frozen spinach advocate, it makes life so much simpler if your adding spinach into dishes but for this dish, spinach is our main event so I thought we would cook up some fresh spinach to make sure this is the best quality it can be. I used 600g of fresh spinach. If you’ve cooked spinach before you’ll know that A LOT turns into a little. I had to cook up my spinach in 4 batches. To do this, just pop as much as you can reasonably fit into a wok or saucepan and heat on low until it wilts, you don’t need any oil or water. You will need to stir the spinach occasionally to stop any leaves getting stuck to the bottom. Once you’ve cooked your spinach, transfer it to a bowl or plate ready for use.
Step 2: Chop onion
Don’t wash up the wok yet, we’ll be using it again soon! Dice up an onion into really small pieces. i would have actually gone for smaller pieces of onion than in the photos but I’m a complete wimp when it comes to cutting onions and by this point my eyes could not take any more! Cook the onion in the wok for 5 minutes until translucent and soft.
Step 3: Cream the spinach
Once your onions are cooked add in the cooked spinach and mix well on a low heat. Mix up a cornflour slurry using 1 teaspoon of cornflour and around 50ml of milk. You can then add in your 200g of low fat cream cheese followed by the cornflour slurry. mix well until cheese melts into the spinach and continue cooking for 10 minutes stirring constantly. Your healthy creamed spinach may look a little too creamy to start with but once the cornflour starts to thicken it will all come together.
This healthy creamed spinach recipe will serve approximately 4 people whether its used as a side or on toast. I highly recommend trying it on toast, it will not disappoint!
Variations: Creamed Spinach
1. Garlic Infusion:
- Sauté minced garlic in butter before adding the spinach for an extra layer of flavor.
2. Cheesy Delight:
- Mix in shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese for a rich and cheesy twist.
3. Spinach and Artichoke Fusion:
- Incorporate chopped artichoke hearts for a delicious spinach and artichoke dip-inspired variation.
4. Smoky Bacon Kick:
- Cook bacon separately and crumble it over the creamed spinach just before serving for a smoky, savory touch.
5. Lemon Zest Brightness:
- Add a hint of fresh lemon zest or a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten up the dish.
6. Spicy Spinach:
- Kick up the heat with a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce for a spicy creamed spinach variation.
Can I use frozen spinach instead of fresh?
Absolutely! Frozen spinach works well in this recipe. Just be sure to thaw and drain it thoroughly to remove excess moisture.
Is heavy cream the only option for a creamy texture?
No, you can use alternatives like whole milk, half-and-half, or even Greek yogurt for a lighter version while maintaining creaminess.
Can I make creamed spinach ahead of time?
Certainly! Prepare the dish and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
Is there a substitute for Parmesan cheese?
Yes, you can use Pecorino Romano, Asiago, or a similar hard cheese for a slightly different flavor profile.
Can I add other ingredients to enhance the flavor?
Absolutely! Garlic, nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne pepper are popular additions to elevate the taste of creamed spinach.
- Chicken And Mushroom Soup Recipe
- Vegan Lentil Bolognese Recipe
- Warm Aubergine Salad Recipe
- Chai Spice Recipe
- Chai Banana Bread Recipe
Please consider liking and following my Instagram and Facebook @ HealthyHeartyWholesome. Not only does it help you to stay up to date with all of these cool recipes but it helps support me, which means I can continue to bring you these super yummy healthy recipes for weight loss for FREE!