Nutritionally similar, spinach and silverbeet are full of folate, which helps make and maintain red blood cells, and is also vital for a healthy baby.
These two leafy greens are also rustling with iron, fibre and antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, which helpfully scavenge potentially disease-causing free radicals from our cells.
Pick the best
Spinach and silverbeet are close relatives, but silverbeet tends to sport a darker shade of green, along with a white stem and veins. (You can find varieties with red or yellow stems, too.) English spinach is much like silverbeet in size, but baby spinach has small leaves, which make it perfect for salads. Choose crisp, shiny bunches and avoid scarred or wilted leaves. And remember to rinse it before you cook!
Three easy ways with spinach and silverbeet
It’s a wrap: Steam fish fillets in an edible wrapper of silverbeet leaves with flavours such as lemon, chilli and garlic. You can also use the leaves like vine leaves by stuffing them with beef mince, rice and vegies.
Perfect pasta: To pump up the iron content of your favourite pasta dish, add chopped silverbeet to the pasta water for the last few minutes of cooking. Drain well, stir sauce through the mix and serve.
A cracking meal: For a quick, nutritious dinner, add a big handful of chopped spinach to an omelette made of 2 eggs, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, onion and a little reduced-fat feta!
Did you know? One cup of cooked silverbeet gives you nearly a third of your recommended intake for folate, but spinach has twice the fibre.