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Healthy spinach recipes for winter

Don't only ditch nutritious food when it gets chilly

Londiwe Dlomo Journalist
A bowl of spinach soup.
A bowl of spinach soup.
Image: Supplied

In winter, people tend to ditch healthy food choices and go for the comforting recipe.

But you can keep your nutrient uptake high and still eat yummy, hearty and fun food in winter.

For your consideration, we have some spinach recipes from Capsicum Culinary Studio.

The vegetable is nutritious, fat-free, cholesterol-free and high in dietary fibre as well as being one of the best sources of iron, calcium, folic acid, protein and vitamins A, C and K.  

For some help in keeping a balanced diet we have a yummy hydrating drink recipe from Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront’s head mixologist, Melrick Harrison, for you to try.

When the weather gets cooler, people tend to stop drinking as much water as they’re used to, which can result in dehydration. Spinach is also a champion here because it contains a whopping 91% water, emphasising that nature has been providing us with water-dense ingredients in the winter months for centuries.

Other vegetables such as cauliflower, bell peppers and pumpkin are hydrating and delicious ingredients for winter dishes as well.

Spinach Soup


50g butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 medium potato, peeled and chopped into chunks

450ml of stock, chicken or vegetable

600ml milk

450g fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped

zest of half a lemon

3 tbsp double cream, to serve


Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the potato chunks and continue to cook gently for 1 minute. Pour in the stock and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the potato starts to cook. Pour in the milk and bring up to a simmer, then stir in half the spinach and the lemon zest.

Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the spinach has completely wilted down. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Pour into a blender and add the remaining spinach (this will keep the soup bright green and fresh tasting) and process until smooth. Return to the pan and reheat. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and swirl in the cream.

Chef’s note: You can freeze the soup for up to one month. Defrost in the microwave or overnight in the fridge before re-heating.

Spinach, bacon and cheese dip

Image: Supplied


450g frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid

10 slices bacon

230g cream cheese

75g mayonnaise

75g sour cream

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp paprika

300g freshly grated cheese


Preheat oven to 180°C. Chop the bacon into small pieces and cook in a large non-stick pan over medium heat until crispy. Remove, drain on a paper towel. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic powder and paprika and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the chopped spinach, bacon, and 3/4 of the cheese. Transfer to a baking dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until golden and bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.

Serve with slices of toasted baguette or ciabatta.

Spinach & Potato Fritters

Image: supplied


2 large potatoes, peeled and diced

¼ cup plain bread crumbs

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp seasoned salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tbs olive oil, plus more for frying

1 bunch washed and chopped spinach


Place potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well and return to pot. Stir over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes to dry out. Mash with a potato masher. In a medium bowl, stir together bread crumbs, garlic powder, pepper and seasoned salt. Whisk in eggs and 1 tbsp oil.

Stir egg mixture and spinach into potatoes until thoroughly combined. Working in batches, heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add heaping tablespoons of batter to skillet. Flatten fritters with a spatula and space them so they don’t touch. Cook, flipping once, until golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat, adding more oil between batches, until all batter has been used. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

Spinach & Cheese Muffins

Image: Supplied


250g self-raising flour

5ml baking powder.

Pinch of salt

100g chopped spinach, washed and dried.

2 large eggs

250ml milk

125ml sunflower oil/ olive oil

100g grated cheddar

30g finely chopped leek

12 Muffins papers


Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Mix the self-raising flour, salt, baking powder and grated cheese in a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, add the eggs, milk and oil and whisk well to blend before adding the chopped spinach and leek.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine gently, making sure you don’t over-mix. Place a tablespoon of batter into a muffin tray prepared and lined with muffin papers and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove and serve with butter while still hot.

Balance and Change hydrating cocktail recipe

Image: Supplied


⅓  of an Apple, chopped into pieces

50ml Coriander and fennel-infused vermouth (vermouth or red wine soaked overnight in the fridge with coriander and fennel seeds)

20ml Fresh lemon juice

15ml Orange blossom and maple syrup (7.5 ml of orange blossom water and 7.5 ml maple syrup mixed together)

250 ml Sugar-free tonic water


Muddle or smash the apple in the booth of the shaker. Add all of the ingredients except the tonic water, shake and strain in a glass and finally top up with soda. Garnish with fresh slices of apple and fresh coriander sprigs.

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