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Jun 24, 2013 05:30 AM

Nutritional value of spinach in pesto

For lunch today I made a pesto from spinach, pine nuts, garlic and EVOO. I love spinach and I love that it's nutritious at the same time, but does making it into a pesto (I didn't cook it) diminish the nutritional value of it?

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  1. Why would chopping something up change the nutritional value. It, er, gets chopped up before it hits your stomach anyway.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Hobbert

      Yep. I'd also comment that the amount of spinach in a serving of spinach 'pesto' probably wouldn't be enough to do much good. But no harm either.

        1. re: c oliver

          Good to know. Why wouldn't it be a good enough quantity? I could similarly use the same amount of spinach to sauté with some garlic and serve as a side dish.

          1. re: chowhormones

            I've never considered anything like this. But if I took a bunch of spinach and cooked it, it would serve a couple of people. But, I imagine, if I took the same amount and made pesto from it, it would serve a lot more people. But I could be totally wrong about that.

            1. re: c oliver

              I think that when discussing nutritional value and preparation - a huge component of that is how much actually becomes a serving size. While a classic pesto serving typically isn't that much - if this is a nonclassic version where a serving would be half a cups worth or so, then you'd still get the same nutrition from the spinach - or maybe more if it meant in paste form you were consuming more individual leaves of spinach.

              A good way to think of this is fresh fruit juice. There is no to minimal technical difference in the nutrition of freshly squeezed fruit juice and the fruit. However, most servings of freshly squeezed juice will involve the juice from more pieces of fruit than a person would normally consume in a sitting. So the basics between an orange and freshly squeezed orange juice aren't very different - except that in the glass of juice you may be consuming the equivalent of 3-5 oranges.

              Basically the issue isn't in changing nutritional value - but rather the quantity in which you're getting it.

            2. re: chowhormones

              most typically a "portion" of pesto is a few spoonsful.

        2. it's still raw spinach, yes? why would chopping affect anything in its nutritional profile?

          1 Reply
          1. Not necessarily diminish, but some things when eaten together can boost the nutritional value of one of the items - for example broccoli eaten with mustard somehow makes the broccoli different nutritionally speaking then when eaten sans mustard.

            That same type of interaction may occur with spinach and whatever nut you're using in the pesto.

            Just a thought and guess, however.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              I'm not doubting you but wonder if you could give a citation for that please? I don't particularly care for broccoli but might like it a lot better with mustard AND if it get a boost from the mustard. TIA.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Thanks for that. I found that beneficial! :)