If you love Creamed Spinach but are concerned about healthy eating, my Lighter Creamed Spinach recipe will make you very happy indeed. It has all the flavour of its higher calorie cousin, but a lot less of the things that aren’t quite as good for you. And while I won’t promise you it tastes as good as the original, my friends and family confirm it’s pretty darn close.
Creamed Spinach is my husband’s favourite side dish. I confess, I never used to be able to understand why. Every time I tasted it in restaurants I found it far too rich. I also thought it was often over-salted, almost disguising the flavour of the spinach entirely. Plus, I’m not a huge fan of spinach to start with, even though I know it’s good for me.
As I was convinced I didn’t like it, I resisted making creamed spinach at home for years. Then one day I received a huge bag of beautiful spinach in my organic vegetable box. ‘That would be lovely for creamed spinach,’ my husband said hopefully.
My heart sank, but I seriously cannot resist his great big blue eyes. So I set to work. I figured there had to be a way to make a lighter creamed spinach without compromising on flavour. Turns out, I was right. My husband loved this first version, but I tested the recipe several more times to get it exactly right.
Using half fat or two percent milk means the cream is only an accent as opposed to the main event. The cream is added at the end to finish the dish, just enough to give it a lovely texture. Carefully adding the salt, pepper and nutmeg after the dish is finished means that it doesn’t get over-seasoned, and the flavour of the spinach shines through.
How Can I Make This Recipe Even Lower in Calories and Fat?
You can make my Lighter Creamed Spinach even lighter by substituting a quarter cup of vegetable stock for part of the milk if you like. Add it as the first addition of liquid to the floured onions. Honestly though, I do think it tastes best if you use all milk.
Not only did my husband love my version of this classic dish, I did too. It’s now a regular feature on our menu. I recently served it at a dinner party to a confirmed spinach hater and he was completely won over.
Although I can’t say this dish is good for you with all the lovely sauce, the spinach is very lightly cooked so you do get lots of vitamins and iron. Definitely better for you than the original, my lighter creamed spinach is quick and easy to make too. I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we do!
Lighter Creamed Spinach – Printable Recipe
Lighter Creamed Spinach
- 5 to 6 cups fresh spinach, washed, with any tough stems removed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 generous tablespoons plain flour plain flour is also known as all purpose flour
- ¾ cup half fat or 2 percent milk
- ⅓ cup single cream or half and half single cream is also known as light cream. You may need slightly more or less cream.
- salt and pepper
- a generous pinch of ground nutmeg
- Place the spinach in a large colander in a clean sink.
- Carefully pour boiling water over the spinach. Protecting your hands with oven mitts, shake the hot colander and leave the spinach to drain.
- Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Sauté the onion until it is just beginning to soften.
- Sprinkle the buttery onion with the flour and stir through.
- Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly.
- Gradually whisk in the milk, a bit at a time, stirring constantly. Allow the sauce to thicken a little between additions.
- Place the colander containing the spinach on a tea towel nearby.
- Pick up the spinach in clean hands, a bit at a time, squeezing out any remaining water before stirring it into the cream sauce.
- When all the spinach has been added, gradually stir in the cream until a smooth, thick consistency is reached. You many not need it all, or you may need a little more. You want the spinach to be in a nice creamy sauce, but you don't want it to run all over the plate.
- Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
- Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.