This bitter taste is caused by oxalic acid. Stay away from larger, darker leaves, they have a higher concentration. Young spinach is more tender and tends to be sweeter. Overcooking spinach can also bring out the bitterness.
If you cook the spinach longer, the leaves will become slimy and the bitter taste will become more obvious. Also, don’t reheat cooked spinach after you’ve refrigerated it. This overcooks the leaves and creates a stronger bitter taste than when freshly cooked.
Spinach is high in calcium and the insoluble form of oxalic acid, which forms crystals that stick to teeth when chewed. These crystals give your mouth a grainy, tannic feel and also give spinach that bitter taste that some people describe as bitter.
And you’ll definitely know when your spinach has gone bad. The edges of the once brilliant, crisp green leaves first turn yellow, and eventually the leaves become gnarled and mushy, often taking on an unpleasant odor. Then your spinach is better off on the compost heap than on your plate.
Researchers found that steaming and boiling are effective cooking methods to reduce the oxalate content of spinach and other vegetables. Cooking seems to be more effective; it reduced soluble oxalate levels by 30 percent to 87 percent.
Klein told MNT that this feeling is more common after eating spinach because the vegetable contains such high levels of a natural compound called oxalic acid or oxalate.
Leaf greens are packed with nutrients, but you’ll get more calcium and iron if you eat them cooked. Here’s why: Spinach is loaded with oxalic acid, which blocks the absorption of iron and calcium, but breaks down at high temperatures.
In addition to its high nutrient content, spinach is also known to contain a higher amount of oxalic acid than most crops. Oxalic acid is an organic acid found in fungi, algae, lichens, higher plants and animals including humans (Oke, 1969) formed as a secondary metabolite of vitamin C (Hodgkinson, 1977) .p>
If your spinach is still clinging to its thick stalks, consider trimming the stalks with a knife or kitchen shears. You can use a paring knife for extra accuracy. Although the stalks are still edible, they are somewhat tough and off-flavored, and your spinach leaves will be tastier without them.
For both raw and cooked spinach, squeeze some lemon juice over it to dissolve the acid and prevent oxalic acid from coating your teeth. Boil or blanch the spinach. The more you cook the spinach, the more neutral it becomes; the less acid there is.
When raw fruit or vegetables make your mouth tingle, it’s a real syndrome: salt pollen allergy can trigger reactions to fruits and vegetables. The condition – known as oral allergy syndrome – can come on suddenly and often goes undiagnosed.
But spinach is LIKELY UNSAFE for infants less than 4 months old. The nitrates in spinach can sometimes cause a blood disorder (methemoglobinemia) in young infants. Allergies: People who are sensitive to latex or certain molds are more likely to be allergic to spinach.
If your spinach looks wilted, slimy, or dark green, it’s probably no longer good. What is that? Spinach starts out light green and as it goes bad, it gets darker and darker, eventually turning blackish. Any sign of it getting dark is a sign of spoilage and should be discarded.
There’s no question that spinach is one of the healthiest foods on earth, packed with vitamins and minerals. But spoiled spinach can mean trouble for anyone who eats it – including health risks like food poisoning. That’s why it’s important to distinguish bad spinach from good spinach.