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According to a June 11, 2007, article in the Fort Collins Coloradoan, osteoporosis is a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans, or 55 percent of people 50 years of age and older. In that same article Dr. Sally Knauer says it's important to look forward. "Building strong bones, especially before the age of 30, can be the best defense against developing osteoporosis." 

Eating spinach can help you bone up. One cup of fresh spinach provides 200 percent of the Daily Value of Vitamin K, an important nutrient in maintaining bone health. Vitamin K1 activates osteocalcin, which anchors calcium molecules inside the bone. Without enough Vitamin K1, bone mineralization is impaired.  Spinach is also an excellent source of calcium and magnesium-also important for building strong bones. 

The following recipe contains fresh spinach. It is not only delicious, but good for your bone health as well. 

 

Spinach Salad with a Mustard Dressing
Serves 6 

FOR THE DRESSING 

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
¼ cup red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon large grind black pepper
¼ cup olive oil

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, red wine vinegar, heavy cream, Dijon mustard, garlic salt, and pepper and whisk until smooth.  While continuing to whisk, slowly add olive oil.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to toss salad. 

FOR THE SALAD

 

1 bag (10-ounces) spinach, rinsed, drained, and refrigerated until crisp
½ pound bacon, fried crisp, drained, and crumbled
¼ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 can (8-ounces) sliced water chestnuts
½ cup black olives, sliced
½ cup green onions, sliced 

In a large bowl, combine spinach, crumbled bacon, mushrooms, Swiss cheese, water chestnuts, black olives, and green onions.  Toss, add mustard dressing, and toss again until ingredients are evenly coated. 

Selection:  Spinach should be deep green in color with crisp, perky leaves. Do not buy spinach if it has yellow, wilted or broken leaves. Shop with your nose. If you smell an unpleasant odor, pass.  

Storing: When placed in plastic and refrigerated, spinach will keep for 2 to 3 days.  

Carol Ann Kates is the author of award-winning cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market, selected as one of the top ten favorite cookbooks by the Denver Post

For more information, view her web site at www.secretrecipesfromthecornermarket.com.

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