We all know spinach is chock full of healthy vitamins and nutrients, but that doesn’t make it any easier to get your kids to eat it. Luckily, new research shows the healthiest way to each spinach is something we can all agree is delicious—and kid-friendly to boot.

New research from Linköping University in Sweden found that not all spinach preparation is created equal when it comes to getting the most out of this nutrient-dense leafy green. By examining lutein levels—lutein being the antioxidant contained in spinach—the researchers measured how much was retained based on cooking and preparation methods, including frying, baking and simply chopping.

So, which method came out on top?

 Photo: Jose Soriano via Unsplash

The study concluded that the highest levels of lutein were retained and ingested when spinach was chopped and served in a smoothie. It’s even more beneficial when a dairy product like milk or yogurt is added as well.

The study’s co-author Rosanna Chung explained, “When the spinach is chopped into small pieces, more lutein is released from the leaves, and the fat increases the solubility of the lutein in the fluid.” So go ahead and fire up that blender—smoothies are back on the menu!

—Shahrzad Warkentin

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