Different Types of Spinach

Sep 9, 2021 | Food, Vegetables Food

Spinach is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It can be hard to know which types of spinach are best for you. 

There are so many different kinds of spinach out there it’s hard to know what kind to eat! Here’s a quick guide on the most popular types of spinach that you should try.

Varieties of Spinach

Spinach is an amazing leafy green that you can find in three major types: savoy, semi-savoy and flat.

Savoys are richer in flavor with a tinge of bitterness while the Semi’s have a taste closer to butter or peppermint from time to time. Flat leaves vary more than these two varieties but all are juicy and delicious!

1. Savoy Spinach

There are two varieties of Savoy Spinach:

Regiment Spinach

The regular Savoy spinach is known as ‘Regiment’ in England because English soldiers raided Crimea and Turkey for many years. They found this type of spinach which became very popular back home. The name was derived from the idea that it looked like a military uniform when on the plate!

Some people say it is sweeter than flat savoy but both are very similar in taste.

Bloomsdale Spinach

As you can see, Bloomsdale spinach is smooth and rounded all over. It is rich in flavor and low in nutrients when compared to other semi savoy varieties. In fact, many people use this variety on their plates just for decoration!  This variety comes from a heritage seed which is carefully grown by special farmers who preserve the seeds generation after generation.

2. Semi-Savoy Spinach

Semi-savoy spinach is an excellent example of a cross breed between savoy and flat type of spinach: it provides all the nutrients from these two types blended together! The taste is better than flat without being too rich in protein like savoy. It’s also got an amazing color which does not fade when cooked or frozen – that makes semi-savoys perfect for cooking, freezing and serving as salads. 

There are four types of semi-savoy spinach:


Tyee  has a rough and wavy texture. You will see the spinach leaves like it has been rolled up. Due to this, it is also called ‘crunchy’ or ‘crisp’. Tyee has better flavor than other semi-savoy varieties.


Catalina spinach is also known as ‘butter-crunch’ because of its striking yellow to green appearance that looks like it’s been painted with the color of butter. Catalina has an intensely buttery taste and is very popular in restaurants for this reason.


Teton spinach has a light green color and is slightly chewy with a peppery taste due to its upright leaves. 

Teton spinach plants cannot withstand hotter environments because they lack a plant survival mechanism (bolting) that allows them to grow during the summer. This makes Teton spinach ideal for planting in cooler months.

Indian Summer

Indian Summer is an amazing variety. It grows in a very upright and linear manner, like as if it was pasted onto the ground! Its leaves are also distinctive with its patterns on each leaf. It has relatively less taste but a high vitamin content that boosts your body’s immune system.

3. Smooth Leaf or Flat Spinach

This type of spinach is very popular all over the world for its excellent nutritional value.   It’s also light on the stomach which makes it perfect for freezing, serving as salads, cooking in soups and other dishes. Another advantage of flat leaf spinach is that you get maximum amount of vitamins from it because you do not need to chop off any leaves – the entire leaf can be consumed!

There are two main types of flat-leaf spinach as follows::

Space Spinach

If you want to grow spinach in your garden, Space Spinach is the best variety for this. It grows at high yields. However, it does not produce much fruit so it’s mostly grown by commercial farms that sell to restaurants and supermarkets. 

When Space Spinach grows, it has an upright leaf. It produces a lot of flowers and fruits which mature into red berries in August. The plant becomes more rigid as the fruit matures. 

It is resistant to cold weather so can be harvested late in winter too! This makes it easy to grow for ordinary gardeners.

Red Cardinal Spinach

Red Cardinal Spinach is a great variety of spinach. It is very popular in Japan, Europe and the US because of its versatility: you can harvest it from cutting the stem multiple times over a longer period of time. You can also freeze or cook it raw. Red Cardinal Spinach does have excellent flavor but has less iron content than Space Spinach.

4. New Zealand Spinach

New Zealand spinach is a variety of spinach that has high iron content and also contains vitamin c, calcium and protein. However, it does not grow well in warmer environments – you can only grow this plant in temperate areas with the right soil and irrigation system. It’s best to grow New Zealand Spinach during the cooler months of spring or fall.  

5. Malabar Spinach

Malabar Spinach is from India. It has a rich flavor and an excellent texture. It’s also a good source of vitamin C, A, B6 and E.   However, its main selling point is that it’s very rich in iron content – much more than any other type of spinach.

Malabar Spinach does not have to be cooked – you can enjoy it raw as salads or sautéed lightly with olive oil and garlic. It can also be frozen. You can even grow Malabar spinach yourself by planting the seeds in a pot and transferring them outdoors once they are big enough (about 2 months).

Another thing about Malabar Spinach is that if you pick one leaf from the plant, the entire plant will wither up and die! So don’t do that! The leaves on this type of spinach are so big and succulent anyway that you won’t need to harvest the plant multiple times over.

Which type of spinach is healthiest?

Space Spinach is the healthiest variety of spinach because of its high iron content (18.5 milligrams per cup). The red berries on Space Spinach also contain vitamins A, C and B2 that boost your immune system .

New Zealand Spinach has a good amount of vitamin c (2% RDA) but lower in iron content.

What’s the difference between Savoy spinach and regular spinach?

The main difference between Savoy Spinach and regular spinach is that the leaves of Savoy are crinkled in a sort of wavy pattern.

Savoy Spinach tastes sweeter than regular spinach because its outer layer protects the inner skins from exposure to sunlight and heat during hot weather. This means that it does not lose as much water and nutrients as other varieties of spinach would when they grow – so it can be stored longer too! It’s more pungent than other variants but you’re not going to notice much of a difference if you cook them or blanch them. 

The stems of Savoy Spinach are also tender and edible – this is another difference from regular spinach. You can use them in many dishes!

Is spinach better raw or cooked?

Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin c and folate. Both vitamins are destroyed by boiling or microwaving vegetables because the water destroys them or leaches them off.

When it comes to your health, spinach is best eaten raw, except for the New Zealand and Malabar variety. These two are better cooked because they tend to be less pungent too!

What’s the difference between spinach and chard?

Chard and spinach look very similar: they’re both leafy greens that come from the same plant family of Amaranthaceae. Both have a slightly tart flavor that you can easily mask by cooking them with other ingredients such as oregano and lemon juice. Spinach tastes milder than chard.

So how do you tell them apart? The first thing you should notice is that chard has thicker stalks and leaves than spinach – some people even use chard stems as a snack!

Chard stems can’t be eaten because they are fibrous and chewy. However, they’re great for juicing because the fibers are very high in beta-carotene . Spinach stalks are not as fibrous and you can eat them – just chop them off before cooking or juicing.

What about baby spinach?

Baby spinach is simply spinach that’s been harvested early while it’s young and tender. It has a more delicate flavor than regular spinach but also loses nutrients much faster due to its young age (and exposure to light). As far as nutritional value goes, it’s pretty much the same as regular spinach


There are many different types of spinach, but the most important thing you should know is how to tell them apart. The first way is by looking for the differences in stalk and leaf thicknesses among varieties like Savoy Spinach and regular spinach.

You can also use color as a guide: New Zealand Spinach has red berries that make it stand out from other greens, while Malabar Spinach leaves don’t wilt even if they’re picked! Lastly, baby spinach is just a younger version of its fully grown counterpart with less nutrients than what’s found on full-grown plants.

With this information at hand, you’ll be able to cook or juice vegetables based on their needs and preferences without any worries about nutritional value loss or confusion over which one you’re getting.


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