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Spinach Vs. Escarole: What’s The Difference?

There is a wide variety of leafy green vegetables to choose from for your salads, soups, and other dishes.

Some recipes may require a particular type of leafy vegetable, however, you may decide to substitute one for another in recipes where they can be used interchangeably.

Your choice of leafy greens for a particular recipe may depend on factors such as the appearance, texture, taste, and nutritional profile of the vegetable.

Escarole and spinach are two vegetables that you can use for various recipes.

Spinach is a very popular leafy green worldwide, and although escaroles are not as popular as spinach they are commonly used in Italian cuisine where they may be found in recipes such as Italian wedding soup.

Escaroles and spinaches vary in their texture and nutritional profile, but they are sometimes substituted for each other in certain recipes.

In this post we are going to discuss escaroles and spinaches and also compare these two vegetables nutritionally.

Nutritional difference between escarole and spinach

Just like other leafy greens, spinach and escarole are both low in calories and rich in many essential nutrients.

Comparing spinach and escarole there is only a slight difference in the calorie content, as well as the fiber, carbohydrate, fat content between the two vegetables.

However, spinach exceeds escaroles significantly when it comes to its other nutritional content such as minerals and vitamins.

Spinach is also very rich in lutein which is a carotenoid that is very important in visual health.

What is escarole?

endive escarole

Escarole (Cichorium endivia) is a versatile vegetable that could be used in salads, soups, and also pasta recipes.

It is found all over the world but is particularly popular when it comes to Italian cuisine.

This vegetable is native to the Mediterranean and is closely related to the Belgian endive.

Escarole is a type of endive and belongs to the chicory family together with other members such as frisee and radicchio.

Together with beans, pasta, and meatball in a chicken broth, this vegetable could be used for well known Italian dish called the Italian wedding soup

Escaroles have a similar appearance as some lettuce varieties and are often mistaken for a type of lettuce, but they are broader and have a less bitter taste than lettuce.

The leaves of the escarole are crumpled, the edges are curly and the inner leaves are light green while the outer leaves have a dark green color.

Escaroles can be used either raw or cooked in recipes Escarole could be braised Grilled and they may also be sautéed

Their leaves have a chewy texture when used. 

Escaroles supply many nutrients and antioxidants, and this vegetable has many health benefits.

Escarole nutrition

100g of cooked escarole contains

  • calories: 15
  • protein:  1.15 g
  • carbohydrates: 3.07 g
  • fiber: 2.8 g
  • calcium: 46 mg
  • potassium: 245 mg
  • magnesium: 13 mg
  • sodium: 19 mg
  • phosphorous: 22 mg
  • iron: 0.72 mg
  • vitamin C: 3.3 mg
  • vitamin A: 94 mcg
  • vitamin K:  212 mcg
  • Folate:  78 mcg

What is spinach?

Spinach(Spinacia oleracea) is a popular leafy vegetable that is used worldwide.

It is native to Persia but can be grown all around the globe.

This vegetable is a member of the amaranth family and is closely related to quinoa. Spinach is used in salad, soups, and other meals

Spinach is grown as an annual and prefers colder temperatures.

The leaves are oval and dark green The leaves are also flat and smooth Leaves or could be crinkled in some plants.

It is also very versatile and can be paired with a lot of ingredients.

The immature spinach leaves are known as baby spinach and they could be found in grocery stores.

Spinach could be used cooked or raw. It could also be braised or sautéed.

This leafy green vegetable is highly nutritious and also packed with antioxidants. It is rich in beta carotene and lutein.

Spinach is known to have a high oxalic acid content. Oxalic acid can reduce the absorption of calcium and has other effects.

However, the oxalic acid content may be reduced by boiling the leaves as well as other means.

Spinach nutrition

100g of cooked spinach contains

  • calories: 23
  • protein:  2.97 g
  • carbohydrates:  3.75 g
  • fiber: 2.4 g
  • calcium: 136 mg
  • potassium: 466 mg
  • magnesium: 87
  • sodium: 70
  • phosphorous: 56
  • iron: 3.57 mg
  • vitamin C: 9.8 mg
  • vitamin A: 524 mcg
  • vitamin K:  494 mcg
  • Folate: 146 mcg

In conclusion

Some vegetables are selected because they are the traditional ingredient for a particular recipe or they may be substituted for a preferred or available leafy green.

When it comes to some recipes such as the Italian wedding soup or even some salads, some people may decide to substitute escarole for spinach and vice versa

Sometimes it comes down to the taste or texture preferred, but it may also depend on their nutritional content.

Nonetheless, spinach and escaroles are both good sources of nutrients.