Mrs H’s quick and travelling creamed spinach with a secret

“….spinach is full of vitamin A an’ tha’s what makes hoomans strong and helty”

Popeye in a 1932 strip

Many people have the idea that Popeye was so strong on account of the iron in Spinach, but in fact,  spinach actually contains beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. Does Vitamin A make you strong? Well, no. It’s essential for a healthy immune system though.

This recipe is based on tinned spinach, Popeye’s spinach of choice. You might think it was horrible, far inferior even to frozen spinach, let alone fresh – but it is not. It is just different.

And if you are travelling and self-catering, or sailing, tinned spinach is incredibly useful. If you’re travelling you can use UHT cream. If you really can’t lay your hands on some cream, you can substitute béchamel sauce.

Creamed spinach goes really well with steak, and, in a crisis, can substitute for a béarnaise sauce.

This is a very easy, and good, way of cooking it. The secret is the Marmite (Marmite haters won’t know it’s there). You can also add a little grated cheese, lemon juice, butter….whatever you have to hand.

creamed spinach recipe
The secret ingredient is the Marmite.

This also works with frozen spinach, as well as with aged, on-its-last-legs ‘fresh’ spinach.

Both tinned and frozen (especially in small lumps) spinach is incredibly useful:

  • add to soups for extra flavour
  • thicken a curry
  • add interest to a pasta

Recipe for Mrs H’s quick and travelling creamed spinach with a secret

Serves 3-4 (double is fine for six)


  • 2 tins of spinach
  • 120ml/½ cup double cream (Nigel Slater uses crème fraîche)
  • 1 fat clove of garlic, crushed with 1 tsp smoked salt
  • 1 generous teaspoon of Marmite
  • Grinds of both black pepper and nutmeg. Or, even better, instead of pepper, a pinch of Urfa pepper flakes


  1. Drain the spinach well, pressing it into a sieve to get rid of the surplus liquid.
  2. Put it in a saucepan, and start to heat.
  3. Add all the other ingredients. Stir well.
  4. Serve

For other posts using spinach on Saucy Dressings follow this link.

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