Recipe: Dairy Free Creamed Spinach (GAPS/Paleo)

Recipe: Dairy Free Creamed Spinach (GAPS/Paleo) post image

What child naturally likes spinach? Probably none. The low fat epidemic caused by the government guidelines, is making it difficult to make vegetables palatable. Traditionally vegetables were served in butter and cream sauces to give flavor. There was a great deal of wisdom here because the fat is necessary for the absorption of all the vitamins and minerals in the vegetables. I have discovered that children love vegetables, including spinach when they are smothered in butter and salt.

Spinach has traditionally been served in a cream sauce. What to do if you are dairy free? That’s easy, use ghee and coconut cream and you will have a delicious dish that will compare very well to any recipe make with milk or dairy cream.


Since Popeye, spinach has always been viewed as a very healthy food, which it is. However, it is also high in oxalates which may be problematic for the people who form calcium oxalate stones in the kidney as well as people with inflammatory bowel diseases. Oxalates are also a source of trouble for some children, particularly those with learning disorders or those who are on the spectrum.

Oxalates bind with calcium and may crystallize. The crystals formed can be quite irritating and painful to tissues where they cause or increase inflammation. These crystals can be especially painful if they lodge themselves in places where they get in the way of the movement of other things through tight places.

Typically, most of the oxalate from the diet is not absorbed, because it will be metabolized by the gut flora or it will be eliminated through the stool. However, when there is inflammation in the gut, a lot of dietary oxalate is absorbed. There can be as much as 50% of the oxalate content of the food absorbed in these cases.

Many find relief in following a low oxalate diet. In these cases, spinach is best avoided entirely. Cooking may reduce some of the oxalates, but not a significant amount. Other leafy green vegetables may be substituted instead. For instance, kale is lower in oxalates.

For more information about oxalates click here.

Nutrition data

Spinach is a good source of niacin, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese. As you can see, it has a lot of nutrients.



  1. In a large fry pan heat the olive oil and ghee
  2. Saute the onion until soft and slightly browned
  3. Add the garlic at the last minute
  4. Add the chicken broth and the coconut cream and mix together in the pan
  5. Add the cooked spinach and mix all together
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes

This post is shared at: Summer Salad Sunday, My Meatless Monday, Melt in Mouth Monday, Monday Mania, Barnyard Hop, Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday Naptime, Traditional Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Hop, Tasty Tuesday 33, Gluten Free Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Sustainable Ways, Allergy Free Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Mommy Club, Cast Party Wednesday, Healthy 2Day, Tastastic, GAPS Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Creative Juice Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Foodie Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, GAPS Friday, Friday Food, Foodie Friday, LHITS




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Leave a Comment

  • K June 17, 2012, 8:58 pm

    This sounds absolutely delicious—can’t wait to give it a try!

  • Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy June 17, 2012, 11:24 pm

    wow, that sounds so delicious. my mouth is watering! spinach is so yummy! thanks for sharing!

    • Jill June 18, 2012, 9:09 am

      Hi Caralyn,
      Thanks for your comments — I hope you share some of your fabulous vegetable recipes at Fat Tuesday!

  • Lauren June 18, 2012, 6:23 am

    This is lovely with scallops, I might add 🙂
    Here’s a tidbit: In western Europe it’s “common knowledge” that spinach can’t be reheated or you’ll get sick. I looked it up; turns out it’s one of the foods that easily collects nitrates from the soil, which are converted to nitrites by bacteria. BUT! As long as you store it properly and reheat it fully to eat within a day or two (and don’t feed reheated spinach to small children) you’re fine. Who knew!?

    • Jill June 18, 2012, 9:08 am

      HI Lauren,
      I have never heard that you shouldn’t reheat spinach — I do it all the time! What do you mean by storing it properly? Refrigeration?

  • Mira Dessy June 18, 2012, 9:57 am

    We love creamed spinach in our house. Living in Texas we use our malabar spinach from our backyard which is heat tolerant but it’s still very tasty.

    I hadn’t thought of using coconut cream rather than the milk. Thanks for the tip, I’ll be sure to try it next time I make this.

  • Ashley June 18, 2012, 5:41 pm

    Could you use frozen spinach for this?

    • Jill June 18, 2012, 6:54 pm

      Hi Ashley,
      I have not tried it with frozen but I’m sure it would be fine — just be sure to squeeze out as much water as you can before cooking it.

  • Dawn @ Small Footprint Family June 20, 2012, 12:36 pm

    I wish I could have this! Alas we are 100% dairy intolerant—even ghee. :/ I grew up on creamed spinach, creamed corn and cauliflower and cheese and miss them. They were the only veggies I would eat as a kid. Fortunately, my 4-year old daughter has learned to eat these foods without butter or sauce, but I really wish she could have them.

    • Jill June 20, 2012, 2:59 pm

      Hi Dawn,
      If you can have the coconut cream it would still work — maybe use coconut oil instead of the ghee.

  • France @ Beyond The Peel June 20, 2012, 3:55 pm

    Surprisingly I have never made creamed spinach, yet we eat spinach almost every other day in one for or another. My favorite is sauteed with onions and bacon. I need to add creamed spinach to the repertoire!

  • Miz Helen June 21, 2012, 9:43 am

    Hi Jill,
    We just love Spinach and we had a great Spinach harvest this year. This would be a fabulous recipe, great flavor. Hope you are having a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  • Debbie @ Easy Natural Food June 22, 2012, 12:26 am

    That’s funny, I also love vegetables better when smothered in butter and salt! Creamed spinach it so tasty, I can’t wait to make it again. Thanks for sharing this with Summer Salad Sundays, look forward to seeing you again soon.

  • April @ The 21st Century Housewife June 25, 2012, 8:44 am

    Your spinach looks so flavourful! I was so interested to read this post, especially as I had never heard of oxalates. I learned a lot. Thank you for sharing such interesting information and delicious healthy recipes with The Hearth and Soul hop.

  • Diane Balch June 25, 2012, 7:59 pm

    I never knew there was a connection between kidney stones and spinach. I thought it was just caused from a high fat diet. Thanks for sharing your unique creamed spinach recipe with us on foodie friday.