Spinach vs. Baby Spinach – What’s the Difference? (ANSWERED)

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Spinach vs Baby Spinach

Have you ever wondered what the difference between spinach and baby spinach are? If you have, then you are reading the right article. In this guide, we will look at:

  • What’s the difference between baby spinach and spinach? Are they the same?
  • Taste differences between spinach and baby spinach
  • How spinach and baby spinach compare nutritionally.
  • Is spinach or baby spinach better overall?
  • Is spinach or baby spinach better for smoothies?

What’s the Difference Between Baby Spinach and Spinach? Are They the Same?

baby spinach

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) and baby spinach are the same but different. Both come from the same plant, the flat or smooth leaf spinach plant. They are equally highly nutritious and delicious sources of Vitamins K, A, C, and B2, and both are rich in iron, manganese, magnesium carotenoids, and flavonoids.

Which is more nutritious is anybody’s guess. You can find studies that tell you that baby spinach is healthier, and you can also see just as much research giving an edge to adult spinach. The differences were likely in the particular samples that were tested for these reports. 

Both spinach and baby spinach can be consumed raw, cooked, or dried.

They appear dissimilar because the baby spinach is the juvenile spinach leaves plucked from the plant when it is only 15 to 20 days old. 

Regular spinach leaves are allowed to grow from 45 to 60 days before being harvested. That is why spinach leaves are so much larger and thicker than baby spinach and why the baby spinach leaf is more tender and creamier in texture. Spinach has had triple the time to grow. 

Taste Differences Between Spinach and Baby Spinach

adult spinach

The most significant difference between baby spinach and spinach lies in the taste. Spinach has a milder flavor than many edible greens but can still be earthy and sometimes a bit bitter if the leaves are allowed to grow too long.

Baby spinach, in contrast, is quite sweet. Not sugary sweet but sweet in the way that some vegetables like carrots, capsicum, or corn can have a sweet note. 

Nutrition Table

Per 100g Spinach Baby Spinach
Calories 23 (1%DV) 24 (1% DV)
Fat 0.4g 0g
Carbohydrates 3.6g 3.5g
Protein 2.9g 1.2g
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Fiber 2.2g 2.4g
Sugar 0.4g 0g
Iron 2.7mg 2.7mg
Vitamin A 469μg 0μg
Vitamin C 28.1mg 0mg
Vitamin B1 0.1mg 0mg
Vitamin B2 0.2mg 0mg
Vitamin B5 0.1mg 0mg
Vitamin B12 0 0
Biotin 0 0
Folate 194μg 0μg
Vitamin E 2mg 0mg
Vitamin D 0 0
Vitamin K 482.9μg 482.4μg
Vitamin K1 0 0

Is Spinach or Baby Spinach Better Overall?

It is hard to say that baby spinach or spinach is better overall. Nutritionally they are equally healthy and loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that can help you maintain your:

  • Eyesight
  • Blood Pressure
  • Heart Health
  • Energy Levels 
  • Bone Density
  • Weight

The rest of the factors that might give one an edge are purely subjective. Baby spinach does have a sweeter flavor, but many people prefer the sharper edge and earthiness that spinach presents. 

Baby spinach leaves are much more tender than adult leaves, but some prefer the crisper crunch that adult leaves provide, especially when they eat raw spinach. 

In the end, your preferences will decide which is better on the whole.  

Is Spinach or Baby Spinach Better for Smoothies?

baby spinach smoothie

Baby spinach and spinach are equally at home in smoothies. Nutritionally they are equal, so once more, it comes down to personal taste. Spinach will give your smoothies a heartier flavor and more robust texture. 

Using baby spinach in your smoothies will yield a sweeter, smoother result, more like a milkshake consistency. Which is better is for you to decide.