Spinach alternatives?

Artichoke Lover

Free Ranging
Jul 27, 2020
Southeast US
So my family really likes spinach. I mean a lot. We probably spend $250 A year on it. But I just can’t manage to grow it I’ve had minor success in pots but I’m wondering if there are any alternatives I’ve heard of some like Malabar spinach but that they don’t taste similar or can only be used fresh. Does anyone have any recommendations for one that tastes similar and/or can be used for cooking?
Ooo I haven’t heard of using chard before I’ll have to try it! Do you grow a specific variety?
I like the rainbow chard best just because of the coloring. They all taste the same. The red chard can make my spinach/chard soup slightly pink, but otherwise it's still delicious.

Chard is so easy to grow, and thrives. The only problem sometimes is bug eaten leaves. The plants produce a lot of them so it's an easy problem to ignore.
Spinach bolts too fast here. I have never got a decent crop either. We grow Swiss chard. It does really well I think it's very similar in taste to spinach. It grows all season long and we harvest and eat a lot here.

x2. Actually I like chard better than spinach nowadays, as it doesn't wilt down as much when cooked and doesn't leave that... fuzzy feeling on your teeth. Though for raw applications I'd still stick with spinach.

The variety I like as a spinach substitute is called "Perpetual Spinach" (though it's a chard). It's got smaller stems than a typical chard and a slightly more spinach-y flavor. Grows for me even in winter, as long as there's not too much snowfall or hard frost.
I was just reading about a relative called “strawberry spinach”. Apparently it’s native to the US, and when it bolts it grows mild flavored berries. Might try this myself next year.
I tried that last year. Not a single seed sprouted. :hmm

I rarely get good spinach here either. My stepdad told me spinach grows where it wants to. I think he was right.

I'm going to have to buy some chard at the store to see if I want to grow it. I like kale for smoothies and a friend says kale-potato soup is fantastic.

My favorite "other spinach" is lambsquarter. Love that "weed."

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