Is one better than the other one? There's only a market on sunday here (when I went to France there was one every day in a different city nearby), and that's the only place where I can get great vegetables for a normal price. I can only find baby spinach in supermarkets, but I like the "real spinach" more (feels more paleo).
Baby spinach is not a bio-engineered version of regular spinach or anything, it's just harvested earlier. With that in mind, it would make you wonder if the nutrient content would be diminished since most plant matter is less nutritious the earlier you harvest it. Some studies show that baby spinach to be more concentrated than mature spinach in nutrients like vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoids while others show the opposite. The soil, the season, and climate seem to have more of an impact, so I would say baby spinach is definitely a good choice.
I would say that if you like the 'adult' spinach better, then eat it. Like Jared said, there is conflicting info out there as to which is more nutritious for you, but all the info leans towards saying that it is all packed with good things for you - so eat the one you like better, or the one you can find cheaper and fresher at the time!
I do not believe "baby" spinach is the same plant as regular spinach, just immature. I think its stem length and growth habit are due to it's being hydroponically cultivated to make harvesting easier. I think baby spinach is mostly water and thus not as flavorful or nutritious.
Baby spinach is the immature version of spinach however the named varieties grown is often different than what is grown and sold as reg spinach. This is why in the US you have tiny rounded leaves for baby spinach and larger "frilly" leaves for mature. You can also wind up with different colors due to different named varieties being grown. Now I am in the Southwest US, for France in a farmers market the best person to ask is the person selling it. If they dont know where / what their seed or plant came from I would move on.
As far as the spinach being Paleo, If our ancients ate spinach it would have been an early green and after winter most ancients ate things as soon as they grew in and could get a harvest. You still see that in hunter gather groups. Baby veg, mini or baby greens and herbs, tender shoots... Unless starving they will leave some to mature as they come back through a region but what is growing gets eaten.
"I would say that if you like the 'adult' spinach better, then eat it."
You can't eat it. Nobody sells it. There's nothing in the stores but baby spinach, which is okay in salads but I like cooked spinach which means real spinach.
i bought "regular" spinach just last night. there were several different brands (dole, house brand and another I hadnt heard of) right next to the baby spinach, and it was dark, gree, large leafy regular spinach. And it was cheaper.
Baby spinach is just the smaller leaves on a regular spinach. The smaller leaves are picked off and the rest is mature spinach! I would say the same nutritionally & because u don't tend to boil baby spinach it won't lose it's Vit C.
Paleo Babby Shower (Question for a friend) 14 Answers
Is breastfeeding a dying art? 15 Answers