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Beach Spinach

NZ Beach Spinach
Known as NZ Spinach (tetragonia tetragonioides) & Beach Spinach (tetragonia trigyna). The Maori name is kōkihi.
Wild NZ Beach Spinach grows in abundance along our coastlines. It does what nature does best, and finds the perfect location, in the shade, often in a shallow or valley where water holds. I usually find it under big trees which shade it or on the southern side of shrubs.
There are 2 types of wild spinach commonly found in New Zealand. They are both often confused but can be used interchangably. One has rounder shaped leaves, the other is much pointier and triangle shaped. Both grow in a spreading mass close to the ground (not upright & erect like garden spinach). It has spreading stalks with small leaves that scramble over the ground. Pick off the tender young tips (which are softest but also encourages new growth).
It's a great spinach substitute although it's a bit tougher than the supermarket variety. Best to use just the leaves (not the stalks) and use it like you would kale, or at least cook it a lot longer than cultivated spinach. It lasts quite awhile in the fridge too.
Beach Spinach does contain oxalates (just like spinach, kale, broccoli, chocolate, almonds etc), so remember not to eat too much and it's better to cook it than eat raw. Research oxalates if you're not sure.

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