Where the World Gathers to Celebrate Every Day

MARCH 26, 2020 | NATIONAL SPINACH DAY | EPILEPSY AWARENESS DAY | NATIONAL NOUGAT DAY

NATIONAL SPINACH DAY – March 26

NATIONAL SPINACH DAY    

On March 26th each year, National Spinach Day reminds us of the health benefits packed into this leafy green vegetable. Not only are there so many delicious ways that you can enjoy spinach, but it is also incredibly good for you!

An annual plant, spinach grows natively in central and southwestern Asia. Thought to have originated in ancient Persia, Arab traders carried spinach into India and then later introduced into ancient China. There it was known as “Persian vegetable.”  The earliest available record of the spinach plant was found in Chinese, saying that the spinach plant was introduced into China via Nepal.

During her reign as queen of France, Catherine de Medici enjoyed spinach so much, it was served at every meal. To this day, dishes made with spinach are known as “Florentine” reflecting Catherine’s birth in Florence. 

Spinach is:

  • eaten raw or cooked and is available fresh, frozen or canned.
  • one of the best sources of iron.
  • an excellent source of calcium, folic acid, fiber, protein, calcium and vitamins A, C and K.
  • loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants
  • believed to help improve cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health.

Types of spinach:

Savoy:  dark green color with curly leaves; usually sold in fresh bunches.
Flat or Smooth Leaf:  broad, smooth leaves;  mostly grown for canned and frozen spinach as well as soups, baby food and processed foods.
Semi-savoy:  a hybrid variety with crinkly leaves:  is sold fresh and processed.

  • Following China, the United States produces the world’s second-largest crop of spinach. 
  • California, Arizona, and New Jersey are the top spinach producing states in the United States.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalSpinachDay

There are so many ways to enjoy spinach. Try these suggestions:

  • Fresh spinach salad
  • Spinach pizza
  • Spinach dip
  • Cream spinach
  • Spinach lasagna
  • Add spinach to scrambled eggs

Share your favorite ways to add spinach to your meals.  Use #NationalSpinachDay to post on social media.

NATIONAL SPINACH DAY HISTORY

National Day Calendar continues researching the origin of this leafy holiday. However, we’ve ruled out Popeye the sailor man. 

EPILEPSY AWARENESS DAY -PURPLE DAY – March 26

EPILEPSY AWARENESS DAY -PURPLE DAY

Epilepsy Awareness Day on March 26th aims to increase the public’s knowledge of a neurological condition affecting nearly 50 million people worldwide. Also known as Purple Day, people are encouraged to wear purple in support of epilepsy awareness. 

The neurological condition, epilepsy, impacts the central nervous system causing seizures and other symptoms. The types of seizures vary depending on the cause and type of epilepsy. Some known causes of epilepsy include:

  • brain injury
  • genetics
  • metabolic disorders
  • immune disorders
  • infection
However, sometimes no known cause can be found for epilepsy in a patient. While epilepsy is not contagious, any age group can develop epilepsy. The good news is that it’s highly treatable. Although the condition can be confusing for children. In some parts of the world, treatment can be challenging to find.
Another important goal for the day is removing the stigma associated with epilepsy. Those with epilepsy can lead normal lives, especially when their epilepsy is controlled.

HOW TO OBSERVE #EpilepsyAwarenessDay or #PurpleDay

Join the Purple Day movement. Here’s how:

  • Learn more about epilepsy. 
  • Show your support by wearing purple.
  • Volunteer at a fundraising event.
  • Donate to research to cure epilepsy.
  • If you or someone you know has epilepsy, speak up, and help eliminate the stigma associated with epilepsy.
  • Know the signs of a seizure and what to do. 

Use #EpilepsyAwarenessDay or #PurpleDay to post on social media.

EPILEPSY AWARENESS DAY HISTORY

In 2008, Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia, Canada launched Purple Day to encourage awareness of epilepsy and to cast away some of the myths that cloud the general public’s view of the condition. While other awareness observances existed previously, Purple Day and its founder continue to gain a following and awareness is spreading around the globe.

NATIONAL NOUGAT DAY – March 26

NATIONAL NOUGAT DAY    

National Nougat Day is observed each year on March 26th.  This food holiday is in celebration of a soft and chewy or sometimes hard and crunchy candy.

Break open the center of certain candy bars and you will find a nougat center.
Made by whipping egg whites together and adding honey or sugar, roasted nuts, and sometimes candied fruit, some say nougat has been a sweet treat since ancient Rome. Enjoyed both as a candy all on its own or paired with chocolate or other flavorings.
Recipes range from the more traditional nougat made with almonds and honey to those with hints of citrus.
In Italy, they call it torrone. In Spain, a nougat is called turrón. The United States has a version made with corn syrup called divinity.

Three basic kinds of nougats include:

1.     White nougat – made with beaten egg whites and honey.
2.     Brown nougat – made without egg whites and has a firmer, often crunchy texture.
3.     Viennese or German nougat – chocolate and nut praline

In the United States, modern candy bar makers use a different recipe than the traditional nougat. Today they make of a mixture of sucrose and corn syrup aerated with a whipping agent such as egg white or hydrolyzed soy protein or gelatin. It is the preferred and often used ingredient of large candy companies because it is inexpensive to make and used as a filler.

Varieties of nougat are found in:
3 Musketeers, Mars, Snickers, Milky Way, Zero, Salted Nut Rolls, Reese’s Fast Break, Reese’s Whipps, Baby Ruth, and others.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalNougatDay

This holiday offers an opportunity to become a nougat aficionado. Or perhaps try learning the nuances of nougat. No matter how you spend the day, be sure to get a sample or two. Whether it’s a big bite or small, enjoy some nougats. Be sure to share a piece, too! Use #NationalNougatDay to post on social media.

NATIONAL NOUGAT DAY HISTORY

National Day Calendar continues researching the origin of this confectionary holiday.

Recipe of the Day

Black Forest Cake
Prep:  30 minutes
Cook:  35 minutes
Total Prep:  65 minutes
Servings:  12

Ingredients:

2 – 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 – 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Cherries

1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 – 20 oz cans pitted sour cherries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch

Frosting

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

Instructions:

Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Prepare two 9 inch, round cake pans by greasing and flouring, then layer the bottoms with wax paper.

In a large bowl, mix flour, 2 cups sugar, cocoa, baking powder, soda, and salt.

Add eggs, milk, oil, and 1 tablespoon vanilla and beat until well.

Pour into cake pans.

Bake in 350°F oven for 35 minutess or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool the cakes on wire racks for 10 minutes.

Loosen edges, remove from pans and allow to cool completely on racks.

Cherries
Drain cherries and reserve 1/2 cup of juice.

Combined cherries, 1/2 cup juice, 1 cup sugar and starch in a saucepan.

Over low heat, cook until thickened, stirring constantly.

Add 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Let cool.

Frosting

In a chilled medium bowl, combine whipping cream and confectioners’ sugar.

Using an electric mixer, beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Split each cake layer with a long serrated knife in half.

Set aside 1 1/2 cups of frosting for decorating the cake.

rush crumbs off the top of each layer of the cake.

Set aside one split layer to tear into crumbs.

Place bottom layer on cake plate and spread with 1 cup of frosting.

Add 3/4 cup cherry topping.

Add the second cake layer.

Repeat frosting and cherry layers.

Top with third cake layer and frost the side of the cake.

Pat reserved crumbs onto the cake.

Fit a star decorator tip onto a pastry bag and spoon reserve frosting into the bag.

Pipe frosting around the edges of the cake.

Spoon remaining cherry topping around the top of the cake.

About National Day Calendar

National Day Calendar® is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks and National Months. In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate.

There’s a celebration for everyone. While National Road Trip Day satisfies the itch to wander, many pet days let us share our love of animals. National 3-D Day and National Astronaut Day honor the advancement of technology, too. Every food day you can imagine (National Avocado Day, for example), will keep you celebrating, also!

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Our Ambassador Program is another way #CelebrateEveryDay®! Whether you become an ambassador or follow one of the savvy ambassadors, their fun videos and posts will keep you prepared for every holiday.

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