How to freeze spinach?
Freezing spinach is a straightforward process that keeps additional vegetables in your freezer. Learn how to freeze spinach with the four methods I like to use, and numerous recipes that use frozen spinach!
Sometimes you cannot finish the entire container of spinach in time. Maybe you’ve had enough spinach dishes, maybe you live alone and can’t cook it all quick enough, or maybe there’s an amazing sale and you want to buy some spinach in bulk. Knowing how to freeze spinach will have you benefit from the lower price without wasting food! You can freeze spinach for later use using any of the methods listed here.
How do you prepare spinach?
When freezing fresh spinach, you want to start with the best ingredients possible. Use spinach that has begun to discolor, wilt, or lose texture. Freeze spinach that you’ve only had for a couple of days or so to ensure it hasn’t lost its nutrients before freezing.
Begin by rinsing the spinach leaves in cold water, rotating them to dislodge dirt particles. Remove all soil and double-check for minor bugs using spinach leaves from a backyard garden. After you’ve cleaned and checked the quality of your leaves, pat them dry with paper towels.
Wring out the spinach leaves until they are completely dry. This may necessitate pressing down on the spinach leaves with a paper towel to absorb any excess water. After completely drying the leaves, split them into tiny pieces and prepare them for blanching.
How to freeze spinach for smoothies:
As much as possible, use fresh leafy greens, but prepare these cubes if they’re nearing their expiration date. In a blender, combine 2 cups of leafy greens (approximately two handfuls) and 12 cups of liquid (preferably water, but lemon juice can also help). When it achieves a juice-like consistency, it’s done. The goal is to avoid any leafy bits!
Fill an ice cube tray halfway with the contents, then freeze. Level the tray in the freezer before freezing. Freeze the cubes in a freezer-safe container. To avoid freezer burn, I use gallon silicone ziplock bags.
You may use the same method to prepare kale, chard, romaine, cabbage, and herbs. I don’t usually recommend putting ice in your smoothies since it dulls the blades and makes the engine work extra hard, but this cube recipe is an exception to the rule.
How to freeze fresh spinach:
Gather the necessary supplies for this method: fresh spinach, dish towels, paper towels, freezer-safe bags or containers, and a sharpie.
- Wash and dry the spinach before preparing it.
- Fill the freezer-safe bags or containers with spinach. The spinach can be packed very tightly.
- Mark the bag or container with the date. If you have measured out an exact amount of spinach into each container, include it on the label as well.
A regular freezer will suffice if you plan to use the spinach within a few weeks or months. A deep freezer is recommended for extended freezing times since it keeps the frozen food at a lower temperature, extending its quality.
When freezing spinach, double bag it if you’re going to freeze it deeply or keep it for an extended period. This will help prevent freezer burn.
The spinach leaves will lose a lot of volume as they freeze due to ice crystals breaking down the cell walls. As a result, frozen spinach is simpler to combine when creating green smoothies from a freezer pack.
How to freeze puréed spinach:
This method is perfect for adding spinach to more liquid recipes later on, such as smoothies, soups, sauces, and stews.
- Put clean spinach leaves in a blender. Add water and blend until desired thickness is reached.
- Freeze the purée in ice cube trays.
- Once frozen, transfer the solid cubes to freezer bags and store them in the freezer.
How to blanch spinach for freezing:
Blanching before spinach freezing helps preserve the color and flavor by delaying the enzymatic process that leads to degradation; however, it is less effective at keeping nutrients. Blanching spinach before freezing allows it to survive much longer in the freezer, up to a year.
- Prepare a large pot of water by bringing it to a rolling boil.
- Place the pre-washed leaves in a pot of boiling water.
- Stir and bring to a boil for two minutes.
- Place the leaves in a basin or large bowl filled with ice water. Keep the spinach submerged in this cold water for another two minutes to stop it from cooking anymore.
- Dry the spinach by spinning it in a salad spinner until the leaves appear dry.
- Place the spinach in freezer bags. You should squeeze out as much air as possible of the bags before sealing and freezing.
Is it possible to freeze spinach without losing its texture or flavor?
Like frozen okra and most other vegetables, frozen spinach is softer than its crispy, fresh counterpart, but the taste is nearly identical. If you’re making a spinach salad, use fresh ingredients. If you run out of Popeye’s favorite vegetable, substitute kale for the spinach.
On the other hand, frozen spinach works best if you have an excellent spinach smoothie recipe or cooked dish to try. Frozen spinach is not only a fantastic complement to your green smoothie, but it also contains more nutrients than fresh food.
What are the advantages of storing spinach in the freezer?
- Spinach contains significant vitamins A, B, and C and folate, which helps with neurological processes.
- While fresh spinach has more folate and vitamin B, these amounts may degrade throughout long transit durations. Also, frozen spinach maintains more vitamin C than fresh spinach because of the freezing process.
- However, the amounts of vitamin A concentration are the same whether frozen or fresh.
Is frozen spinach more nutritious than fresh spinach?
Because spinach loses its nutrition value after a few days, your chances of acquiring fresh spinach that is more nutritious than frozen spinach are actually quite low.
Unless you get your spinach straight from a backyard garden during spinach season or from a local farmer’s market, likely, your spinach has already spent a few days on a truck before arriving at the grocery store.
As a result of this information, your window for recovering those nutrients has already narrowed dramatically. Freezing keeps these vitamins and minerals in place and prevents additional loss of quality.
How to freeze spinach without blanching:
You can freeze spinach without blanching it, but it will not last as long. Blanching spinach before freezing it is the best technique to keep it tasting as fresh as possible.
Whereas blanched spinach can be frozen for up to a year, not blanching your spinach decreases that duration in half.
The method for freezing spinach without blanching is similar to the method described below. In this case, you will clean it before bagging it, with no other actions in between.
How to thaw spinach:
When you’re ready to use your frozen spinach, there are a few options for thawing it. The simplest method is to cook the spinach directly from the freezer. Cooking frozen spinach without thawing it can even help with retaining some of the vitamin C. Pour some spinach cubes from the ice tray into the blender if you’re making a smoothie.
However, if you wish to thaw your spinach before using it, place it in a freezer bag under running water for 15 minutes, or in the refrigerator overnight.
Conclusion on how to freeze spinach:
Apart from eating it fresh, spinach can also be frozen and eaten later. This spinach freezing method is an excellent way to reduce produce waste while also increasing the nutritional worth of meals later in the year.
We hope you find these spinach freezing instructions helpful. If you liked our freezing spinach tips, don’t forget to tell your friends and family about how to freeze spinach for long-term nourishment.
More fresh produce tips:
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