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Spinach is a tasty, dark leafy green vegetable that is also a great source of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals for our diet. Spinach is also a superfood with a range of health benefits, including calcium, iron and magnesium.
Spinach goes great in smoothies, soups, stews and lots of other meals as a healthy, filling ingredient. You can also cook spinach, or even eat it raw as a salad! Spinach is a great addition to any meal, and is one of the most nutritious veggies that you will need in your diet.
As this leafy green is one of the best sources of vitamins, you will want to keep this one on hand in your kitchen, ready to add to any meal.
Fresh spinach is always best, but you may also be wondering whether you can stock up in this superfood and keep some in storage to use whenever you want to. So, can you freeze spinach?
Can You Freeze Spinach?
You may be surprised to hear that you can actually freeze spinach to use whenever you want! Depending on the method of freezing, you can actually freeze spinach for up to a year.
Freezing spinach can be really easy, and there are actually a few ways to do so. We recommend using one of three ways to freeze your spinach.
You can either use:
- Blanching technique
- Fresh freezing technique
- Puree technique
How To Freeze Spinach
The first way to freeze spinach is with the blanching technique. Blanching the spinach before you freeze it will help to preserve its color and its natural taste for much longer so that you can enjoy it more when you eventually use it.
In addition, blanching spinach also works to delay the enzymatic process, and preserves the leaves for long periods of time, preventing the decaying process.
That being said, when you blanch the spinach, it will not retain its nutritional value as well, but you can freeze the spinach for up to a year after blanching.
To blanch your spinach, you will need to bring a large pan of water to the boil, and add your pre-washed fresh spinach leaves to the pan. You will want to cook the spinach whilst stirring it frequently in the boiling water for about 2-3 minutes.
Once ready, move the spinach leaves from the pan and into a bowl of iced water. You should keep the spinach fully submerged in the ice water for about 2 minutes to prevent any further cooking, before drying off the leaves.
Once this is done, you can pack the spinach into resealable freezer bags, ensuring that they are airtight and completely sealed before freezing.
You can also use a simpler technique to freeze your spinach, by simply washing the leaves, patting them dry or spinning them in a salad spinner to prepare.
Once this is done, you can place the leaves flat inside the freezer bag and press down, removing all the air inside and ensuring the bags are completely shut. Then, you can simply place them in the freezer, ready for use when you need it.
The final way to freeze your spinach is with the puree technique, which is the perfect way to maintain and preserve its goodness ready to use with smoothies and soups.
For this technique, all you will need to do is clean your spinach leaves, and place them in a blender with a little water until the mixture becomes thick.
Then, simply pour the puree into ice trays and prepare for freezing. When the puree is in the ice cube tray, you will want to place them in the freezer. Once the pureed spinach has frozen, you can transfer the ice cubes into a resealable freezer bag and store in the freezer ready for use.
In general, freezing spinach leaves is actually pretty simple. You can just grab the whole spinach leaves and remove them from their packaging, before putting them into a ziploc freezer bag.
You will just need to squeeze out any excess air, ensure that it is sealed completely and place it in your home freezer ready to add to your next meal or morning smoothie!
How To Defrost Spinach
When you are ready to defrost the spinach, you will need to remove it from the freezer and place it in a microwave safe bowl. You can either leave the spinach to defrost in the refrigerator, or you can microwave it for a quick fix.
To defrost the spinach, you can microwave it for around 1-2 minutes or until the spinach returns to its original texture and is mushy. Then, remove the spinach from the microwave, and place it in a colander lined with paper towels.
Dab off any excess moisture, and wrap the spinach in a paper towel to squeeze the water out of the spinach. Then, you are ready to cook it whichever way you like!
Factors To Consider Before Freezing Spinach
It is important to remember that freezing and thawing any food items can change the overall texture, flavor and consistency of the food, and spinach is no different.
In addition, the longer a food item is kept in the freezer, then the more it loses its integrity over time, and may not be the same when defrosted.
If you choose to freeze your spinach, you will have to consider how you are going to use it. If you plan on defrosting your spinach for use in a salad, then it will not work as well.
When thawing out spinach, it can become wilted and watery, and is best used cooked in a recipe or made into a soup or a smoothie.
Spinach is a wonder food that we all need to incorporate into our diets from time to time. With our tips of keeping and storing spinach, you can use this superfood time and time again, or save it for a later date!