Can You Freeze Spinach?
Can You Freeze Spinach? Yes, you absolutely can and with great results as well. Spinach is one of those green leafy vegetables that makes a great addition to any meal. It is very heart healthy and it is one of those vegetables that has very low fat and calories. If you’re on a diet or is at all concerned about healthy eating, making spinach a regular part of your diet is a brilliant idea.
As mentioned earlier, spinach is very versatile and can be added to a wide variety of meals. These include: salads, dips, soups, sauces, shakes, pastas, pies and curries. It also pairs brilliantly with cheeses such as ricotta and feta.
Why Freeze Spinach
Freezing your extra spinach will save you the trouble of having to throw out wilted greens that are no longer edible. For the thrifty shopper who recognizes the savings that buying in bulk brings, freezing will come in handy as an economical tool.
It’ll also save you time since you can do all the preparation work ahead of time. Freezing spinach leaves also helps to keep them fresher than regular storage in the refrigerator does.
Since spinach is a seasonal plant, buying in bulk and freezing for the ‘off-season’ is a great way to ensure that you always have fresh and ready to go spinach on hand.
Steps For Freezing Spinach
There are several procedures that can be used to freeze spinach, and your choice will depend on what types of meals you intend to prepare with the thawed spinach. The three most common methods are outlined below.
Freezing Pureed Leaves
This method can be used if the thawed leaves will be incorporated into shakes or sauces that require the leaves to be blended. The steps are as follows:
Wash the fresh spinach leaves under running water to get rid of soil particles or insects.
Add 1 cup of water to your blender and a handful or two of the spinach leaves. Blend for at least a minute or until the mixture is smooth.
Repeat step 2 until all the leaves are blended.
Pour the blended mixture into muffin trays or large ice cube trays and place them in the freezer until solid.
Once the mixture is frozen solid, remove from the freezer. Remove the cubes from the molds and place them into freezer bags for storage. Return the bags to the freezer.
Freezing Raw Leaves
This method is the quickest and easiest. Frozen raw leaves can be used for virtually any recipe of choice since there is not much change in texture or appearance.
Wash your greens thoroughly under running water.
Place the clean leaves in freezer bags that hold meal sized portions. Squeeze all the air from the bags or use a vacuum sealer to seal the bags for an airtight finish. Place in the freezer until ready to be used.
Freezing Blanched Green Leaves
Many people prefer to blanch their leaves first because this is said to help retain the colour of the spinach and reduces them down making them less bulky for storage. For storage of blanched leaves, follow the steps below:
Allow a large pot of water to boil while you wash the spinach leaves thoroughly in running water.
Place the spinach leaves into the boiling water for about 10 seconds.
Remove the blanched leaves and place them in cold water to stop the cooking process.
Remove leaves from cold water and allow them to drain. Once drained, place meal sized portions into freezer bags and remove the excess air.
Store in the freezer until ready for use.
Thawing The Frozen Spinach
Frozen spinach is very easy to thaw. Defrosting for one to two hours should be enough to thaw both blanched and unblanched frozen spinach leaves.
For spinach frozen in cubes, these can be added directly to the pot or blender for a smoothie.
Storing frozen spinach longer than twelve months can lead to freezer burn.