Spinach is a delicious leafy vegetable that is packed full of nutrients such as Vitamin A, B9 (or folate), C, and K1. It is also high in fiber so is good for your digestive system. It can simply be served sauteed or creamed, or it can be made into a soup or added to a dish.
Why not try spinach quiche, eggs florentine, spinach and ricotta cannelloni, spinach stuffed chicken breasts, or garlic butter creamed spinach salmon. The choices are endless. However, what do you do if you have a big bag of it and don’t want to use it right away?
It only lasts for about five days in the fridge, less if it is cooked, so the answer is to freeze it. Spinach does freeze well and in this article, we will tell you how to freeze this versatile vegetable.
How To Freeze Spinach
1. Clean the spinach.
Put the spinach leaves in a colander and run them under cold water. Make sure that you get all the dirt out as this could make the spinach gritty when defrosted. Drain the spinach.
2. Blanch the spinach.
Prepare a bowl of ice-cold water and then bring a pan of water to the boil. When the water has reached boiling point, add the spinach and cook for 90 seconds. Drain the spinach and plunge it into the bowl of cold water. This stops the cooking process. Drain the spinach and squeeze out excess water.
3. Put the spinach in the slots of an ice cube tray.
Don’t fill the slots right up to the top as the spinach will expand when it is put in the freezer. Put the ice cube tray in the freezer for around four hours until the spinach has frozen solid.
4. Put the spinach in a freezer bag.
When you put the spinach cubes in the bag, make sure that you squeeze out all the air to prevent freezer burn. The spinach will still be safe to eat but it will lose taste, texture, and even color. Put a label on the bag with the date frozen and the contents. You don’t want to keep the spinach for longer than the use-by date.
5. Put the bag in the freezer.
You can use this freezing method for any other types of leafy greens such as turnip greens (see also Can You Freeze Turnips?), swiss chard, kale, beetroot tops, bok choy, and mustard greens.
If you buy a bag of spinach and decide that you want to save it for later, don’t put the bag as it is in the freezer. Your spinach will end up mushy when defrosted and will lose its nutrients and flavor. Always blanch spinach for the best results.
Tips For Freezing Spinach
- Always blanch the spinach.
- First freeze the spinach in an ice cube tray.
- Squeeze out all the air from the freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
- Freeze a mixture of leafy greens such as kale and swiss chard. This is great in a smoothie as you get a real hit of nutrition.
For How Long Can You Freeze Spinach?
As long as you blanch your spinach, you can keep it in the freezer for as long as six months, although the earlier you eat it, the better it will taste. If you don’t blanch the spinach, it will only last for two months in the freezer. Because of this, we advise that you take the extra time to blanch the spinach.
How Do You Defrost Spinach?
You don’t have to defrost spinach. Just take out as many cubes as you need and put them straight into your dish or smoothie. If you want to serve spinach as it is as a side dish, put it in a pot and thaw it over a low heat. Once it has thawed, you can add seasonings. If you want creamed spinach, add butter and cream now. If you want it sauteed, take the spinach out of the pan, add olive oil, heat it up and then put the spinach back in the pan.
Can You Refreeze Spinach?
It’s not a good idea to refreeze spinach as it will lose taste, texture, and nutrients. It will become mushy and, at the worst, it will spoil and you could become sick. If you freeze the spinach in cubes, this problem won’t arise as you can defrost just as much spinach as you need.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Spinach?
As long as you blanch your spinach, you won’t be able to tell the difference between fresh and frozen spinach. Also, remember to eat it within six months as it will deteriorate rapidly after this time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing spinach but in case you are still curious, we have answered a couple of questions here.
Can you freeze a cooked spinach dish?
Yes, you can. Perhaps you’ve made a big tray of spinach and ricotta cannelloni or a one-pan creamy chicken and spinach dish. It is perfectly fine to freeze dishes like this but check how long the other ingredients freeze. They might not last as long as spinach. However, if you freeze cooked spinach as it is and not in a dish, it will probably end up mushy.
Can you freeze creamed spinach?
It’s better not to freeze creamed spinach as butter and cream don’t freeze well. They will split and make the spinach grainy. If you want creamed spinach, it is best to freeze raw spinach leaves in an ice cube tray, thaw them out in a pan and then add the butter and cream.