How to Freeze Fresh Spinach

This post is from SnoWhite at Finding Joy in My Kitchen.  On Ingredient Spotlight: Spinach, SnoWhite mentioned that she freezes fresh spinach to use for later.  I asked if she would share her process with us and she was kind to agree.

Thanks so much for inviting me to share this kitchen tip today, Tiffany!   I am honored to have a chance to guest post at Eat at Home.

In our house, we eat a lot of spinach.  For a while, I was buying the $1 frozen spinach boxes in the grocery store.  However, I really like fresh spinach in many dishes.  I started buying organic spinach in bulk from Sam’s Club where I can get a 16 oz for just over $3.  This financially worked great for us, but we quickly realized we didn’t want to eat fresh spinach for every single meal each time we purchased the spinach, nor did we want the spinach to go to waste.

Time is a premium in my kitchen, so I wanted an easy, low-time investment way to preserve our spinach.  We do so in three easy steps:
1) Wash up the spinach by soaking it in a bowl of cool water.  I swish around the leaves a bit, drain the water off and rinse them.
2) Divide the spinach into two piles: fresh (which I store in a plastic container with a paper towel in the fridge – the paper towel absorbs the moisture from the drained spinach), and the rest for freezing.
3) Further divide the freezing pile into individual serving sized portions; transfer them to freezer bags.
Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly.  Label with the date and pop into the freezer.
We use these bags of frozen spinach for all our recipes that call for spinach in a cooked form; I wouldn’t recommend using it in recipes that require fresh spinach. Freezing damaged the cell walls of the spinach leaves, making them loose their firmness.  The result is one soggy spinach salad.  Gross.
But, in cooked dishes — this works wonderfully; saving us both time and money.
To use, most of the time I just add the frozen spinach directly to the dish.  We do that for our Spinach Squares, Twice Baked Potatoes and even Pizza for example.  If you are adding spinach to a dish that requires simmering time — like our Italian Sausage Spinach Penne, add the spinach directly frozen without cooking and save even more time.
Other dishes, where cooked spinach is required, are easy to fix with this spinach too.  Simply open the bag, and empty the spinach into a glass container to microwave or cook on the stove top until spinach is wilted.  This is our preferred method for our Crockpot Ziti.
This is something that my husband and I have found to work out really well for us; I hope that it also might save you time and money in your kitchen while helping you to increase your consumption of leafy greens!
I’m SnoWhite and I blog at Finding Joy in My Kitchen.  Our blog emerged when my husband and I began cooking nearly everything we eat from scratch and we wanted to share our recipes with family and friends.  Our cooking philosophy is simple: we use every day ingredients and aim to make most everything we eat more nutritious for us while being easy to prepare!  Our blog houses over 800 recipes that are approved in our kitchen.  Along this journey, I’ve discovered great joy in preparing healthy and nourishing meals for my family, and it’s my hope that you too will enjoy the process of cooking foods for your family.

 

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Print Friendly

Comments

  1. Great topic. Costco’s sizes are always too large!

    In the summer, I grow my own spinach…. and then end up with too much– so I also freeze. So, last summer, I did the dip in cold water, wash, and then freeze method. However, the leaves all got somewhat discolored when frozen. I did some research. Apparently, because I did not heat the leaves up, the leaves continued to have certain enzymes in them (essentially, growth enzymes… but I’m no plant biologist) that continued to operate, discoloring the leaves. It didn’t impact my leaves’ taste, but supposedly, it can in some.

    So, the conclusion reached was that one more step needed to be added: slightly blanch. I think this is also why the leaves you buy frozen in the grocery store are also pre-cooked (something I always wondered about). So, just get a pot of water to boiling, dip the leaves in for 20 seconds, then immediately put them in cold water. They look far better than store-bought frozen spinach leaves! And, that batch in the freezer? No discoloration!

  2. i found this post from finding joy in my kitchen! i love this tip & will no longer let my fresh spinach go to waste! thanks so much!

  3. Thank you for this awesome idea!! I too love spinich and it is so much cheaper fresh!

  4. This is GREAT! I love to add spinach to all kinds of dishes b/c it is so healthy, and this is just another way to do so.

  5. Oooh great tip! I’m definitely going to have to try this! Do you think the frozen spinach would work okay in a spinach smoothie?

  6. I did this a few weeks ago with a spinach risotto recipe. I sauteed the onions & shallots and then stirred the arborio rice in. Then I cooled the rice mixture. Once cooled I froze the rice mixture in one bag and the fresh spinach AND basil in another bag. When it was time to use the freezer dish, I thawed both bags. Cooked the rice in my rice cooker and then added the thawed spinach & basil right at the end with a little parmesan. It was fantastic! (And the best part is that I made 3 of those meals!)

  7. Great tip! I lust after the large bags at Sams because it is so reasonable, but it’s hard to use up all the fresh before it goes bad. My mom used to put me to work helping blanch spinach from our garden to prepare for our freezer…it was hot work during the summer, so let’s just say the “aroma” of cooked spinach is seared into my psyche!!

  8. I love it when spinach is on sale. I freeze a bunch and always have it on hand when I make my favorite wedding soup. It is usually the ingredient I don’t have on hand but with it frozen fresh it works out great.

  9. Blanching also helps eliminate the bacteria and other contaminents on the plant. A friend that is a microbiolgist never eats raw vegetables….always blanches them to remove contaminents.

  10. I like to add fresh spinach to my morning protein shakes; since it’s going to be blended, would frozen spinach work for this situation? Thanks for the tips!

  11. Yay, I’m so glad to hear that I can freeze fresh spinach! I love the stuff, but I’ll often use it just a handful at a time to put into omelets and things, so a full bag is too much. Another strategic use of produce and the freezer.

  12. Wow! Thank you! You just saved my spinach!

  13. BrookLynn says:

    Thanks! Now I can freeze spinach along with fruit for my smoothies!

  14. I am packing up meals for my son at law school. Do you think I can sauté my spinach in garlic and oil and then freeze alone side the rest of the meal?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] How to Freeze Spinach–This is going to come in handy come gardening season! {Don’t forget, Gardening 101 Linky on Wednesday!} [...]

  2. […] How to Freeze Fresh Spinach :: Eat at Home […]

Speak Your Mind

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software