Categories
Interior

How to blanch spinach

Blanching leafy greens like spinach softens the leaves, intensifies the color, and heightens its flavor. Be sure to buy lots because a huge bag of spinach cooks down dramatically to a wad the size of a small ball.

5. Squeeze out all of the excess water or you’ll ruin your sauce or recipe with too much liquid.

Barbara Adams Beyond Wonderful
Cooking Tips and Techniques

How to Blanch Spinach

How to Blanch Spinach

Spinach is a wonderful leafy green, a real workhorse of an ingredient ready to whizz into soups, stews and smothies, plus it cooks in no time. So when in season, why not make hay while the sun shines! Turn your fresh spinach bounty into manageable portions, and store in the freezer ready for throwing into the pot all year round, as and when you like.

Freezing spinach is super simple and there are a few methods to choose between. Fresh freezing is quick and easy while blanching and freezing takes more up front effort, but ensures your leaves will keep their colour and flavour better and for longer.

Take your pick of these four popular techniques for freezing fresh spinach .

How to Freeze Spinach

1. Freezing fresh spinach

1. Wash your greens, pat or spin dry in a salad spinner.

2. Place the leaves in flat layers inside freezer bags and press down.

3. When the bags are full, squeeze out all the air, tie the bags up and place them in the freezer.

Thaw the spinach for a couple of hours before use and squeeze out any excess water before adding to dishes.

How to Blanch Spinach

2. Puree Technique

This technique is ideal when you want spinach to add to more liquid dishes later on, like smoothies, soups, sauces and stews.

1. Place clean spinach leaves in a blender and add water until it reaches a desirable thickness.

2. Pour the puree into ice trays and freeze.

3. Once frozen, the solid cubes can be transferred to freezer bags and kept in the freezer in the bags.

3. Blanching Technique

Blanching spinach before freezing helps preserve the colour and taste for longer as it delays the enzymatic process that leads to decay, however, it’s not so good at retaining the nutrients. Blanching spinach before freezing also means that it will last a lot longer in the freezer, for up to a year.

1. Bring a large pot of boiling water to the boil.

2. Add pre-washed leaves to the boiling water.

3. Stir and cook at a rolling boil for two minutes.

4. Transfer the leaves to a basin or large bowl of iced water. Keep the spinach submerged for another two minutes in this cold water to halt the spinach cooking more.

5. Dry the spinach and place the in a salad spinner until the leaves seem dry,

6. Pack the spinach into freezer bags. Squeeze as much air from the bags as you can and seal and freeze.

4. Freezing fresh spinach

Using this technique the leaves will keep fresh for about 3 to 4 days.

1.Without washing or blanching, simply put the leaves in freezer bags, and freeze.

How to use frozen spinach

Cooking with frozen spinach is easy as the preparation work is already done. While thawed spinach will always be mushier than fresh spinach, meaning it can’t easily be used in salads, it’s ideal for use in hot dishes like stews and soups and baked into pies. Just make sure you have drained as much water out as possible.

Here below we’ve picked a selection of our favourite recipes that lend themselves perfectly to spinach you’ve taken from your freezer.

Spinach pie recipe

How to Blanch Spinach

Cook your frozen spinach into this winning pie with a tasty cheese and spinach filling with a hint of nutmeg. Here’s how to make the best spinach pie.

Spinach smoothie recipe

How to Blanch Spinach

Use the puree spinach technique to add some pre-frozen cubes of spinach to this healthy smoothie recipe. Discover this simple spinach and apple recipe.

Spinach Dip

How to Blanch Spinach

Dips are very forgiving, as they’re all about the flavour. Try whizzing your de-frosted spinach into a simple tasty dip. Here’s how to make a spinach dip.

Spinach and Ricotta Balls

How to Blanch Spinach

Spinach, ricotta, flour and eggs seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg are all the ingredients you need for these easy vegetarian ricotta and spinach balls.

Published On: February 22, 2015 By: Ruchi

How to Blanch Spinach

Spinach is a great source of iron, Vitamin A, C, K , magnesium and many more nutrients. To preserve all these healthy nutrients, blanching is great for vegetables. It helps intensify the taste and bright color of vegetables. Blanching locks in both – flavor and the nutritional value of the veggies.

Blanching is a very easy process. Add leafy vegetables like spinach, to a pot of hot water, let it sit for 2-3 minutes or until leaves are soft. Spoon them out and give a shock treatment by dropping spinach in a bowl of ice cold water. This will stop the cooking process, intensify its color and bring out its flavor. How to Blanch Spinach

After the ice treatment, remove spinach from water, squeeze out all the excess water and store it in a ziploc bag and freeze. Since I was using my blanched spinach for a recipe, I have pureed it.

This way you can blanch any vegetable – green beans, asparagus, spinach, mustard leaves and many more. Follow a step by step guide on how to blanch spinach leaves? Let’s begin with the process.

How to Blanch Spinach

INGREDIENTS

1 Packet of fresh Spinach leaves

METHOD

1. Clean and trim spinach leaves. Wash them thoroughly under cold water.

How to Blanch Spinach

2. Boil water in a pan.

How to Blanch Spinach

3. Add spinach. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes.

How to Blanch Spinach

4. Using a slotting spoon remove spinach and..

How to Blanch Spinach

5. Plunge into a large bowl of ice water.

How to Blanch Spinach

6. This will stop the cooking process. Remove spinach from water and tightly squeeze out all of the excess water from the spinach leaves. Form a small ball and store in a Ziploc bag. Freeze for future use.

How to Blanch Spinach

7. Blanched spinach is ready for use. Toss in Ziploc bags and freeze for future use.

How to Blanch Spinach

8. Save the water in which spinach was boiled. Do not throw it away – use it in any of the spinach recipe. That’s your SPINACH BROTH.

Freeze fresh spinach leaves—homegrown or store-bought—to create your own dark leafy green to flavor hot dishes and smoothies.

Related To:

How to Blanch Spinach

Spinach

Photo by: Image courtesy of Ben Rollins.

Image courtesy of Ben Rollins.

Can you freeze spinach? You definitely can, and the result serves fabulous flavor when you start with freshly picked leaves. You won’t be able to serve the thawed product in fresh salads, but frozen spinach is versatile in the kitchen. Learn how to freeze spinach, along with easy ways to use the final product.

Start with homegrown or locally raised spinach for the freshest flavor. Check with vendors who sell spinach at your local farmers’ markets. Sometimes you can arrange to buy a large quantity. You might even want to take a trip to the farm. It’s always good to see where your food comes from—especially if you have children to bring along.

The flavor of fresh frozen spinach is leagues above most offerings in the frozen section of your favorite supermarket. Spinach leaves should be young and fresh. Avoid older, tough, limp, or yellowing leaves. They’ll produce a nasty taste and rubbery texture that no one will want to eat. On average, two pounds of spinach leaves yield one quart frozen.

Freeze Vegetables From Your Garden

How to Blanch Spinach

How to Blanch Spinach

How to Blanch Spinach

Shop This Look

Start the freezing process by washing spinach leaves. Triple rinsing them—dunking leaves into three separate batches of fresh water—usually removes all traces of dirt. After leaves are clean, remove stems as desired. Tear larger leaves into silver dollar-size pieces (roughly 1 to 2 inches across).

Blanch spinach leaves in boiling water or steam for two minutes, followed by soaking in ice water for the same amount of time. If you blanch leaves in boiling water, you’ll notice the water turns green. This is some of the nutrients leaching out of leaves. You can save this water and freeze it for stock or cooking grains, like rice or quinoa.

To keep as much nutrition in leaves as possible, steam blanch spinach leaves by placing them in a steamer basket that keeps leaves above the boiling water. Steam for two minutes. You don’t lose that many nutrients or minerals by blanching spinach in boiling water. Which method you use is really a matter of choice and convenience.

After removing spinach from ice water, spin it dry in a salad spinner or blot it on a thick towel. Stuff leaves into freezer bags, placing one to two cups of leaves per bag, depending on your desired portion size. Freezer burn occurs when frozen items are exposed to air, and spinach doesn’t taste well if it gets freezer burn. Try using a straw to suck out excess air around leaves before sealing bags. Place sealed bags in the freezer. Vacuum sealing systems work really well with spinach leaves.

Use frozen spinach within nine to 14 months for best quality. Add frozen spinach to soup or stock, casseroles, and stir fries. Frozen spinach also works well in dips, quiche, and pasta dishes. It brings flavorful nutrition to homemade egg rolls, meatballs, and marinara sauce.

If you know you’ll use your frozen spinach within six months, you can freeze it without blanching. This method yields more of a slimy product upon thawing. This frozen spinach works well in cooked dishes, but if you plan to use it as a stand-alone side dish, try a small batch before freezing a large portion without blanching.

Another way to freeze spinach is to puree it with water and freeze in ice cube trays. After cubes freeze solid, toss them in a freezer bag. Spinach cubes are the perfect addition to green smoothies. Or try tossing spinach cubes into sauces or stews. They also work well when cooking rice, quinoa, or barley.

How to Freeze Vegetables

Learn methods for freezing vegetables so you can have fresh taste long after the growing season ends.

Spinach may not be everybody’s favorite leafy green, but it is a vegetable that is high in essential vitamins and nutrients, and is an optimal menu choice for weight loss. The best tasting spinach recipes are the ones that use fresh spinach leaves, since the natural flavors of the spinach are preserved. If you have never cooked raw spinach before, be prepared to be surprised by how much the spinach leaves shrink and reduce once they are fully cooked.

Remove the spinach leaves from the bag or package and rinse under cold water. As with all types of leafy produce, spinach leaves can contain grits of sand or dirt, so you want your spinach leaves to be as clean as possible. Wash the spinach leaves in a colander so that you do not lose any down the drain in your sink.

Put your saute pan onto the stovetop burner and set the temperature to medium-high. Add the extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. You may have to twist the pan around with your hand in order to make sure that the bottom is coated evenly.

Add the chopped garlic to the pan and saute with your spatula. Keep moving the garlic around in the pan so that it doesn’t burn. You do not want the garlic to brown or else it changes the flavor and texture of the garlic.

Place the spinach leaves into the pan. Mix it around so that the spinach is coated with the olive oil and fresh garlic. Add the salt, pepper and pinch of red cayenne pepper, and continue to toss around the leaves. You will notice that as the spinach leaves heat up, they start to wilt.

Keep your eye on the spinach as it cooks. Spinach goes from raw to wilted in a matter of minutes, so it is not wise to leave the spinach unattended.

Remove the spinach from the heat once all of the leaves are wilted. Plate the spinach so that it does not continue cooking in the hot pan.

DENIO RIGACCI/iStock/Getty Images

Freezing spinach lets you take advantage of your garden’s summer and fall bounty well into the cold depths of winter. To successfully freeze spinach and preserve as much of its nutrients and texture as possible, blanch your greens prior to freezing, and wrap them well to ensure that they don’t develop freezer burn. Use frozen spinach as you would fresh spinach in everything but fresh salads and in the juicer.

Blanch the Greens

You can blanch your spinach either with boiling water or hot steam, although steaming helps preserve more of the nutrients. To blanch in boiling water, bring a 1-gallon pot of salted water to a rolling boil, and then add in the cleaned spinach leaves in 1-pound increments. To steam blanch, boil 1 to 2 inches of water in a large pot, and lower a steaming rack filled with 1 pound of spinach into the pot, keeping the basket out of the water by at least 1 inch. It will take roughly 10 seconds to boil blanch spinach, and 30 to 60 seconds to steam blanch.

Cooling and Wrapping

Immediately after blanching, dunk the cooked leaves into a large basin of ice water to cool the leaves rapidly and stop the cooking process. Rapid cooling is crucial for high-quality frozen spinach. Drain the leaves and spin them dry with a lettuce spinner, or pat them dry with a towel. To prevent freezer burn, minimize the amount of exposure the leaves have inside the container. Freezer bags that have leaves layered individually inside work well, although vacuum-seal bags work best by removing all the oxygen.

Freezing and Storing

Place the packaged spinach in the coldest part of your freezer. Do not put more spinach in your freezer than can be fully frozen in a 24-hour period — usually no more than 2 to 3 pounds of prepared spinach per cubic foot of freezer capacity. Keep your packets separated to ensure rapid freezing. If stored at zero degrees Fahrenheit or lower, the spinach can keep for 12 to 18 months when properly wrapped.

Defrosting and Using

Defrost frozen spinach in its package in the refrigerator, placing it on a plate or in a bag to capture any water that may leak out as the leaves melt. Defrosted spinach can keep in the refrigerator for several days. You can also defrost the spinach at room temperature. To ensure the packages defrost quickly, do not stack them together because this slows down the process. If you want to use a microwave to defrost the spinach, microwave it for 2 to 3 minutes per 1 1/2-pound package. Use defrosted spinach as is — there is no need to squeeze or drain the spinach unless you’re using it in a quiche or omelet, where the excess liquid would ruin the dish.

How to Blanch SpinachSpinach can be frozen for storage. Because spinach is an early spring plant, a huge harvest can be laid in early and then pulled before the summer-loving plants like cucumbers are ready to sow.

But, maybe you’re not a gardener. Maybe you’re just one of those people who have a hard time using a whole package of fresh baby spinach from the grocery store before it goes all wilty and smelly. That’s okay too! You can blanch it and freeze it to make some yummy spinach dip in the hot summer months or for making spinach pasta.

Why blanch spinach? Blanching is a form of quick-cooking that serves a multitude of purposes. It can help loosen peels off fruits like peaches, leech out bitterness, or enhance (and fix) colouring of delicate greens. Most importantly, it halts (well, slows anyway) enzyme action that causes certain forms of decay (not a big deal if you’re freezing, but very important if you’re dehydrating).

In the case of spinach… well, if you have ever cooked spinach, you know it takes a whole grocery store container (5-6oz) to make about a cup of frozen spinach. That’s a lot of freezer space And it can retain too much liquid.

How to Blanch Spinach (or any other leafy green)

  • Set a large pot of water to boil. You may add a little salt, but I don’t.
  • Set up a bowl full of ice and cold water (if you don’t have access to icy cold Canadian tap water in winter).
  • Prepare your leafy greens for a hot bath – wash and trim if necessary.
  • When the water is boiling strongly, drop the greens in by the double handful (or just enough that you don’t drop the water temperature below boiling)
  • Stir everything and let it cook for 30 seconds.
  • Shock the greens by removing them with a slotted spoon directly to the ice bath, which will halt the cooking.
  • Drain in a colander and squeeze some of the water out. You don’t want it absolutely dry, but it should be dry enough not to drip liquid when you give it a firm but not hard squeeze.

How to Blanch SpinachSpinach can be frozen for storage. Because spinach is an early spring plant, a huge harvest can be laid in early and then pulled before the summer-loving plants like cucumbers are ready to sow.

But, maybe you’re not a gardener. Maybe you’re just one of those people who have a hard time using a whole package of fresh baby spinach from the grocery store before it goes all wilty and smelly. That’s okay too! You can blanch it and freeze it to make some yummy spinach dip in the hot summer months or for making spinach pasta.

Why blanch spinach? Blanching is a form of quick-cooking that serves a multitude of purposes. It can help loosen peels off fruits like peaches, leech out bitterness, or enhance (and fix) colouring of delicate greens. Most importantly, it halts (well, slows anyway) enzyme action that causes certain forms of decay (not a big deal if you’re freezing, but very important if you’re dehydrating).

In the case of spinach… well, if you have ever cooked spinach, you know it takes a whole grocery store container (5-6oz) to make about a cup of frozen spinach. That’s a lot of freezer space And it can retain too much liquid.

How to Blanch Spinach (or any other leafy green)

  • Set a large pot of water to boil. You may add a little salt, but I don’t.
  • Set up a bowl full of ice and cold water (if you don’t have access to icy cold Canadian tap water in winter).
  • Prepare your leafy greens for a hot bath – wash and trim if necessary.
  • When the water is boiling strongly, drop the greens in by the double handful (or just enough that you don’t drop the water temperature below boiling)
  • Stir everything and let it cook for 30 seconds.
  • Shock the greens by removing them with a slotted spoon directly to the ice bath, which will halt the cooking.
  • Drain in a colander and squeeze some of the water out. You don’t want it absolutely dry, but it should be dry enough not to drip liquid when you give it a firm but not hard squeeze.

More Articles

Members of the botanical genus Brassica are known for their health benefits, but kale is particularly outstanding. The green, leafy, cruciferous vegetable is loaded with nutrients including calcium, vitamin C, folate and dietary fiber. Additionally, the leaves are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health. With its tough leaves and bitter taste, kale can be difficult to stomach. A quick boil, called blanching, will tenderize the leaves without stripping nutrients. Season the blanched kale with lemon zest for a light, flavorful dish.

Place the leaves on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to remove the tough center stem.

How to Blanch Broccoli

Slice the leaves into smaller pieces and wash them thoroughly under cool, running water. Then sprinkle them with a little baking soda or baking powder to reduce toughness.

Bring a stock pot of water to a boil. While you’re waiting on the water, fill a large bowl with ice and water and set it to the side.

How to Cook Red Chard

Add the kale and a sprinkling of salt to the pot 1. Boil for four minutes, then immediately scoop the leaves out of the pot with a slotted spoon and into the ice water bath.

Squeeze the water out of the blanched leaves. Eat the kale plain or saute or stir-fry it with other vegetables.

Select bunches of kale with small, dark green leaves. Avoid leaves with brown discoloration or soft spots.

Warnings

Because of its high vitamin K content, kale may not be safe for individuals on blood thinners or other clotting medications. Additionally, kale may suppress thyroid function, according to Deirdre Orceyre of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the George Washington University Medical Center. Talk to your physician before adding kale to your diet.

How to Blanch Spinach

Recipes sometimes call for home cooks to blanch fruits or vegetables. While it may sound like an elaborate technique too tricky to attempt at home, it’s not. Blanching simply means putting the item in question in boiling water, lifting it out after the prescribed time, and cooling it off quickly (often in a bowl of ice water). In short, it’s a handy and super easy technique to know.

How to Blanch Your Produce

Prepare your workstation prior to blanching. Use a pot that is big enough to fit your vegetables or blanch in multiple batches. Also, prepare a large bowl of ice water and if you will be blanching multiple batches, have a place to store the finished product. A dishcloth or plate should work fine. If you are blanching multiple batches, you may need to replace the ice water, as the hot vegetables will quickly melt the ice. You’ll also want a slotted spoon or tongs to help remove the fruits or vegetables from the boiling water.

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. If you are blanching peaches or tomatoes, leave the water plain. For everything else, add enough salt so the water tastes a bit salty. A good dose of salt helps the whole process along, maximizes the flavor, and helps any green vegetables stay a vivid green color.
  2. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
  3. While the water is coming to a boil, rinse, trim, or chop the fruit or vegetable as called for in the recipe.
  4. Once the water boils, put the items in the boiling water for the prescribed time (usually somewhere between 30 seconds and 2 minutes).
  5. Drain or lift out the fruits or vegetables and transfer them to the ice water (alternatively, you can lay them out generously spaced on a single layer on clean kitchen towels and let them air-cool or rinse them under cold running water). Swish them around in the water until cool.
  6. Drain and pat dry. In the case of spinach and other greens, squeeze the water out of them. If you are blanching to remove the peel, wait until the fruit or vegetable is cool enough to handle and slip off the skin.

Why Blanch Fruits and Vegetables?

Blanching performs a variety of functions, depending on the fruit or vegetable at hand. A few reasons for blanching include:

  • To loosen skins for easy peeling, as in the case of peaches and tomatoes
  • To set a bright green color and keep vegetables from turning an unappetizing gray, as with asparagus, greens, peas, or green beans
  • To leach out bitterness, especially in hearty cooking greens such as kale, collard greens, and dandelion greens
  • To prepare vegetables for freezing
  • To parboil items before adding them to a dish or later cooking them in a different method

What’s the difference between blanching and parboiling? Blanching requires a quick cooling off in an ice water bath that isn’t always necessary with parboiling. Parboiling is a way of semi-cooking the item, so it can cook for a shorter time in the main dish it is being used in. After blanching is complete, use your fruits or vegetables as the recipe dictates and discard the water.

How to Blanch Spinach

Blanching spinach softens its leaves, intensifies its green color, and heightens its flavor. Be sure to buy lots because a huge amount of fresh spinach wittles down to practically nothing. Here, 10 ounces of fresh spinach shrink down to a wad the size of a small ball.

Wash spinach in a bowl. I do this even with pre-washed greens because they need to be wet.

Allow the leaves to drain for 5 minutes in a calendar.

How to Blanch Spinach

Place a 10-inch skillet on a stove and turn the flame to medium-high. By the handful, add the spinach right away. Fight the temptation to just dump the spinach in, as extra water will get in the pan and we’re trying to eliminate excessive moistness.

How to Blanch Spinach

Mix around with kitchen tongs until all the spinach leaves have wilted

How to Blanch Spinach

but are still a nice, and not ‘murky,’ shade of green. Like this.

How to Blanch Spinach

Drain in a colander.

How to Blanch Spinach

Once sufficiently cooled, squeeze any remaining water out of the spinach with your hand. When I’m not photographing the process, I get in there with both hands and really squeeze the bejesus out of the suckers.

How to Blanch Spinach

Either use right away or, for future use, store in a covered bowl for up to three days.

Learn how to cook spinach using three different methods: steaming, sauteing and blanching. Either way, this nutrient-dense leafy green vegetable cooks in just minutes for a fast side dish or versatile ingredient.

Spinach is a staple in the kitchen as they’re easy to cook fresh or frozen. These leafy greens are a popular ingredient for salads and side dishes. Their flavor is mild, so it mixes nicely with other items while providing health benefits to any meal. It’s a fantastic addition to omelets, scrambles, lasagnas, and quiches.

There are a handful of different types of spinach to choose from. The most common being baby spinach which is typically eaten raw but does well with gentle cooking. Larger and more robust flat-leaf or curly-leaf is better tasting when heated up. There are three basic ways to cook fresh spinach, depending on the desired flavor, texture, and use.

How to cook spinach

  • Steaming quickly tenderizes and wilts the leaves down without much need of seasoning until after cooking.
  • Blanching immediately cooks the leaves in seconds and most often used as an intermediary step for a dish.
  • Sauteing uses dry heat to develop flavor on the surface and uses other flavoring agents.

Steamed spinach

Steaming spinach in a hot moist-heat environment allows large batches to be cooked in under 2 minutes. It requires a minimal amount of water to create steam compared to blanching. This process helps retain the bright green color while tenderizing the greens.

The cooked spinach can then be simply seasoned with salt and pepper. Squeezing a little lemon juice or balsamic vinegar over it can help cut the bitterness. Avoid adding directly in the pan depending on the type of cookware you’re using.

Blanched spinach

Blanching the spinach leaves in a large pot of salted hot water quickly wilts the greens in under a minute. This is great for rapidly cooking multiple batches of leaves. Make sure to quickly remove from the heat and cool it down under cold running water to halt the cooking process.

Squeeze out excess liquid to avoid it from becoming soggy or turning a muddy green tint. I use this method when making creamed spinach.

Sauteed spinach

Start with heating olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. The fat will help to sear the leaves and add some light browning and quickly start flavor development. During this time other aromatics and spices like minced garlic, onions, bell pepper, or chili flakes can be added to the oil and briefly cooked.

Add the spinach a handful at a time, stirring until wilted, then add the rest of the leaves. This process will take a few minutes. When adding cooked spinach to something such as stuffed shells or a dip, it’s best to cook out as much water as possible, making sauteing the ideal option.

Removing the stem

Larger spinach-like flat-leaf have a tougher and more prevalent stem, especially when sold in bunches. It can easily be removed in two ways. Use a knife to cut the stems off or the leaf can be held in one hand and the stems pulled down and off with the other.

Washing

It’s important to thoroughly wash spinach, specifically flat-leaf that’s freshly picked and contains a lot of dirt and debris. Plunge the leaves into a large bowl of cold water, swish around, and change out the water if needed if there’s a lot of sand or dirt.

As for pre-washed spinach, I still like to rinse the leaves with water for a few minutes in a colander to reduce any harmful bacteria that may be lurking in the crevices of the leaves. Dry them in a salad spinner, especially if sauteing.

Selection and uses

Most varieties of spinach are vibrant green in color with crisp stems. The leaves should look fresh and not wilted, signaling that the leaves are past its prime. Baby spinach and trimmed flat-leaf work well for smoothies, salad, and cooking. Curly-leaf spinach is best for sauteing, blanching, or steaming. Check the best by date on any packaging if available.

Storing

Store baby spinach or curly-lead in its original packaging (plastic bag or box) to keep it fresh. Store flat-leaf spinach unwashed, in a dry plastic, unsealed bag. Once the spinach begins to turn yellow or become brown and mushy, throw it away. This could be one to two weeks depending on the variety.

Substituting frozen for fresh

Frozen spinach is a convenient way to add the vegetable into meals. A 9 ounce (255 grams) frozen package of spinach leaves yields about 3/4 to 1 cup after reheating in the microwave, stovetop, or defrosted until cool running water in a colander.

This can be substituted for about 6 cups (8 ounces) of fresh spinach leaves. Make sure to drain the excess water before using it. The leaves are pretty chopped up, so it works best for dips, in egg dishes, pasta recipes, soups, and stews.

Recipes with spinach

Spinach yield

Spinach is made up of about 90% water, so when cooked it loses a huge amount of volume. Depending on the leaf size, variety, if chopped, and how it’s packed into the cup will slightly differ the yield. One pound (16 ounces) or about 12 cups of packed fresh spinach wilts down to about 1 1 /2 to 2 cups cooked. Approximately 1 ounce (28 grams) of baby spinach is ¾ cups packed before cooking.

One of the easiest ways to freeze spinach, kale, or any kind of leafy green is to steam it and freeze it in cubes. You can use the cubes in smoothies, soups, or stew. This easy tutorial shows you how.

How to Blanch Spinach

If you’re like me, you often find that you have extra greens in your refrigerator that need to be used up right away. Freezing greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard is a great way to preserve them before they go bad.

Once you freeze your spinach or kale into cubes, it’s very easy to use them later in smoothies, soups, stews, or pasta dishes. So, if you find yourself with extra leafy greens on hand, then I hope this guide helpful.

Recipe Steps

Most vegetables need to be cooked before being frozen, and that applies to spinach and kale as well. There are a few reasons to cook your veggies before freezing them. The first reason is to remove any bacteria that might be on the surface of your veggies. The second reason is to slow down the enzymes that are working to break down your vegetables.

Most people either steam or blanch their vegetables before freezing them. My opinion is that steaming is the ideal way since you are less likely to leach out the nutrients from the spinach or kale.

Step One

The first step to freezing your greens is to steam them. As mentioned above, I find it easier and more beneficial to steam my kale or spinach as opposed to blanching them. You can either use a steamer basket or a microwave.

Step Two

Once your greens are lightly steamed, then you can either transfer them to a glass container to cool, or you can move to step three to puree them.

How to Blanch Spinach

Step Three

If you want to puree your greens before you freeze them, then the next step is to add them to the base of a high-speed blender. Pureeing your spinach and kale leaves before freezing them is a great way to prepare them to use in smoothie or soups.

How to Blanch Spinach

Step Four

The next step to freezing your spinach or kale is to either pour the puree into ice cube trays. They’ll need about 4-12 hours in the freezer.

How to Blanch Spinach

Step Five

Finally, the very last step is to remove your frozen spinach or kale cubes and transfer them to a zip-top bag for storage in your freezer.

How to Blanch Spinach

How to Use Frozen Spinach

Using frozen spinach or kale is as easy as dropping one of your smoothie cubes into a pot of soup or into a smoothie. Since you’ve already steamed the spinach before freezing it, you don’t have to worry about cooking it again if you don’t want to (like in a smoothie).

Frozen spinach or kale can last up to several months in the freezer.

How to Blanch Spinach

Recommended Items

Other Guides to Freezing Food

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

And, consider following me on social media so we can stay connected. I’m on Facebook , Pinterest , Instagram , and YouTube!

How to Freeze Spinach & Kale

How to Blanch Spinach

One of the easiest ways to freeze spinach, kale, or any kind of leafy green is to steam it and freeze it in cubes. You can use the cubes in smoothies, soups, or stew. This easy tutorial shows you how.

  • Author:Carrie Forrest, MPH in Nutrition
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1 x
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Steamer and Freezer
  • Cuisine: Healthy
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of fresh spinach or kale

Instructions

  1. Place the greens in a steamer basket or in a microwavable-safe bowl. Add water. Steam the greens until they are wilted, but still bright green in color.
  2. Once your greens are lightly steamed, then you can either transfer them to a glass container to cool, or you can move to step three to puree them.
  3. If you want to puree your greens before you freeze them, then the next step is to add them to the base of a high-speed blender. Pureeing your greens before freezing them is a great way to prepare them to use in smoothie or soups.
  4. The next step to freezing your spinach is to either pour the puree into ice cube trays. They’ll need about 4-12 hours in the freezer.
  5. Finally, the very last step is to remove your frozen spinach cubes and transfer them to a zip-top bag for storage in your freezer.

Keywords: how to make smoothie cubes, steaming and freezing spinach, how to freeze spinach

Did you make this recipe?

Don’t forget to join the Clean Eating Kitchen newsletter . You’ll get my Clean Eating Quick Start Guide, plus links to all the latest recipes.

whole food

Right about now, you may be less than thrilled by the bounty of cooking greens available. Like spinach, chard, kale, beet greens, collard greens, amaranth, arugula and mustards, including mizuna and tatsoi.

And so, maybe the greens in your CSA box get neglected in the vegetable drawer.

Or, you walk right past the green bouquets at the farmers’ market on the lookout for summer squash, green beans, tomatoes, eggplant and corn.

But back up a minute and consider this: every batch of greens you blanch and then freeze today, becomes a head start on a meal based on homegrown greens in late fall and winter.

How to Blanch Spinach

So, here’s a quick how to that’s simple enough to fit into a summer day. And I’m sharing 5 of my favorite ideas for using blanched greens with recipes you can make all year round.

How to Blanch Greens

Every year, I make a point of blanching and freezing big batches of greens . And if I notice any bunches of greens about to wilt in my fridge, I quickly blanch and freeze them for later.

During a non-meal time, I set up my kitchen counter assembly-style with a cutting board and put on a big pot of water to boil. And I make sure I have a supply of gallon-sized freezer bags on hand.

Follow the recipe if you haven’t blanched vegetables before. For equipment, you only need a large pot, 2 big bowls, a strainer and this hand-held strainer called a spider.

How to Blanch SpinachThis hand-held strainer called a spider is a very useful tool for blanching.

Of, if you’re an experienced blancher, skip on to these 5 recipes for ideas on how to put this technique to work for you today. You can store blanched greens in the refrigerator for three days or portion them in freezer bags.

You’ll be especially grateful come fall, and even more so in February, when you have a stash of good greens ready to go in your freezer to use within six months, ideally.

Blanched greens yields:

Here’s a good guide for fresh-to-blanched greens quantities I clipped from Martha Stewart. You’ll get 2 cups blanched cooked greens from these types of greens:

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach
  • 1 pound kale
  • 1 pound Swiss chard
  • 1 pound collard greens

These photos are of a baby spinach and kale mix, but remember that you can blanch any type of green at all to use in the recipes below.

And it’s pretty much the same technique for other vegetables, including green beans and asparagus. You just adjust increase the blanching time by a minute or so.

How to Blanch SpinachFour cups of lightly packed fresh baby spinach and kale before blanching. How to Blanch SpinachAfter blanching and squeezing dry the baby spinach and kale yields about 1 cup.

5 Ways to Use Blanched Greens

Blanch your greens and you’re a giant step ahead making meals like these Forage favorites.

How to Blanch Spinach Blanch wild greens, like nettles, or other herbs to make a flavorful butter for grilled meats and fish.

How to Blanch Spinach Add blanched greens into any frittata or scramble for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

How to Blanch Spinach Stir blanched greens into cooked grains, like rice or quinoa, for an easy vegetarian main dish.

How to Blanch Spinach Use a pile of blanched greens to make this filo pie with feta to feed a crowd.

If you’re anything like me, you cannot get enough greens. And with this strategy, you’ll be fully stocked with the best blanched greens for months to come.

How will you put to use your batch of blanched greens? Let me know what you’re making in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.

How to Blanch Spinach

Blanched Greens for Now & Later

This method is for blanching cooking greens, such as spinach, chard, kale, beet greens, collard greens, amaranth, arugula and mustards, including mizuna and tatsoi or wild greens, such as dandelion and nettles and leafy herbs, such as parsley and basil. Use them in egg dishes, grain dishes and bowls, stuffings, sauces, soups and butters. You can use them within three days or store in freezer bags in the refrigerator for six months.

whole food

Right about now, you may be less than thrilled by the bounty of cooking greens available. Like spinach, chard, kale, beet greens, collard greens, amaranth, arugula and mustards, including mizuna and tatsoi.

And so, maybe the greens in your CSA box get neglected in the vegetable drawer.

Or, you walk right past the green bouquets at the farmers’ market on the lookout for summer squash, green beans, tomatoes, eggplant and corn.

But back up a minute and consider this: every batch of greens you blanch and then freeze today, becomes a head start on a meal based on homegrown greens in late fall and winter.

How to Blanch Spinach

So, here’s a quick how to that’s simple enough to fit into a summer day. And I’m sharing 5 of my favorite ideas for using blanched greens with recipes you can make all year round.

How to Blanch Greens

Every year, I make a point of blanching and freezing big batches of greens . And if I notice any bunches of greens about to wilt in my fridge, I quickly blanch and freeze them for later.

During a non-meal time, I set up my kitchen counter assembly-style with a cutting board and put on a big pot of water to boil. And I make sure I have a supply of gallon-sized freezer bags on hand.

Follow the recipe if you haven’t blanched vegetables before. For equipment, you only need a large pot, 2 big bowls, a strainer and this hand-held strainer called a spider.

How to Blanch SpinachThis hand-held strainer called a spider is a very useful tool for blanching.

Of, if you’re an experienced blancher, skip on to these 5 recipes for ideas on how to put this technique to work for you today. You can store blanched greens in the refrigerator for three days or portion them in freezer bags.

You’ll be especially grateful come fall, and even more so in February, when you have a stash of good greens ready to go in your freezer to use within six months, ideally.

Blanched greens yields:

Here’s a good guide for fresh-to-blanched greens quantities I clipped from Martha Stewart. You’ll get 2 cups blanched cooked greens from these types of greens:

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach
  • 1 pound kale
  • 1 pound Swiss chard
  • 1 pound collard greens

These photos are of a baby spinach and kale mix, but remember that you can blanch any type of green at all to use in the recipes below.

And it’s pretty much the same technique for other vegetables, including green beans and asparagus. You just adjust increase the blanching time by a minute or so.

How to Blanch SpinachFour cups of lightly packed fresh baby spinach and kale before blanching. How to Blanch SpinachAfter blanching and squeezing dry the baby spinach and kale yields about 1 cup.

5 Ways to Use Blanched Greens

Blanch your greens and you’re a giant step ahead making meals like these Forage favorites.

How to Blanch Spinach Blanch wild greens, like nettles, or other herbs to make a flavorful butter for grilled meats and fish.

How to Blanch Spinach Add blanched greens into any frittata or scramble for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

How to Blanch Spinach Stir blanched greens into cooked grains, like rice or quinoa, for an easy vegetarian main dish.

How to Blanch Spinach Use a pile of blanched greens to make this filo pie with feta to feed a crowd.

If you’re anything like me, you cannot get enough greens. And with this strategy, you’ll be fully stocked with the best blanched greens for months to come.

How will you put to use your batch of blanched greens? Let me know what you’re making in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.

How to Blanch Spinach

Blanched Greens for Now & Later

This method is for blanching cooking greens, such as spinach, chard, kale, beet greens, collard greens, amaranth, arugula and mustards, including mizuna and tatsoi or wild greens, such as dandelion and nettles and leafy herbs, such as parsley and basil. Use them in egg dishes, grain dishes and bowls, stuffings, sauces, soups and butters. You can use them within three days or store in freezer bags in the refrigerator for six months.

Spinach loses its green color and many vitamins when cooked. To prevent this from happening, it should be blanched briefly beforehand. Read here how it works.

How to Blanch Spinach

Spinach is absolutely delicious and very popular as a side dish with young and old. However, it does not always have to be the pureed creamed spinach from the frozen food department, even when freshly cooked, the spinach is an absolute taste experience.

So it is definitely worth it if you grow spinach in your own garden. Not much work and you will be rewarded with fresh spinach.

So that the spinach does not later appear gray and unsightly on the plate, it must first be blanched. This is how it gets its green color and does not cause strange looks at the lunch table. In addition, the important vitamins are preserved.

Blanch spinach – explained in 6 steps

Before you get started, it’s important to know that when blanching, the spinach collapses, just like kale. So you need to blanch an abundance of spinach to have a good serving in the pot.

Step 1:

Before blanching the spinach, you must wash it sufficiently. It is best to put the spinach in a sieve. Then pat dry with kitchen towels or a towel.

Step 2:

Now bring a large pot of water to the boil. If you want to salt the spinach a bit here, you can simply add a little salt to the water.

Step 3:

Now prepare a large bowl of cold water and ice cubes. The bowl should be filled up to three-quarters with ice cubes, then cover the rest with water.

Step 4:

Now put the spinach in the pot. Let the spinach cook for half a minute to a full minute. It turns light green during cooking.

Step 5:

Now drain the water and catch the spinach in a sieve and drain well.

Step 6:

Now put the spinach into the ice water and let it cool down for a few minutes. Due to the sudden cold, the cooking process is interrupted and the spinach remains firm to the bite.

Let lush, succulent spinach into everything from soups to sides. Here’s how to get the best out of it.

Spinach, the first of the leafy vegetables to emerge in the spring—sometimes pushing through late-winter snow—brings bright color to a gray landscape. A relative of both beets and chard, spinach is classified into one of three basic types. Flat-leaf spinach has smooth, broad leaves. Savoy spinach, with dark green, curly and deeply crinkled leaves and semi-savoy spinach—a hybrid variety that has slightly crinkled leaves. Baby spinach, harvested early in its growth stage, has small leaves and a tenderer texture and sweeter taste than mature spinach.

Buying Spinach

Spinach is sold loose, in bunches and in plastic bags or containers. Look for slender stalks and crisp, dark green leaves with no signs of yellowing, wilting or sliminess. Spinach sold in bunches stays fresh longer than spinach sold in plastic bags. Fresh spinach should smell sweet, not sour or musty.

Storing and Freezing Spinach

Store unwashed spinach in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If desired, add a dry paper towel to the bag to absorb extra moisture and extend the life of the spinach.

Before cooking, cut any woody stems from mature spinach. (Baby spinach does not require stemming.) Swirl the leaves in a bowl of cool water. Let stand for 3 minutes. The sand and dirt will settle to the bottom. Repeat as needed. On the final rinse, use warm water. The warmth relaxes the crinkles in the leaves and allows any remaining bits of sand to be washed away. Spin dry or pat dry with clean kitchen towels.

Freezing Spinach

Remove any woody stems and/or ribs; chop if desired. Most vegetables should be blanched (briefly cooked in boiling water) before freezing. To blanch spinach, bring 1 gallon of water per pound of spinach to a boil in a large pot. Add spinach, cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a large bowl of ice water. Drain well; pat dry. Spread out in a single layer on a large baking sheet and freeze until solid. Pack the frozen spinach in quart- or gallon-size freezer bags. (Check out: The Best Frozen Food to Keep Stocked in Your Freezer.)

Cooking with Spinach

Spinach is classic with eggs—in omelets, frittatas and soufflés. Complementary flavors include garlic, sesame, ginger and chile; lemon, vinegar and Kalamata olives; and bacon and nutmeg. Baby spinach is best eaten raw—in salads and on sandwiches. For cooking, mature spinach is best—but when it’s fresh and crisp, it’s also great eaten raw. Spinach has a water content of between 80 and 90%. When it is cooked—even for the briefest time—it loses considerable volume. Flavor and texture also suffer from overcooking, so in general, the shorter the cook time, the better.

Sauté: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add 4 cloves thinly sliced garlic and cook until beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 20 ounces mature spinach, stemmed and rinsed; toss to coat. Cover and cook until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon each crushed red pepper and salt. Serves 4.

Microwave: Place 1 pound stemmed and rinsed (but not dried) mature spinach in a large microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on High until the spinach begins to wilt, about 2 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave. (Drain in a mesh strainer, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible, and return to the bowl.) Toss with 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds and 2 teaspoons each toasted sesame oil and reduced-sodium soy sauce. Serves 3.

Using Frozen Spinach

Frozen spinach makes a welcome addition to soups, stews, egg dishes and casseroles, just to name a few. To defrost spinach, it’s best to do it gently in the refrigerator, or microwave for 1 to 2 minutes on defrost mode, taking care not to cook it further. Spinach retains a lot of water during freezing. Unless you are simply adding frozen spinach to a soup or stew, plan on squeezing thawed, frozen spinach dry before cooking with it.

How to Blanch Spinach

Photographer’s Choice RF/Getty Images

  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
1. Fill a large pot with water, bring it to a boil, and add your packaged or separated, pre-washed spinach leaves.
2. Blanch the spinach for approximately 30 seconds—or until they turn a brilliant green.
3. Remove the spinach from the pot with a slotted spoon and drain.
4. Plunge the leaves into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
6. Notice how the spinach should look when you’ve completed the blanching process. One large bag has reduced to a small ball of leaves.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
88 Calories
3g Fat
12g Carbs
4g Protein

×

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 88
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 375mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Protein 4g
Calcium 140mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Appetizers and side dishes play a key role in Korean cuisine, and this recipe has everything you need to make a particular tasty side—seasoned spinach “salad.” Spinach was the vegetable that Popeye relied on to stay strong, and for good reason as the food is chock full of iron. With more of the nutrient than some animal proteins, spinach is one of the heartiest plant-based foods you can eat.

The other great thing about this spinach salad is that if you don’t want to serve it as a side, you can use it as part of other well-known main dishes in Korea. Seasoned spinach salad may be used to go along with chapchae (stir-fried noodles), kimbap (rice and seaweed rolls) and bibimbap (rice with mixed vegetables).

Like many other Korean dishes, this side is also easily customizable. If you want to use more or less of any of the ingredients, depending on your unique tastes, feel free to do so. Those with health concerns, for example, may want to use less soy sauce (or a low-sodium version) or less sugar.

This week, we’ve rescued lots of leafy salad greens, as well as some of the most versatile veg – Spinach. Here’s our guest-chef and ODDBOX friend Georgia Levy (@georgia_levy_) to guide us through the best ways to store, prep, and cook spinach:

How to Blanch Spinach

How to…Store:

Spinach will last 5-7 days in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge. To extend its life, blanch briefly, drain and allow to cool. Squeeze out excess water, shape into balls and freeze. Add frozen to your dishes or defrost before using.

How to Blanch Spinach

How to…Prep:

Discard any yellow or slimey-looking leaves. Wash thoroughly and spin dry if using in salad. There’s no need to remove stalks before cooking as these add nice texture.

How to…Cook:

Add spinach leaves to boiling salted water. As soon as it wilts, 1-2 minutes (baby spinach needs less time), drain into a colander, pushing it with the back of a spoon to force out excess water. This can now be braised or frozen.

Whizz up blanched spinach with a tiny bit of raw garlic, feta, Greek yoghurt, spring onion and lemon juice. Great with pita and vegetables.

Chop blanched spinach finely and combine with ricotta, Parmesan and nutmeg and use as ravioli filling or between lasagne sheets, topped with tomato sauce. Also great stirred through spaghetti with anchovy breadcrumbs

Fry shallots and garlic in butter, then add some blanched spinach and double cream. Serve immediately or transfer to a baking dish, top with parmesan and breadcrumbs and place in oven for 20 minutes

For the perfect summer salad, combine raw with watermelon chunks, grilled halloumi, mint, finely sliced red onion and chopped chilli

Fry onion, ginger and garlic with mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric and chilli, stir in cooked potato chunks, spinach and a splash of water. Cover and cook for a few minutes then serve with chapatis

Squeeze and massage raw spinach with a little salt until it breaks down, then combine with leeks fried in butter, feta and beaten eggs. Pour into a baking dish lined with ½ packet of filo pastry sheets, then place the remaining sheets on top, brush with butter then place in a 200C oven for 25-30 minutes.

Do me a favor, please, and take a look at the top of this page where is says “Home, Who I Am, Preserving. ” This post along with all the other ones I will write this summer and fall that have to do with preserving will be found on the Preserving page (there are already several links there). I am hoping this will be a resource for those of you who are interested in learning how to can and freeze produce this summer. My goal is to show lots of pictures of the process along with step by step instructions. Here we go!

You have three choices when it comes to freezing spinach. You can blanch it by plunging washed spinach in boiling water for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, then drain it well and freeze it. You can steam spinach for about a minute, drain it and freeze it or you can choose the method I use which is to freeze spinach raw.

Blanching and steaming spinach wilts it and therefore saves on space if space is an issue for you. I like freezing mine raw. Even though it takes up a bit more space, there is very little prep work at both ends (prepping and using) and this is a good thing.

Green in the winter months is important. I don’t worry much about scurvy. I worry about food boredom. Spinach in the winter helps with that.

Freezing Spinach Raw (my version)

Place fresh spinach in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Using your hands, pretend you are a washing machine and your spinach is the clothes. Agitate the water to loosen the dirt and any insects still hanging around. Drain and repeat.

How to Blanch SpinachHow to Blanch Spinach

Place a clean kitchen towel in another large bowl (or out on your counter). Tear the spinach by the handfuls into small pieces, discarding any stems you come across. Place the torn spinach on the towel. Cover spinach with the towel and now pretend you are drying your child or dog’s hair. Don’t worry if you scrunch it up. Your goal is to get as much of the water off the spinach as you can.

How to Blanch Spinach

Fill a gallon zip lock bag with the clean, torn and dried spinach. Tap the bag on the counter to help it settle and go ahead and shove as much in as you can, like you’re stuffing a feather pillow that you want firm. Once the bag is full, close the bag almost all the way, then lay it flat and press out as much air as you can, like you’re deflating an air mattress. It’s okay to press down on the spinach, too. Now, zip it up and toss it in your freezer.

How to Blanch Spinach

Dark, leafy greens are so healthy and great in green smoothies and in hearty dishes. You want to make sure to have them available year round. It is really easy to do so by preserving them! Here is a how-to freeze greens.

What greens can be frozen?

How to Blanch Spinach

I’m pretty sure all edible greens can be frozen: kale, swiss chard, spinach, sorrel, beet greens, collard greens, and more. However, not all of the greens available might benefit you. In our kitchen, we only freeze what we know we would like to use. We do grow kale indoors in the winter, overwintering spinach in early spring, swiss chard and beet greens in the summer and into late fall. This way we always have some yummy greens for a smoothie. This might lead you to the next question:

Why freeze greens?

How to Blanch Spinach

Even though we grow greens year round, we still like to have some greens in the freezer. There are times where one variety of greens is done and the next hasn’t matured yet. Or the weather outside is so hot, or cold, that going to the freezer seems to be more convenient than going out to harvest. Especially for the breakfast smoothie to have greens ready to go is great.

How to Blanch Spinach

Also, not all greens can be grown year round. Sorrel is a perennial and makes a very yummy sorrel soup. We love it, but do not care for soups so much during the summer months. Good thing sorrel freezes well, and we can have sorrel soup in the winter instead.

How to freeze greens

Freezing greens is very simple. There are 2 main methods to freeze greens: by blanching them first, or freezing greens raw. I personally prefer raw, but there is a place for blanching also.

Freezing raw greens

Wash the freshly harvested greens and cut them into small (about half an inch) pieces or slices.

How to Blanch Spinach

This is important: all greens can be frozen raw if you cut them into small bits first. Why is that? Prior to freezing you want to stops enzyme actions in the greens, which can cause loss of flavor, color, and texture. This is normally done by blanching. But it also can be done at least partly by cutting the leaves.

How to Blanch Spinach

Now put them into a freezer bag or container. Get as much air out as you can. This is easy to do if you roll the bag and then close it. Label and freeze.

How to Blanch Spinach

Freezing blenched greens

If you want your green leaves to be intact, or you prefer them cut into bigger pieces, you need to blanch the greens prior to freezing. Blanching will stop the enzyme actions and also destroy certain enzymes that make leafy greens bitter.

Wash the freshly harvested greens and blanch them in boiling water. Most greens need to be blanched for 2 minutes, collard greens for 3. Cool and drain immediately. Now put them into a freezer bag or container. Label and freeze.

How to Blanch Spinach

Note, your greens will shrink immensely. I like to freeze blanched greens portion wise. This way I do not have to cut the frozen greens apart.

Using frozen greens

How to Blanch Spinach

Frozen greens taste best if you use them right away from the freezer. Do not let them thaw first, they will get very mushy and spoil fast. If you are going to cook them, put them frozen into boiling water or into a hot skillet. Also if you make a smoothie, use the frozen greens. This way they will taste like fresh.

How to Blanch Spinach

Raw frozen greens are loose, you can take out from your bag as many as you want at the time and they will thaw very fast. Blanched frozen greens tend to make a clump, it is helpful to freeze them in portions you want to use.

What is your favorite way to preserve or use greens?

We invite you to subscribe to Northern Homestead and follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest for more great recipes.

Simplicity, Happiness, and DIY Living in the San Juan Islands

Posted by Chris on Sunday, July 22, 2012 · Leave a Comment

My home is in Skagit county, which is known for how well spinach grows. In my own garden spinach does extremely well, and due to our temperate climate, I can easily grow two harvests per season. By freezing spinach leaves, I can preserve spinach from the garden for use throughout the year. This is a great way to incorporate fresh vegetables into your diet during winter time when fresh vegetables are expensive.

Freezing Spinach From The Garden

How to Blanch Spinach

Here is a half harvest for freezing spinach leaves from the garden.

Some varieties of spinach have long stems before the main leaf. Most books recommend snipping off the stems, but I don’t see any issue with leaving them on if that is what you prefer. As long as the spinach is harvested before it bolts too far, the stems will be tender and not stringy.

Once a large batch of leaves have been picked and the stems removed (optional), then the larger leaves should be torn up to about the size of a quarter to a silver dollar (1″ to 2″ in diameter). The leaves can then be washed in a colander and dried in a spinner.

Blanching Spinach

Before freezing spinach leaves, blanching spinach or steaming it is best in order to soften the cells. I prefer steaming as it accomplishes the same goal without as much loss in vitamins and minerals, however either is acceptable. Blanching spinach should last two minutes. Here is a great video and article on how to blanch leafy greens:

Freezing Spinach Without Blanching

How to Blanch Spinach

Freezing spinach without blanching can be done by steaming it for three minutes. This accomplishes the same thing, but you don’t lose as many vitamins and minerals.

By keeping the leaves out of the water, they retain more vitamins and minerals than they would from blanching. At the end of the steaming, it is a good idea to rapidly cool the leaves in ice, just like in blanching. Keep in mind that the less time they spend in the water, the fewer vitamins they’ll leach.

How to Freeze Fresh Spinach

How to Blanch Spinach

Vacuum pack before freezing spinach leaves. Removing the oxygen gives them a much longer shelf life.

Put 8 ounces of cooked spinach leaves from the garden into an appropriate container. Eight ounces of cooked spinach makes for a great side dish for two to a meal of meat, rice, or beans.

The loss rate of vitamin C was as high as 65% when Chinese cabbage was scalded in 100 ℃ water for 2 minutes, and almost all of vitamin C was lost when blanched for more than 10 minutes. Therefore, proper methods should be adopted to reduce the loss of nutrients.

How to blanch vegetables? 4 skills of blanching vegetables

Add the right amount of vegetables at a time. If there are many dishes, it is suggested to do it in several times to avoid lowering the water temperature. Blanching time should be short to avoid excessive loss of nutrition.

2. When blanching green leafy vegetables, you should not only add salt, but also oil

This can not only prevent the oxidase from destroying chlorophyll, but also keep the bright color of vegetables. Vegetables such as beans and peas are blanched in cold water and refrigerated for many days without sprouting.

3. Don’t cut vegetables before boiling water

Keep the whole shape of vegetables as much as possible to reduce the area of heating and water contact. In the case of more raw materials, it should be fed in batches to ensure that the raw materials are in a higher water temperature.

How to blanch vegetables

4. After blanching, vegetables should be immediately put into cold water to cool down before cooking.

After blanching, the temperature of vegetables is relatively high. After leaving the water, it contacts with oxygen in the air to produce thermal oxygen, which is the continuation of nutrient loss. Therefore, boiled vegetables should be cooled in time. The common method is to use a large amount of cold water or cold air for cooling and heat dissipation, and the latter has less nutrition loss. Which vegetables need blanching to eat? 1. Vegetables containing more oxalic acid

Such as spinach, bamboo shoots, Zizania latifolia, etc., generally speaking, vegetables with a little astringent taste contain more oxalic acid. Excessive intake of oxalic acid will affect the absorption of calcium, zinc and other minerals, and increase the risk of stones. Research shows that vegetables such as spinach and amaranth can remove 40%

70% oxalic acid by boiling water once.

2. Vegetables containing glucosinolates

Mustard vegetables such as kohlrabi contain glucosinolates. Blanched in water and hydrolyzed to produce volatile mustard oil, it tastes better and can promote digestion and absorption.

3. Wild vegetables such as purslane

Wild vegetables may have risks of pesticide residues and pollution by waste water and waste gas. In order to reduce these risks, it is necessary to blanch them before cooking. Blanching wild vegetables such as Portulaca oleracea can completely remove dust and insects and prevent allergy.

How to blanch vegetables

4. Cruciferous vegetables

Such as broccoli, cauliflower and so on after blanching taste better, they contain rich cellulose and are easier to digest.

5. Vegetables containing colchicine

Day lily, also known as day lily, is one of people’s favorite dishes. But daylily contains colchicine. If the human body ingests colchicine, it will be oxidized in human tissues to form colchicine. Colchicine is a kind of highly toxic substance, which can poison the gastrointestinal tract and urinary system of human body and seriously threaten the health. If an adult eats 50-100 grams of fresh day lily at a time, it can cause poisoning.

Toona sinensis contains more nitrate and nitrite, which may form carcinogens in vivo. But blanching Toona sinensis with hot water for about 1 minute can remove more than 2 / 3 of nitrite and nitrate. Therefore, it is better to blanch Toona before cooking.

7. Auricularia auricula

Auricularia auricula will absorb a lot of water when soaking, and boiling water is conducive to the discharge of water. Therefore, there will be no frying when frying. What needs to be reminded is that Auricularia auricula is curly, with many “small grooves”. After blanching, put the Auricularia into the drain net and drain it, and then knock the drain net several times.

How to Blanch Spinach

How to Blanch Spinach

How to Blanch Spinach

How to Blanch Spinach

How to Blanch Spinach

Freezing vegetables is one of the easiest ways to reduce food waste, stretch your grocery bill, and save time. If you’re wondering how to freeze kale (or similar leafy greens like swiss chard , collard greens , or spinach), this post will teach you how, in just a few easy steps.

How to Blanch Spinach

Well, what a year the first two weeks of 2020 have been.

If you follow me on Instagram , you know we’ve been dealing with quite a few toddler sleep issues the past several weeks. I’ve gotten dozens of messages from the Instagram community letting me know that I am not alone. Apparently, this is really common around the age of 3. Add it to the list of things they never tell you before you become a parent! I’ve been sharing a collection of tips, tricks, and suggestions from other mothers who have (wonderfully) offered their advice, which you can view in my highlights.

But for now, here’s what I have to say: I’m exhausted . Particularly in the first two weeks of the year, when you expect to be rested and rejuvenated, this has been particularly difficult. But another thing they don’t tell you about being a mom is that even when you really don’t want to be responsible, you still have to be. I have to get through the day, do my work, get dinner on the table, and not get sick.

I’ve said it countless times before, but I live for my freezer. There’s almost nothing it can’t do to keep me sane, well-fed, and reasonably nourished during busy or otherwise stressful periods of life – as long as I do a little advance planning during those periods where I do have some time and energy to spare.

How to Blanch Spinach

Frozen veggies are one of my best secrets to eating healthy when you’re pressed for time, and when I have any excess kale, potatoes, broccoli, or other produce that isn’t going to get eaten before it goes bad

How to Freeze Kale

I often get curly kale or lacinato (dinosaur) kale in my Imperfect Foods box, so that’s what I usually freeze. But technically, any bunch of kale that you buy from the farmer’s market, CSA , or grocery store can be frozen.

If you buy too much fresh kale or you want to eat it slowly (or use it in smoothies, which is what I normally do), you can simply freeze for later use. Here’s how:

How to Blanch Spinach

Did you know you could freeze fresh spinach without blanching or cooking it? Yes, it’s true and I’m going to show you how I triple washed two batches of spinach for our April mission meal and froze about 12 cups of spinach for future “cooked” meals.

I begin with the freshly picked spinach. My daughter and I cut quite a bit from our local non-profit garden, called the Lord’s Acre, in our community. This garden provides organic produce to the poor and needy in the community. They also offer garden and food-skills training to all ages. Guess how MOAM is going to help with this mission? This summer, I’m sharing ways to preserve this gorgeous food that’s growing and ways to cook delicious food right beside the garden. Doesn’t this sound intriguing and fun? Click here to read more about this community garden and perhaps if you have a green thumb and love gardening or have your own abundant garden you can gather ideas for helping the poor and the needy.

How to Blanch Spinach

I used about 12 fresh cups for this fabulous strawberry spinach salad with poppyseed dressing. Click here for the recipe. This was part of our April mission meal served by 4-year-old children. Read about here.

How to Blanch Spinach

FROZEN FRESHLY TORN

After I pinched off the large stems from the collection box above, I submerged it in a sink full of water. Then I dunked, swirled and dunked some more to remove debris and bugs. I did this three times to ensure cleanliness. By the time I had swirled it in the water, it pretty much torn itself into bite-size pieces and I was ready to spin the excess water off with the salad spinner. Likewise, spinach can be placed on a large bath towel on your counter to dry.

The rest of the spinach was placed in quart size freezer bags in 2-cup portions. Large pieces of spinach can be cut with kitchen shears or run a chef knife through it before cooking.

FROZEN PUREED

How to Blanch Spinach

Spinach can also be pureed with some water in a blender. Add just enough water to get the blender going. This is a great way to boost nutrition in soups, sauces and cooked meatballs, meatloaves or burgers. It’s sneaky nutrition for picky eaters. Freeze the puree in snack size bags squeezing the air out or ice cubes trays or baby food containers. View my pesto tutorial here to see frozen purees.

This fresh spinach makes awesome recipes:

How to Blanch Spinach

Thaw the spinach in a plastic shoe box overnight in the refrigerator and use just like store-bought spinach in your favorite cooked recipes.

WHY FREEZE?

  • Preserves fresh spinach from going bad
  • Freeze an over abundance from your garden
  • Creatively sneak in extra nutrition for your picky eaters
  • Enjoy freshly picked spinach (with more nutrients) when it’s out of season

Linked to Frugal Fridays and Natural Living Mondays

22 thoughts on “ How to Freeze Fresh Spinach: 2 ways ”

Jackie, I love what you are doing to help out in your community. That is awesome

Fantastic, I’m glad you’re putting the tip into healthy action.

Is it safe to use the frozen spinach in smoothies? All your comments in the instructions for freezing pointed to it being frozen for use in cooking, leading me to believe it needed to be cooked for safe use.

It’s absolutely safe, but it’s very concentrated since it’s pureed so very little would be needed. Perhaps freezing it in ice cube trays and test run how much green you like starting at 1/2 cube and going from there. Think of smoothies with spinach and a handful or cupful in a smoothie and then think of how much spinach you’re adding with a cube. Hope this helps, blessings.

The washed torn stuff looks great, and the puree too.

thanks for the tips! I googled how to freeze fresh spinach and found this info very helpful! my daughter loves fresh spinach in her smoothies so I buy it in bulk from Costco but sometimes we can’t get through a whole bag in time. gonna freeze my extras!

great, glad you can use these tips

Wow. I love your site and the info on it. I am definitely bookmarking this page. I think its awesome what you are doing for your family and community. You are an inspiration. May God bless you.

I just put another batch of frozen spinach in my taco meat. It’s useful in so many ways.

Good to see someone knows the value of raw vegetables – I can’t believe so many sites are still telling people to boil vegetables – ugh – such a loss of nutrition

I love fresh as much as possible. I’m posting a new spinach tortilla recipe later this week, which uses raw spinach in the dough

I came across your blog as I was searching around for ways to freeze spinach. I just picked a ton of it from our greenhouse! I didn’t even think about pureeing it, what a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Thank you! You are going to be saving me about 20 cups of spinach.. I need a bigger freezer!

Woot! Love saving our real food for those winter months when nothing is in season. Enjoy all the ways you can incorporate spinach!

All I would to know is HOW TO FREEZE SPINACH

Holly, I hope you found this info useful. It doesn’t have to be blanched if you are using it in cooked recipes or smoothies. I usually puree it to freeze. Blessings.

What would be the best way to thaw it before adding it to recipes?

I don’t thaw at all when I drop it into soups or smoothies, etc.

Can I freeze raw spinach to use in a spinach salad or does it have to be in a smoothie, soup, etc? I love raw spinach salads.

Spinach will have a different texture after freezing, so it won’t work for fresh salads.

I love the idea of pureeing and tossing it into other recipes.

I googled can I freeze spinach and got on to your page momonamission…..thnx for putting me clear on the fact that I can freeze it…well done on the community garden….I live in Cardiff South Wales ….on the outskirts a little place named St Mellons……we also have a community garden but the people who were there from the start are very covetous over who gets what ….that’s fine by me I don’t need a lot…..anyway in a way it’s their ‘baby’ ……

Godbless big hug Sue xx

Sue, that’s awesome. Thank you for sharing. Hugs back and blessings on your Thanksgiving.

There are many Indian recipes based out of greens, which needs a perfect Green Gravy. But sometimes there are certain spices or ingredients which can tamper the perfect green color. The process of blanching needs to be done with utmost care in order to bring that perfect green color and texture. I’ve shared a few tips to avoid the discoloration. In this article I am blanching spinach, but you can use other greens like Kale, Mustard Greens, Arugula, Fenugreek or even Coriander and Mint. Let’s see the process on how to blanch greens:

Here goes the step by step process of Blanching of Greens:

  1. Neatly wash the dirt out of greens and strain the excess water.

How to Blanch Spinach Washing and straining excess water

  • Heat a pot of water to bring it to simmer.
  • Add the greens and cook it for 2 mins.

    How to Blanch Spinach Adding greens to simmering water
    Strain the water and add it in ice cold water for 10 – 15 mins.

    How to Blanch Spinach

    How to Blanch Spinach

    The above process maintains a perfect green color. You can grind the leaves with the spices of your choice and store it in air tight jar for a week. Basically, I do it as a part of my meal prep for some weekends.

    How to Blanch Spinach Grinding the greens

    Tips to avoid the discoloration:

    1. Don’t add turmeric to these green gravies, that impact the dark green color.
    2. Avoid using tomatoes in these curry base. For sourness rather use curd.
    3. Excess use of milk or cream also lightens the green color of the gravy.

    How to Blanch Spinach

    Photo via Shutterstock.com

    Did you know that raw spinach contains oxalic acid, an organic substance that can interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients like calcium and iron? Oxalic acid binds with calcium, making it unavailable for use by our bodies. It also attaches to quite a few other vital nutrients, and long-term consumption of foods high in oxalic acid can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

    The good news is that oxalic acid is broken down upon heating, so there is no loss of nutrients in steamed or sautéed spinach. Should you avoid raw spinach in your green drinks and salads? Is cooked spinach always the superior choice? Both fresh and cooked spinach contain about the same amount of macronutrients in a 100-gram serving (roughly 3 1/3 cups raw or 1/2 cup cooked spinach).

    Both servings are about 23 calories, 3.8 g of carbohydrates, 3 g of protein, 0.3 g of fat, and a whopping 2.4 g of fiber, which is 10 percent of the daily value.

    Raw Spinach Benefits: There is no need to shun raw spinach simply because it contains oxalic acid. It is also rich in many essential nutrients, some of which are more available to our bodies when we consume them raw. These nutrients include folate, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, and potassium.

    Cooked Spinach Benefits: When you eat spinach that has been heated, you will absorb higher levels of vitamins A and E, protein, fiber, zinc, thiamin, calcium, and iron. Important carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, also become more absorbable.

    How to Blanch Spinach

    Photo via Shutterstock.com

    Iron 411: Both raw and cooked spinach are excellent sources of iron, containing twice as much as other leafy greens. A 100-gram serving of raw spinach contains 2.71 mg of iron, whereas cooked spinach contains 3.57 mg. Keep in mind that iron absorption is influenced by how much iron you already have in your body and by other nutrients that you eat with your meals. For instance, vitamin C facilitates iron absorption, while other substances like tannins and polyphenols inhibit iron absorption—so the amount of iron we absorb will vary regardless of whether or not spinach is cooked.

    How to Blanch Greens

    We have LOTS of spinach sitting under the high tunnel.

    This winter, Farmer Kurt has been growing spinach under two of our high tunnels. Yeah, that’s a LOT of spinach.

    It just keeps coming. Every week, Kurt goes out and harvests it. Sends it to the chefs. But we just can’t get rid of it fast enough. And it’s starting to get away from us.

    So when Kurt told me last week, “I need to make room in the high tunnel for a new crop of carrots. The spinach has got to go.” I panicked.

    Wait! How are we going to get rid of all that primo spinach? We can’t just let it go to waste.

    That’s when a lightbulb went off.

    “I know,” I said. “I’ll freeze it.”

    Did you know you can freeze greens like spinach? And did you know you can do it in 2 minutes?

    Why would you want to learn how to freeze greens?

    If you’re a member of our CSA membership program, you know there are times when you start to drown in an abundance of greens.

    Here’s a scene that plays out every year for some of our newbie customers: They open up their CSA box and among other things, they spot a big fluffy bunch of kale.

    “But I still have some from 2 weeks ago!” they say. “And I don’t even like kale!”

    (Trying to have a good attitude and spirit of adventure) “Well, I’ll just stuff it in the crisper. Maybe I’ll eat it next week.”

    CSA Newbies like this are often stumped for ideas for how to use unpopular greens we expose them to during the summer — things like collard greens, broccoli leaves or Swiss chard.

    Add to that the fact that greens can take up so much space in the fridge. Plus they tend to wilt quickly. So if you don’t do something with them early on in the week, you lose them to the compost pile.

    And there’s nothing we hate more than wasting food, right?

    Many people also don’t know that the tops of beets, radishes and turnips are all equally edible. But CSA rookies can feel overwhelmed by learning how to cook these strange items, so again, these often end up in the compost pile.

    This is when it helps to find out that you can freeze greens to use later.

    “But why would I want to freeze those greens if I don’t like them raw?” you ask.

    Well, I’m glad you asked because I used to think that too. (Not a fan of kale).

    What you may not know is that once greens are blanched, the “off-flavors” of many of these greens turn dynamic and almost sweet.

    For example, you won’t even taste the cabbage-flavor of the broccoli leaves after they’re blanched and thrown in a soup — but you’ll gain all their nutritional zest and health benefits.

    You have to trust me on this. Learning how to blanch and freeze greens is probably the second most important “vegetable exit strategy” to learn if you’re a CSA member.

    Greens are a big part of your CSA share. They can start to pile up if you’re not experienced in using them. Sometimes, it’s better to just freeze them, and then figure out how to use them later after you’ve got a few months of CSA under your belt.

    These turnips are heading to the greens washer. You can also eat the tops of turnips, radishes, and beets. Simply blanch and freeze.

    So how does this freezing greens thing work?

    To freeze spinach, you need to blanch it first.

    Blanching is a process that involves boiling something in water for a brief time, then dunking it in ice water to stop the cooking.

    You could just throw your greens raw right into the freezer (and I sometimes do with kale), but here’s what would happen long-term with your more delicate greens…

    Enzymes begin to break down the cell walls, the leaves turn mushy, the nutritional content decays, and the beautiful green color darkens into an unattractive brown.

    You could probably get away with this “throw it in a freezer bag raw and run” technique, if you plan to eat the frozen spinach within a week or so. But for long-term storage, blanching is the way to go. It’s the only way to protect the nutritional content, color and quality of your greens.

    Ingredients and Supplies for blanching:

    To make a cup of cooked greens, you’ll need about 12 cups of raw spinach. You’ll also need a big stock pot, a strainer, a dish towel, salt, and a bowl of ice water (with ice cubes).

    Remember this technique works for all greens, except maybe lettuce.

    Technique:

    1. First fill your stockpot half-way with water. Add a teaspoon of salt and bring it to a boil.

    The salt is important. It keeps too many of the minerals and vitamins from leaching out into the water. And we know that spinach is packed with iron and calcium — don’t lose that power-punch.

    2. Wash the spinach and take off the stems if they’re large.

    Since spinach is such a fragile green you don’t really need to do this. But if you were blanching something like kale or collards or chard, you would want to remove the large stem before you boil the leaves. (You can save those stems and chop them up to use for stews as well).

    3. Then throw them all at once into the pot of boiling water.

    Boil them until the leaves wilt and the color brightens. This takes about 30 seconds for spinach, longer for tougher greens. For tougher greens like kale and collard greens or broccoli leaves, you may need to blanch for 2-3 minutes.

    4. As soon as the greens wilt, drain the spinach and dunk them into the ice water.

    This will immediately stop the process of cooking. Let it chill for the same amount of time you cooked them for. Note: you can keep reusing the same cooking water if you want to make several batches.

    5. Remove the greens and squeeze out the excess water as best you can.

    You want to prevent the formation of ice crystals.

    6. Then place the greens into the desired portion sizes into a ziplock bag.

    Remove the air, label it with the date, and store in the freezer.

    Some of our CSA members suggest freezing it in ice cube trays for small portion sizes. You can also place them in small clumps on a jelly roll pan, cover them with plastic-wrap, and freeze them.

    Once they freeze, pop them into a Ziplock bag and they won’t stick together. Then you can pull out small, more manageable portions to add to your eggs or other dishes.

    Follow this technique, and you’ll soon begin amassing a collection of frozen greens that you can easily pop into your dishes later to save time… things like soups, side dishes, sautes, pastas, frittatas. Simply run them under some water to thaw them out, or microwave or throw them right into the dish you’re preparing.

    Silverbeet is similar to spinach and originated in the Mediterranean. It is very easy to grow, gives you continuous picking and it freezes well which will save your household money in the months to come. This easy guide shows how to freeze spinach and silverbeet, the method is the same for both.

    Equipment Needed

    • Large Saucepan
    • Large Bowl
    • Ice
    • Pasta Ladle or any ladle that will let water through. This quality non-scratch set with wooden handles from Amazon includes a pasta ladle with other useful kitchen tools. (Paid link)
    • Small Freezer Bags(Paid link)
    • Silverbeet or Spinach Leaves

    Instructions

    Time needed: 20 minutes.

    How to Freeze Spinach and Silverbeet

    Wash the leaves. If you have a lot of leaves, cover them in water in a basin to save water then agitate to dislodge any dirt.

    How to Blanch Spinach

    Place 10 to 12 leaves on your chopping board then cut across the leaves so they will be ready for use when you need them. Discard any thick white stems if you don’t like the taste. The stems tend to be more bitter than the leaves.

    How to Blanch Spinach

    Prepare Boiling Water and Ice Water

    Next put 2 inches (5cm) of water in the saucepan then bring to a boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil, fill a bowl with water then add a few ice cubes and set aside.

    Blanch First batch

    Add the first batch of leaves to the boiling water then cover and cook for 30 seconds.

    How to Blanch Spinach

    Place in Ice Water

    Take the leaves out with the ladle then put straight into the ice water which will stop the cooking process.

    How to Blanch Spinach

    Blanch Second Batch and Bag First batch

    Get the second batch of leaves ready then put in the boiling water.
    Take the first batch out of the ice water with your hands then squeeze out as much of the water as you can and put in a freezer bag.

    Prepare Ice Water for Second Batch

    Put more water and ice cubes in the bowl ready for the next batch which by this time would be ready to take out of the boiling water.

    Bag, Label then Freeze

    When you have finished, push the air out of the freezer bags then secure. Label with today’s date then freeze immediately.

    How to Blanch Spinach

    Storage Time

    It is best to freeze spinach and silverbeet no more than ten to twelve months. The longer it is in the freezer the greater the chance of freezer burn.

    Thaw frozen spinach and silverbeet in the fridge overnight. However, it can be sliced with kitchen scissors straight into your dish frozen or thawed in the microwave on defrost mode.

    Do you need a new cutting board? Try this top rated bamboo board from Amazon. (Paid link)

    To save or print this guide on how to freeze spinach and silverbeet, here is the PDF Version

    Do you love preserving food from your garden? Try this guide to Old Fashioned Tomato Relish, Canned Jalapenos, Drying Sage Freezing Peas, Bok Choy or Kale.

    For more information on canning, freezing and drying food try this guide to Food Preservation.

    Are you interested in growing your own food or saving money at home? Try this free Homesteading guide.

    How to Blanch Spinach

    Subscribe to our fortnightly mailing list to recieve our latest posts direct to your inbox & receive 50 ways to save money at home free.

    We will never sell your address to third parties or send you spam.

    More Articles

    Spinach is packed with beneficial nutrients, some of which of are enhanced by cooking while others are better retained in raw spinach. The best way to reap the many benefits of this healthy vegetable is to enjoy it both raw and cooked. However, boiling is not a healthy way to cook spinach because the nutrients leach into the water. Instead, preserve nutrients in spinach by steaming, sauteing or cooking it in the microwave oven.

    Beta-Carotene and Lutein

    Beta-carotene and lutein are carotenoids, antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals, which are molecules that, over time, can damage the cells and lead to illness. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, evidence indicates that adding carotenoids to the diet may bolster the immune system and help protect the body from illness such as cancer and heart disease 1. While beta-carotene and lutein are abundant in spinach and other colorful vegetables, cooking spinach heats the cell walls of the spinach, releasing beta-carotene and lutein and making them more available to the body.

    • Beta-carotene and lutein are carotenoids, antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals, which are molecules that, over time, can damage the cells and lead to illness.
    • While beta-carotene and lutein are abundant in spinach and other colorful vegetables, cooking spinach heats the cell walls of the spinach, releasing beta-carotene and lutein and making them more available to the body.

    Folate and Vitamin C

    How to Blanch Broccoli

    Vitamin C has a number of beneficial functions in the human body. It helps maintain healthy bones, tendons, muscles and blood vessels, and like beta-carotene and lutein, acts as an antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals. Folate, a type of vitamin B, helps maintain healthy skin and supports various functions, including the immune system and production of red blood cells. According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the high vitamin C and folate content of spinach begins to degrade when the spinach is exposed to heat and light, or when it is stored for long periods. To take advantage of vitamin C and folate, eat the spinach fresh, and as soon as possible.

    • Vitamin C has a number of beneficial functions in the human body.
    • Folate, a type of vitamin B, helps maintain healthy skin and supports various functions, including the immune system and production of red blood cells.

    Saute

    To saute spinach, cook it quickly in a frying pan with a small amount of heart-healthy olive oil or canola oil. Heat the oil first. Otherwise, the spinach will be greasy and soggy. Saute the spinach, stirring constantly, until the leaves are crisp-tender, which takes about two to three minutes.

    Fresh spinach is readily available all year and can easily be substituted in a lasagna recipe calling for frozen spinach. Because fresh, raw spinach contains a great quantity of water, it’s a good idea to cook and drain it before mixing into lasagna. Not only does fresh spinach cook down to less than half the starting volume, but all that excess water may not be absorbed by the pasta, resulting in lasagna that’s watery and ultimately unappetizing.

    How Much Fresh Spinach

    If using a recipe that calls for frozen spinach, substitute fresh spinach by using the following formula. Five ounces of frozen spinach is equal to 1 pound of raw spinach or 1 cup of cooked fresh spinach.

    Cooking Fresh Spinach

    There are several different methods for cooking fresh spinach before using it in a lasagna. Spinach cooks fast so whether it’s boiled, sauteed, stir-fried, wilted or steamed, the most important thing is not to overcook it. After removing the stems and rinsing the fresh spinach leaves in a colander, an easy method is to cook the rinsed leaves in a medium saucepan or skillet using the water still clinging to the leaves. Cook over medium heat with the lid on for three to five minutes.

    Draining Techniques

    However you cooked the spinach ,and regardless of whether you used frozen or fresh, drain it thoroughly before adding it to the lasagna recipe. Squeezing the water out by hand or press it down in a colander. Finish drying the spinach with a squeeze between several paper towels. For easy distribution chop the spinach coarsely after drying it.

    Exceptions

    There are a few instances when having some extra liquid in a lasagna might be preferable. For example, lasagna made with no-boil noodles tends to be drier, and extra water may help the pasta absorb the flavors of the other ingredients better. Also, when the sauce is very thick or chunky a little extra water from the spinach can help distribute the sauce more thoroughly. In either case, chop the fresh spinach and add it to the other ingredients uncooked. Alternatively, cook the spinach but don’t squeeze the water out before chopping it and adding it to the other ingredients.

    Published June 23, 2015

    Reviewed February 2020

    How to Blanch Spinach

    Freezing is a great way to preserve foods. But when it comes to freezing fresh produce, there is more involved than just putting foods directly into the freezer. One solution to this problem is to blanch vegetables before you freeze them. Blanching reduces enzyme action in food, which helps vegetables retain their color and flavor.

    Note: Blanching is great for many vegetables and some firm fruits, such as apples and pears. Other foods, such as meat, don’t need to be blanched before freezing.

    What is Blanching?

    Blanching is a process where food is exposed to boiling water or steam for a brief period and then quickly placed in ice water to prevent it from cooking all the way through.

    The amount of time needed to blanch different vegetables varies. And, it is important to follow the recommended times for specific vegetable because over-blanching leads to a loss of flavor, color and nutrients, whereas under-blanching can increase enzyme activity. Check the blanching chart below for the appropriate blanching times.

    Why Blanch?

    Here are a few reasons to blanch vegetables:

    • Blanching helps to preserve the flavor, color and texture of fresh produce that’s being frozen.
    • Blanching helps slow the loss of vitamins.
    • Blanching helps cleanse the surface of dirt and some bacteria.

    How To Blanch?

    There are two major steps involved in blanching foods. First, the vegetables must be submerged in boiling water. Second, they must be cooled quickly.

    For every pound of vegetables, use at least one gallon of water to blanch them in. Leafy green vegetables require twice as much water – so two gallons of water for every one pound of leafy green. Before blanching, wash vegetables and remove the peels or skins if desired. If you plan on freezing your vegetables sliced, chopped or cut, do this before blanching.

    When the water is boiling, just add the vegetables to the pot and cover tightly. The water should return to boiling within a minute of adding the vegetables. As soon as water returns to a boil, the blanching countdown begins. To help remove the vegetables quickly and easily when they’re ready, place the vegetables in a wire basket or secure them in cheesecloth before boiling them.

    Vegetables should be cooled quickly and thoroughly to stop the cooking process immediately after blanching. To do this, plunge the vegetables into a large bowl of cold water, 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Change the water frequently or use one pound of ice for each pound of vegetables to help keep the water cold. It should take about the same amount of time to cool vegetables as it did to blanch them. Drain vegetables in a colander after they’ve cooled and lay flat on a clean towel or paper towels to let them fully dry. Extra moisture can reduce quality when vegetables are frozen.

    Pack your blanched vegetables in food safe, plastic freezer bags or rigid containers before storing in the freezer. Allow some extra space in the container before sealing, as some items may expand when frozen.

    See blanching times for various vegetables from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.

    More Articles

    The barbecue is no longer the sole domain of meat — vegetables are routinely tossed on the grates and grilled as well. Grilling your vegetables is a convenient way to prepare a whole outdoor meal in the same place, and adds a hint of smokiness to the finished dish. While spinach isn’t a vegetable you might normally grill, this versatile leafy green cooks up easily and is high in many nutrients including calcium, potassium, vitamin A and iron.

    Preheat your grill to medium-high.

    How to Make Molasses With Sugar Beets

    Cut any large stems off 1 lb. of fresh spinach and run the leaves under cool water to remove loose dirt.

    Tear off a large section of aluminum foil, at least 18 inches square.

    How to Cook Cod Filets

    Set the foil down on a flat surface and rub it with vegetable oil or olive oil, using a paper towel or kitchen brush.

    Pile the spinach in the middle of the foil and sprinkle with 1 tsp 1. of salt.

    Fold the foil over the spinach one direction, then fold in the ends to create a package. Fold each side over a few times to make sure the package is completely sealed.

    Place the spinach on the grill and cook for 10 minutes, until all the leaves are wilted.

    Remove the foil package from the grill and open carefully to serve the spinach. Or, puree the cooked spinach in a food processor to make a sauce.

    Before grilling, add extra ingredients to the package for added flavor; try lemon juice, orange juice, garlic, or minced onion or ginger.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Melynda Sorrels

    How to Blanch Spinach

    Packed with iron, calcium and vitamin A, spinach is a leafy green that boasts both nutritional value and flavor. Enjoyable by itself or as an addition to practically any entrée it’s added to, spinach is both a spring and fall crop that thrives in the cooler weather. If you plan on freezing spinach until it comes time to use it, it will need to be cooked, or at least blanched, to help stop the enzyme activity which could cause it to go bad.

    Step 1

    Wash the spinach under cool running water to help rinse away dirt and debris.

    Step 2

    Tear off or cut away damaged leaves and woody stems with a knife.

    Step 3

    Place the spinach leaves into a pot of rapidly boiling water.

    Step 4

    Boil the leaves for two to three minutes before pouring the contents of the pot into a colander.

    Step 5

    Soak the spinach leaves in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and cool them off.

    Step 6

    Remove the spinach from the ice water after a few minutes and set them out on paper towels to allow them air dry.

    Step 7

    Place the spinach leaves into large freezer bags and seal them up tightly expelling excess air.

    Step 8

    Write the current date on the bag before placing it into the freezer.

    Things You’ll Need

    Spinach can be kept in the freezer for up to one year.