Spinach is a versatile vegetable that most of us have in our fridge. It often comes in a big pack for a low price. Unless you can finish this leafy green in a week before past its prime, you might need a way to make it last longer.
So, can you freeze fresh spinach for future use?
Whether you need to empty some space in the fridge or preserve your harvest for winter use, spinach is a perfect candidate for freezing! It takes a few minutes of your time, and you’ll have it ready to use anytime you need it!
If you want to learn the right way to freeze spinach, you are in the right place! Keep reading, and you’ll find great workable tips below!
The Easy Way To Freeze Fresh Spinach
Spinach is an excellent addition to many recipes. Just like most leafy vegetables, a week is all you got to use up this iron-rich vegetable before it goes bad.
Freezing is the best way to preserve this leafy green for winter use and beyond that. More importantly, it is ready to use once you pull it out from the freezer. Toss it to your morning smoothies, rice dishes, or other favorite recipes.
Freezing spinach is not rocket science. It is easy and only takes a few easy steps, similar to freezing other greens, such as kale and collard green. Blanching is necessary to retain its vibrant color, texture, and flavor.
Follow our instructions below on how to freeze fresh spinach properly.
- 1. Select fresh and young spinach with bright green leaves. Avoid using old leaves that look wilted, yellowish, or limp.
- 2. Trim off the tough stems.
- 3. Wash thoroughly under running water.
- Repeat this step if the leaves are very dirty.
- 4. In a large pot, bring water to a rolling boil and blanch the leaves for 2 minutes. Consider using a timer to make sure that you don’t under- or overcook them.
- 5. After the blanching time passes, quickly plunge blanched leaves in ice water and let them cool down promptly.
- 6. Drain them off in a colander.
- Package in a zip lock bag or freezer-safe container. If using a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible using a straw or use a vacuum sealer if you have one.
- 7. Seal the package tightly, label it with the freezing date, and it’s ready to go in the freezer.
If you only need a small amount for every serving and smoothie, consider freezing spinach in ice cube trays. Flash freeze until they are solid and pack in a freezer bag.
Can you freeze spinach without blanching it?
Technically, you can freeze it (and other greens, too) without blanching or cooking. However, blanching stops enzyme activities that otherwise destroy the flavor, color, and texture of fresh produce.
Although it is not ideal, you can try freezing unblanched spinach for short-term freezing and see for yourself if you are satisfied with the final product.
How To Defrost and Use Frozen Spinach
Having a freezer stocked up with frozen spinach allows you to whip up quick meals even on your busiest day.
To defrost it, you can easily place it in the refrigerator or on the counter while preparing other ingredients. After thawing, it will be soft and watery. Don’t forget to squeeze the excess water before use.
You can also use it frozen without having to thaw it for making smoothies, soups, or stews. It needs only a few minutes on high heat to cook it up.
Other than in fresh salads, the frozen version works perfectly well in many other cooked dishes.
Here are some of our favorite recipes using frozen spinach:
- Bake into the delicious casserole, quiche, and pie
- Make into spinach dip
- Creamy pasta and cannelloni
- Add into rice dishes and vegetable stir-fries
- Add into a quick frittata
- Throw into soup and stews
- Use as a substitute for other leafy greens, such as kale or mustard green
How Long Does Spinach Last in the Freezer?
Spinach freezes surprisingly well for up to 10 to 12 months if prepared accordingly. It keeps safe indefinitely as long as continuously frozen at 0 °F (−18 °C) or lower. However, prolonged freezing might increase the chance of picking up freezer burn. So, it’s best to use it while still in its prime.
No. Freezing fresh vegetables can extend shelf life as well as preserves their nutrient contents. In other words, frozen spinach is as nutritious as fresh one.
It’s not difficult to tell if spinach has gone bad. You will notice it when the leaves begin to discolor, wilt, eventually get slimy and take on unpleasant smells. At this point, it is best to compost them rather than cooking them for your meals.
When properly prepared and constantly frozen at 0 °F (−18 °C), spinach remains safe to use indefinitely. However, the texture and taste degrade over time, particularly when freezer burn has begun to take over.
Although the chance is very slim, frozen vegetables (including spinach) might be contaminated by harmful bacteria during processing. In case you have store-bought frozen spinach that was recalled, it is best to destroy it and follow the government’s instructions accordingly.
Spinach is a staple to have in the kitchen. While refrigeration only keeps it fresh for a week, freezing improves its shelf life up to a year.
Don’t forget to blanch it for long-term freezing, so it retains its flavor and color better. Freezing spinach is easy and quick—it’s another kitchen hack you should give a try!
*image by HandmadePicture/depositphotos