Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How to freeze Spinach

How to freeze Spinach

Say the word spinach and some people will cringe while others mouths will start to water. Whether you like spinach or not, it is a great provider of iron, calcium, lutein, chlorophyll, magnesium and vitamins A, C, E, and K. Spinach is eaten raw, boiled, stir fried and steamed. You can find spinach in soups, casseroles, salads and egg dishes.

Spinach is easy to grow and that leads us to how to freeze spinach. When picking spinach for freezing, pick the young tender leaves. You must wash the spinach. Use a colander and make sure that you get all of the sand, dirt and grit washed out. The 3 methods are very similar and all are equally easy.

How to freeze raw spinach.
Wash spinach. Trim off any bad spots on the leaves and trim the stems. Put into a colander and let the spinach drain very well. Use paper towels to help absorb even more water. Put into freezer bags or freezer containers and mark the date. When you freeze spinach with this method, be prepared for the spinach to not hold its shape when it thaws. It's great to put into soups and things like egg dishes though. The flavor is still there.

How to freeze spinach using steam.
Wash and trim the spinach. Get the utensils you use for steaming and let the spinach steam for 1 minute not to exceed 2 minutes. I use this method a lot and like it. When the spinach is steamed, I cool it and drain it in a colander. I dab it with paper towels and get as much liquid off of it as possible. I use freezer bags and date it. For me, steaming the spinach before freezing it helps to hold onto the nutrients. It also allows me to do small bunches at a time. (DO NOT over load the steamer with too much spinach.) When I use this method, I use the spinach in dishes such casseroles, but I also fix the spinach straight out of the bag, steamed and eaten alone. We like to add olive oil and a pinch of vinegar.

How to freeze spinach using boiling.
Wash and trim the spinach. If you are going to use the boiling method, you need to use a basket. Put the spinach in the basket, bring the water to boiling, CAREFULLY lower the basket in the boiling water. Do not exceed 1 ½ minutes. Gently and carefully lift the basket out of the boiling water. Cool the spinach and again, dab it with paper towels to remove excess liquid. I have used this method too. I prefer steaming to boiling. I think there are more nutrients left in the steam method and I don't have to worry about getting splashed with the boiling water as much. But I did it this way for years with great success. After you have removed the liquid, put the spinach in freezer bags or in freezer containers.

1 comment:

Janelle Anderson said...

This is perfect, I have a bunch of extra spinach I need to do something with. I love it steamed too! Great posts...you've been busy!