Can you freeze fresh spinach? – A popular question is often asked by health-conscious people. They are curious to know whether they can freeze up the fresh spinach leaves for smoothies or without blanching or in a bag or not. Well, for giving proper answers to all those questions, we have written this article explaining all aspects of freezing spinach for you.
The garden lovers cultivate spinach greens in the garden having some healthy drinks and soup or eat cooked spinach for good health. But, spinach grows so fast and on large scales that we can’t eat all the spinach greens out in short periods. That’s why we have to think about some preserving methods of spinach and freezing is the best method by far.
Can you freeze fresh spinach leaves?
The short answer is ‘yes’- you can freeze fresh spinach leaves at any time. But you have to follow the proper preserving process in the refrigerator to store the spinach for more extended periods.
You can follow the storing process of spinach in the freeze, which is mentioned below:
1. Harvest fresh and young spinach leaves:
If you nurture spinach in your garden, make sure to harvest young and fresh leaves for preserve in the fridge for longer periods. Don’t take old or damage spinach leaves for preserving purposes. If you don’t have any spinach greens in the garden, you can still buy fresh and young spinach from local farmers who allow you to purchase from the garden. Besides, you can buy from some local vendors who sell fresh and young spinach. Otherwise, avoid buying unfresh or old leaves for storing in the freeze.
2. Wash the spinach leaves properly:
Spinach leaves are greens and naturally tend to attract insects. Or, some dirt could stick to the leaves. To purify properly, Make sure to soak them in a large bowl with cold water for a while. After soaking sometime, wash the leaves by hand appropriately. In the meantime, throw out the stone, damaged leaves, or insects if see in the leaves. At last, rinse the leaves in the running water for up to 45-60 seconds for more purification.
3. Blanch the leaves well:
To blanch the spinach leaves well, you need to boil some water on the stove. Toss the spinach leaves when the water steams. Make sure to boil them in a large vessel or pot for 2-3 minutes to give some fresh textures. Then, stop the stove and remove the leaves from the boiling jar. Throw some cold water on boiled spinaches to reduce the intensity of warmness. You can use a colander or strainer to remove extra moisture as soon as possible.
4. Pack the blanched leaves:
Before packing the blanched leaves, make sure to have the freezer-safe plastic bag at your disposal as normal plastic bags tend to wet soon and are not airtight. Fill the freezer-safe bag with blanched spinach leaves and squeeze or level them tightly so that no water or air can enter into the bag. It had better not to use freezer containers only to preserve spinach.
5. Freeze them:
Now, your spinach leaves are to store in the freezer for longer periods. You can freeze them in the darker side of the refrigerator.
Can you freeze fresh spinach without blanching?
you can still freeze the fresh spinach without blanching. Make sure to clean out any insects, damaged leaves, or dirt in the spinach. Wash them properly. You have to dry them thoroughly before packing. You can use a paper towel in this case. After thorough drying, use freezer-safe plastic bags to preserve them. Make sure to squeeze out the air from the bags and seal the bags open tightly. Now, you can freeze them in the refrigerator for longer periods. You can eat unblanched freezer spinach raw, making soup, and cook them.
Can you freeze fresh spinach for smoothies?
Yes, you can freeze fresh spinach for smoothies. And can use both blanched and unblanched freezer spinach for smoothies. But, blanched freeze spinach greens are preferable for thicker smoothies. You can preserve the spinach as a puree. For making puree, blend the spinach with water. Turn the mold purees into the ice cube and add the frozen spinach ice cube to the smoothies. Even you can make juice or smoothies from spinach, freeze them in the refrigerator and drink them after longer periods.
How long can you freeze fresh spinach?
How long you can freeze fresh spinach depends on the preservation methods of fresh spinach. It is proven that blanched frozen spinach has longer shelf life than unblanched frozen spinach. You can freeze blanched spinach for up to 9-14 months smoothly. On the flip side, unblanched spinach can be frozen up at least 3 months and at most 6 months and more extended periods are not recommended.
Does freezing spinach lose nutrients?
If you eat raw spinach greens, cook them or drink spinach juice immediately after harvest, you will get full health benefits from them. In 2007, a researcher name Davis from the University of California proved that if you leave out spinach at normal room temperature for about four days, it will lose its 100% ascorbic acid (knowns as vitamin C). On the other hand, if you freeze the spinach immediately after harvesting, it will preserve full vitamin C for longer periods. However, vitamin A will remain the same whether you eat fresh or you freeze the spinach. But, if you want to get a natural taste or flavor, it is wise to have the spinach fresh instead of frozen. Some experts suggest that it had beet take frozen spinach than eat fresh as they believe that frozen spinach retains more nutrients like folate and vitamins inside than fresh spinach.
We can assure you that you can freeze the spinach greens whether they are blanched or without blanching. And, you can add thaw frozen spinach with smoothies, eat them raw or use them in cooked recipes without losing their natural nutrients for more extended periods.
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