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 eating 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 and baby 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.
how to freeze spinach?
You can follow the freezing process of spinach, which is mentioned below:
1. Harvest fresh and young spinach leaves:
If you nurture spinach in your garden, make sure to harvest baby and fresh leaves for preserve in the fridge for longer periods. Don’t take old or damaged 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 some time, wash the leaves by hand appropriately. In the meantime, throw out the stone, damaged leaves, or insects if seen 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.
Read also: Can you freeze tomato (whole, raw, juice, sauce, and salsa)?
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 tightly. Now, you can freeze them in the refrigerator for longer periods. You can eat unblanched freezer spinach raw, make 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.
how to freeze fresh spinach for 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
-Transfer ice cubes in a freezer-safe bag and send the bag to the freezer, and preserve for more extended periods.
-When needed, add the frozen spinach ice cube to the smoothies.
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.
Can you freeze spinach soup?
Yes, you can freeze spinach soup to consume later. But, having fresh soup is healthier than frozen soup. To preserve spinach soup, you can use a glass jar made of tempered glass. If you use plastic containers, make sure to use BPA-free plastic jar. The best way is to store soup in a freezer-safe bag. Pour the bag with soup, label the bag with name and date, and send the bag to the freezer and preserve for up to 3-6 months. When you take out the spinach soup from the freezer, thaw them first and warm it on the stove and then, enjoy the real taste of spinach soup!
How to thaw frozen spinach?
You can thaw frozen spinach in many ways. We are discussing below the best ways of defrosting the spinach. Choose your best ways preferably-
Directly add with the dish while cooking:
If you are in a hurry, you can toss the frozen spinach cubes in your cooking pan to thaw them quickly. After a few minutes, the frozen spinach is mixed with your dish. It is probably the easiest way to defrost the frozen spinach if you want to use spinach for cooking purposes. You cannot use this method for other purposes except cooking.
Defrosting in a microwave oven:
Some microwave oven has defrosting option. So, you can defrost frozen spinach easily within 1-2 minutes. If there has no defrosted option in your microwave oven, you can still thaw the frozen spinaches heating them at a very low temperature. Otherwise, your spinach may burn soon and would be inappropriate to use.
Transfer the frozen spinach cubes from freezer to refrigerator:
If you want to thaw your frozen spinach slowly, you can transfer the frozen spinach cubes from the freezer to the refrigerator. Make sure you put the cubes in a strainer so that extra melted water can drain easily to avoid being wet and soft.
Thawing in room temperature:
You can even thaw your frozen spinach at normal room temperature. It could be the best and popular way of thawing spinach. Put your spinaches in a colander and place them in your sink for defrosting for up to 6-8 hours. But, defrosting durations fully depends on your room temperature how cool or warm your room temperature is? Once you thaw the blocks of frozen spinach, use a towel to remove extra melted ice water.
Thawing using warm water:
It is one of the quickest ways to thaw the spinach. If you are in a rush, you can undertake this method. Just boil water at a low temperature making sure not too much hot but warm. Put the ice cubes in a colander and flow the warm water onto the frozen spinach bars with low pressure and turn the cubes after a while to thaw thoroughly. Take time to drain the excess water or you can use a towel to remove extra ice water if you are in a hurry.
Can you juice frozen spinach?
Yes, you can juice frozen spinach. Still, you will get a good amount of nutrition if you juice frozen spinach. You may lose 5% to 10% more nutrients than fresh spinach. You can juice frozen spinach in the off-season at a low cost. But, how to juice frozen spinach?
-Thaw the frozen spinach cubes fully in the sink. Use a strainer to defrost the bars so that melted ice water drains properly.
– If you thaw the bars in a bowl, make sure you strain out ice water before juicing. You can use a cheesecloth to remove excess water.
-After fully defrosting, juice the thawed spinach in a slow cold press juicer. Enjoy your spinach juice!
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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