So one of the things I am frequently asked, is can you freeze spinach? Well yes, yes you can! And, you can do it without blanching too! I will show you how to freeze spinach leaves, and thankfully there isn’t too much involved in doing so. Spinach is one of the go to greens that I and so many others who drink green smoothies love to use, for a variety of reasons. Not only is it one of the most densely nutritious foods you can eat, but it also has a relatively neutral flavor unlike many other kinds of greens. This means its fantastic for using in smoothie recipes that might be consumed by children, teens, or adults who might be more then a bit wary of drinking anything green or “veggie” tasting.
However, as we all know, anything fresh, organic, and raw, is going to eventually go bad after awhile, and as I can certainly attest to, organic spinach is not cheap! Especially if you are like me and so many others who do not have access to local farmers markets who might sell organically grown greens. I also use spinach in my cooking as well of course, so I needed to figure out not only how to freeze fresh spinach, but also find other alternatives if fresh is not available or out of my price range.
Time is a premium in many families homes, so I wanted to keep this fairly simple and straightforward, so let’s get to it!
Step 1. Wash your fresh spinach by soaking it in a bowl of cool, and preferably filtered, water. I like to use a veggie wash if the spinach is not in a pre washed pre packaged form. I then gently swish around the spinach leaves for a bit, drain the water, and then thoroughly rinse them, particularly if you had to use veggie wash.
Step 2. Divide your spinach into two piles, one to be stored in the fridge for more immediate future use, and the rest for freezing which can be used for cooking and smoothies, you’ll want to use only fresh spinach for recipes that call for fresh greens. I like to pad my fresh spinach with paper towel before putting it in the fridge. Then divide the spinach leaves that you are going to freeze into individual serving sizes of your choosing, but you can always just fill each bag up till its full, which leaves less air in the bag.
Step 3. Once you have your spinach spinach properly separated, make sure you date everything so you know how long its been in storage when you actually go to use it. Then put your fresh spinach into the fridge for use for the next 5-7 days or so, and the frozen spinach baggies into the freezer for use with smoothies or any cooked or prepared meals that call for spinach.
Now I realize that not everyone has access to grocery stores that sell organic spinach. But I have found that both trader joes and whole foods sell organic chopped frozen spinach for very affordable prices, in my area its around $2.50 per 1 pound bag. I have started to move towards this because it tends to be cheaper then buying it fresh, and I have found that these end up “keeping” for a lot longer in the freezer. I know that some regional supermarket chains also carry there own brand of frozen organic spinach as well, so be on the look out!