How to Freeze Spinach?

Glasses of spinach smoothies
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Spinach is an excellent addition to meals and smoothies, as it is rich in antioxidants and nutrients our body needs. What’s more, it is a great addition to any smoothie recipe.

Just like other veggies out there, spinach doesn’t have a very long shelf. So, you have to go above and beyond to preserve it.

One of the most effective ways to preserve spinach is by freezing it. Frozen spinach can last up to 12 months.

Freezing spinach isn’t as difficult as you probably think. All you need is water, ice, freezer bags, and most importantly, fresh spinach.

After reading this article, you will be able to make frozen cubes of spinach any time you want.

Can You Freeze Spinach?

If spinach is one of the main ingredients in your soup and smoothie recipe, you are surely going to wonder whether you can freeze it. People with a garden that produces more fresh spinach leaves than they can handle will surely think the same thing.

The good news is that you can freeze spinach for a long time. That being said, you need to keep in mind that there is an art to freezing spinach. Unlike food that you simply have to put in your freezer to preserve it, spinach leaves need to be processed before they can be frozen.

Read on to learn how to blanch spinach leaves and transform pureed spinach into frozen spinach cubes.

Note that you don’t need any fancy equipment to freeze spinach. You only need freezer bags, ice cube trays, and a good freezer.

Do You Need to Blanch Your Spinach?

Several websites on the internet say that you don’t need to blanch your spinach to preserve it and that you only need to stuff your spinach leaves in freezer bags to keep it fresh.

It will be in your best interest to ignore the information on those sites, especially if you want your spinach to look and taste great for months.

Blanching before freezing spinach can help preserve its texture, taste, and color for a long time. Veggies that don’t undergo the blanching process before they are frozen are slowly but surely going to age.

When you blanch or put your vegetables in boiling water, some of the enzymes that encourage aging in the vegetables are destroyed. With the absence of these enzymes, your vegetables will last longer.

Keep in mind that these enzymes can survive in low temperatures. So, even frozen spinach is not safe from them.

If you have several bags of spinach and you plan to consume them within a week or two, you may be able to get away with freezing spinach without blanching it first. However, if you plan on keeping it for a month or more, you should consider blanching it.

What we are saying, in a nutshell, is that (frozen) blanch spinach leaves will last longer than un-blanched frozen spinach.

A girl sipping a frozen spinach smoothie

3 Ways to Freeze Spinach

Below are 3 effective ways to freeze spinach for smoothies, food, frozen drinks, and soup.

Bagging

This method is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is wash the spinach, remove its stems, store it in plastic bags or a container that can withstand freezing temperatures. Feel free to add the ingredients that make up your food or smoothie recipes to the bag.

When you are ready to use the frozen spinach, take it out of your freezer and allow it to defrost.

Puree method

If you have a regular blender or the best blenders for vegans, you should try this method.

All you need to do is blend your fresh spinach and pour it into your ice cube trays. Freezing spinach this way will make it easier for you to use them for your smoothies, soup, or preferred food.  

Chopping and freezing method

All you need to do here is to wash the spinach and put it in a salad spinner. Next, chop the spinach to your desired size and freeze it.

Be sure to consider what you are going to be using it for before freezing spinach this way.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to blanch your spinach before using any of the above methods to freeze it.

Can I freeze kale without blanching?

Yes, you can. Here is how to do it.

  • Wash the kale leaves with water to get rid of dirt.
  • Remove the stems from the leaves.
  • Dry the kale with a towel (allow to air dry if you have time)
  • Group the kale into small portions and put them in a freezer bag
  • Take the bag to the freezer.

Do you wash kale before freezing?

If your kale isn’t pre-washed, you should follow the steps below to remove dirt and debris before freezing it.

  • Run the kale over running water to remove large chunks of dirt on the leaves
  • Remove the stems
  • Submerge the kale into a bowl of water and allow it to soak for 5 to 10 minutes  
  • Drain the water and rinse the kale under running water
  • Dry the kale with a towel (use a salad spinner or allow to air dry)

Does Kale lose nutrients when frozen?

Everyvegetable loses nutrients when frozen, and kale is no exception. However, if you blanched the kale before freezing, you shouldn’t be worried, as the nutrient loss will be minimal. Unblanched kale will deteriorate quicker as it is loaded with enzymes that destroy vitamins and cause loss of texture, color, and flavor.  

How do you defrost frozen kale?

There are two ways to defrost frozen kale. The first is by putting the frozen kale in a bowl filled with water or an empty bowl for a few hours. The second way is by warming it in the microwave or over a low heat oven.

How to freeze spinach

There is a lot of information on the internet on freezing spinach for a smoothie recipe, but not all are effective. Here are some tried and tested steps to blanch and freeze spinach for smoothies and meals.

How to freeze spinach for smoothies

There is a lot of information on the internet on freezing spinach for a smoothie recipe, but not all are effective. Here are some tried and tested steps to blanch and freeze spinach for smoothies and meals.

Ingredients:

  • Large pot
  • Ice
  • Water
  • Fresh spinach
  • Freezer bag or Ice cube Tray
  • Blender

Instructions:

How to blanch spinach

  1. Wash your fresh spinach leaves
  2. Pour water into a large bowl and boil
  3. Remove spinach stems and yellowed leaves
  4. Put the spinach in the boiling water
  5. Allow boiling for two minutes
  6. Fill another bowl with water and add ice to it
  7. Transfer the spinach to ice-cold water and let it cool for 2 minutes
  8. Pour the water away and dry it with a towel (allow it to air dry if you have time)
  9. Chop the spinach into sizable chunks and put it in freezer bags.
  10. Label the bags and freeze.

How to freeze spinach for smoothies

  1. Wash the spinach thoroughly with ice water
  2. Puree with a powerful blender
  3. Pour into an ice cube tray
  4. Put the ice cube tray in a freezer
  5. Add a few cubes to your frozen smoothie recipes

How to freeze spinach to cook later

  1. Prepare a bowl of clean water (add a spoon of vinegar if spinach is really dirty)
  2. Add spinach and wash
  3. Remove the stems
  4. Chop to your desired size
  5. Segment the spinach into batches
  6. Put each batch in a freezer bag and label
  7. Put the bags in a freezer.

Pro Tips

  • Only use fresh spinach
  • Use a powerful blender to get a smooth puree
  • Make sure you label the freezer bag
  • Be sure to use airtight plastic bags to prevent freezer burn
  • Use your blanched frozen spinach between 2 to 6 months
  • Don’t thaw the spinach before adding it to soup, frozen smoothies, and sauces
  • Thawed spinach doesn’t last very long. Add them to smoothie recipes and soup recipes as soon as you can.
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