How to Freeze Spinach
Freeze fresh spinach leaves—homegrown or store-bought—to create your own dark leafy green to flavor hot dishes and smoothies.
Can you freeze spinach? You definitely can, and the result serves fabulous flavor when you start with freshly picked leaves. You won’t be able to serve the thawed product in fresh salads, but frozen spinach is versatile in the kitchen. Learn how to freeze spinach, along with easy ways to use the final product.
Start with homegrown or locally raised spinach for the freshest flavor. Check with vendors who sell spinach at your local farmers’ markets. Sometimes you can arrange to buy a large quantity. You might even want to take a trip to the farm. It’s always good to see where your food comes from—especially if you have children to bring along.
The flavor of fresh frozen spinach is leagues above most offerings in the frozen section of your favorite supermarket. Spinach leaves should be young and fresh. Avoid older, tough, limp, or yellowing leaves. They’ll produce a nasty taste and rubbery texture that no one will want to eat. On average, two pounds of spinach leaves yield one quart frozen.
Fresh Broccoli Beats Store-Bought Every Time
Want to enjoy fresh-from-the-garden broccoli all year long? It's a snap to freeze this fiber-rich veggie to use in stir fries, soup and more. Learn the process for how to freeze broccoli in this article by Julie A. Martens.
Overwhelmed with Cucumbers?
Cucumber vines can be prolific producers of the treasured summertime veggie. Don't think it's possible to freeze cucumbers? Well, the secret lies in the preparation. Learn how to freeze cucumbers for summer-fresh fare in any season.
Never Have Too Many Cherry Tomatoes
While frozen cherry tomatoes are no longer fit to be used in tossed salads, you can blend them with herbs or use in soups and stew. In this article, Julie A. Martens offers several great uses for frozen cherry tomatoes and describes the best way to preserve them.
Freeze Spinach for Soups and More
While you won't want to serve frozen spinach in fresh salads, the leaves will work nicely in soup, casseroles and stir fries. You'll just want to freeze young leaves. Avoid the older or yellowing leaves as they'll produce a nasty taste and rubbery texture. Ever tried making frozen spinach cubes? Get more tips on how to freeze spinach in this article on how to freeze spinach.
Can You Freeze Kale?
Yes, you can freeze kale. Frozen kale works well in smoothies and blends well into quiches, crock pot stews and soups. Find more uses for frozen kale and how to best preserve this nutrient-packed green.
Put Your Onions in the Deep Freeze
Too many onions to eat right away? Not a problem. They freeze easily, and can be used in a variety of ways. Learn how to prep onions for safe storage in the deep freeze, how to keep the onion odor low and when to use frozen onions in your dishes.
Freeze Asparagus for Great Flavor
While frozen asparagus spears won't be as crisp as garden-fresh stems, they can still be used in many dishes. Here are the steps to preserving this nutrient-dense vegetable and some ideas on how to use frozen asparagus to add flavor to your meals.
Can You Freeze Garlic Cloves?
You definitely can freeze garlic. In fact, you can freeze garlic in many ways. While frozen garlic lacks the crunchy texture of fresh, the flavor remains strong—and definitely won't have the chemical taste that sometimes accompanies jarred garlic. Learn several ways to freeze garlic and how to use it to add flavor to food.
How Do You Freeze Eggplant?
Eggplant doesn't keep very long, and you won't be able to can it without pulverizing it beyond recognition. So, how do you preserve your delicious eggplant? Forget your canner and learn how to freeze eggplant. Here are several freezing methods you can try.
Enjoy a Summertime Favorite All Year
Learn how to freeze corn and you'll be able to enjoy this summertime treat all year—even with your holiday turkey. Freezing corn is simple, and it's a great way to introduce kids to food preservation. Learn the steps to freezing corn in this article by Julie A. Martens.
How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts bring more than taste to the table. This cabbage cousin boasts vitamins and is high in protein, so you'll want to make your locally-grown Brussels sprouts last. Learn the two ways to freeze Brussels sprouts and ways to include this frozen super veggie on your table.
Steps to Freezing Cabbage
Want to enjoy the nutrition offered by cabbage all year? This unsung hero of the vegatable garden adapts well to the freezing process. Start with dense, solid heads that feel weighty for their size. Learn more about the steps to freezing cabbage in this article from Julie A. Martens.
Freeze Celery for Soups
Celery is mostly water, and the freezing process ruptures cell walls, resulting in a limp, mushy product. But frozen celery works fabulously in casseroles, sauces, stock, and other hot concoctions. You can also use it as an aromatic with soups, broths for cooking rice, or roasts, tossing after cooking. Learn the steps to freezing celery in this article.
Overstocked on Mushrooms?
Mushrooms might last about a week in the refrigerator, which might not be enough time to enjoy the bounty you may have grown or foraged. Consider freezing mushrooms. Learn which method of freezing mushrooms works best, and get some ideas for how to use them in recipes.
Start the freezing process by washing spinach leaves. Triple rinsing them—dunking leaves into three separate batches of fresh water—usually removes all traces of dirt. After leaves are clean, remove stems as desired. Tear larger leaves into silver dollar-size pieces (roughly 1 to 2 inches across).
Blanch spinach leaves in boiling water or steam for two minutes, followed by soaking in ice water for the same amount of time. If you blanch leaves in boiling water, you’ll notice the water turns green. This is some of the nutrients leaching out of leaves. You can save this water and freeze it for stock or cooking grains, like rice or quinoa.
To keep as much nutrition in leaves as possible, steam blanch spinach leaves by placing them in a steamer basket that keeps leaves above the boiling water. Steam for two minutes. You don’t lose that many nutrients or minerals by blanching spinach in boiling water. Which method you use is really a matter of choice and convenience.
After removing spinach from ice water, spin it dry in a salad spinner or blot it on a thick towel. Stuff leaves into freezer bags, placing one to two cups of leaves per bag, depending on your desired portion size. Freezer burn occurs when frozen items are exposed to air, and spinach doesn’t taste well if it gets freezer burn. Try using a straw to suck out excess air around leaves before sealing bags. Place sealed bags in the freezer. Vacuum sealing systems work really well with spinach leaves.
Use frozen spinach within nine to 14 months for best quality. Add frozen spinach to soup or stock, casseroles, and stir fries. Frozen spinach also works well in dips, quiche, and pasta dishes. It brings flavorful nutrition to homemade egg rolls, meatballs, and marinara sauce.
If you know you’ll use your frozen spinach within six months, you can freeze it without blanching. This method yields more of a slimy product upon thawing. This frozen spinach works well in cooked dishes, but if you plan to use it as a stand-alone side dish, try a small batch before freezing a large portion without blanching.
Another way to freeze spinach is to puree it with water and freeze in ice cube trays. After cubes freeze solid, toss them in a freezer bag. Spinach cubes are the perfect addition to green smoothies. Or try tossing spinach cubes into sauces or stews. They also work well when cooking rice, quinoa, or barley.
- How to Freeze Green Beans
- How to Freeze Corn
- Freezing Zucchini: A Great Way to Chill Out
- How to Freeze Broccoli
- How to Freeze Okra
- Can You Freeze Mushrooms?
- Freezing Eggplant
- Can You Freeze Celery?
- Freezing Onions
- Freezing Cabbage