If you are growing more spinach than you manage to eat, there’s a great way to preserve them for the colder season! Read on to find out how to freeze spinach and use them frozen months later.
How and What to Use Frozen Spinach For?
Spinach can be used directly out of the freezer or thawed first and then added to recipes, depending on what you’re making.
Add Frozen Spinach to soups, stews, curries and dahls. You can also add frozen spinach when making ragus or bolognese or various tomato sauces for pasta for an extra portion of vegetables. What is more, frozen spinach is perfect to add to smoothies for extra nutrition.
Thaw spinach first and squeeze out any extra moisture before adding the spinach to risottos (adding frozen spinach will make the risotto less creamy). You will also need to do that if you’re mixing the spinach with something else, like cream cheese when making a Spanakopita or vegetarian lasagne. Squeezing out the moisture from the thawed spinach is crucial not to make the filling too watery, especially when the filling is wrapped in pastry – otherwise, you will most likely get a soggy bottom.
Here are some of our favourite recipes that frozen spinach can be used instead of fresh.
- West-African Peanut Stew with Butternut Squash & Spinach – add the spinach when butternut squash is cooked and stir until the spinach thaws and breaks apart.
- Traditional Spanakopita | Spinach & Feta Spiral – thaw the spinach and squeeze out any extra moisture instead of blanching the spinach.
- Spinach and Mushroom Risotto with Pecan & Garlic Drizzle – thaw the spinach and squeeze out any extra moisture instead of blanching the spinach.
How to Preserve Spinach for Winter?
Harvest your spinach just before you are ready to freeze it to ensure they are as fresh as possible. Wash spinach thoroughly and make sure to discard any wilted and brown leaves.
*** If you’re planning to use spinach in recipes that need the spinach that’s chopped, chop your spinach now to save you the wet mess later, if you wish***
Fill a large bowl with cold water. Add a bunch of ice cubes to the water and set aside. You need your water to be ice cold. Alternatively, pop a bowl of water in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Boil a kettle. You will need about 3-4 l of water for every 200g of fresh spinach, so you may need to boil it a couple of times if your kettle is on the small side.
Add washed spinach to a large colander and place it in a sink. Pour the boiling water over the spinach slowly, making sure to get all the spinach to wilt. Use more boiling water if needed. Leave the wilted spinach for 2 minutes to soften further.
Using tongs or another kitchen tool to prevent burning your hands, place the wilted spinach into the bowl with ice water and chill for 3 minutes. Then drain. Using your hands form small balls of spinach squeezing any extra moisture out.
Lay the balls of spinach on a chopping board, a baking tray or a plate in a single layer and pop them in a freezer for 2-3 hours. Once frozen, transfer to freezer-friendly ziplock bags. Use within 4-5 months.
How To Freeze Spinach for the Winter?
- Large Bowl
- Large Colander
- Freezer Friendly Ziplock Bag
- 200 g spinach
- a handful of ice cubes
- boiling water
- Wash spinach, making sure you discard any wilted and brown leaves.
- Fill a large bowl with cold water. Add a bunch of ice cubes to the water and set aside. You need your water to be ice cold.
- Boil a kettle (about 3-4 l of water, so you may need to boil it a couple of times).
- Add spinach to a large colander and place in a sink. Pour the boiling water over the spinach slowly, making sure to get all the spinach to wilt. Use more boiling water if needed. Leave the wilted spinach for 2 minutes.
- Using tongs, place the wilted spinach into the bowl with ice water and chill for 3 minutes.
- Drain the spinach. Using your hands form small balls of spinach squeezing any extra moisture out.
- Lay the balls out on a chopping board or a baking tray in a single layer and pop them in a freezer for 2-3 hours. Once frozen, transfer to freezer-freindly ziplock bags.
- Use within 4-5 months.