Freezing spinach is quick and easy. In this post, I’ll walk you through everything step by step (with or without blanching), so you can enjoy the fresh flavor all year long.
If you have an overabundance of spinach in your garden, or if you just like to keep it on hand for healthy meals, freezing it is a great option.
It’s easy to do, and you can use it in all kinds of dishes. It is great in things like soups, dips, casseroles, and smoothies.
Below I’ll show you how to freeze spinach with a few easy steps so you’ll always have it on hand whenever you need it.
Preparing Spinach For Freezing
Whichever method you choose to freeze your spinach, it all starts with a good water rinse.
You do not need to chop the leaves or remove the stems. However, if you know you will want smaller pieces in your recipes, it’s okay to chop it first.
Optionally you could puree it for use in smoothies and dips. Simply put it into a blender, and add just enough water to make it nice and smooth.
Related Post: How To Grow Spinach At Home
Can You Freeze Spinach Without Blanching?
The great news about freezing spinach is that blanching is not required. But you may want to blanch it for two main reasons:
- To kill any bacteria
- To lower the risk of freezer burn
How To Blanch Spinach To Freeze
After you have washed the leaves, put them into a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
Remove it with a scoop or large tongs, and let it drain a bit before transferring it into a bowl of ice water for 2 minutes to stop the cooking process.
Can You Freeze Cooked Spinach?
Yes, you can freeze cooked spinach. I like to saute it first to make it super easy to use in future recipes. You can even add seasoning, onion, or garlic for an extra-yummy addition.
Simply heat a small amount of oil in a pan, and saute the leaves just until they start to wilt and reduce in size. Remove from heat and cool completely before freezing.
Related Post: How To Grow Spinach From Seed & When To Plant
Methods For Freezing Spinach
There are a few methods to choose from. You can either freeze spinach raw, or blanch use trays to make pre-portioned cubes.
Freezing Whole Leaves
The quickest method to use is freezing the leaves raw, which you can just put straight into a zipper baggie.
However, if you don’t plan to pre-portion it, be sure to pat or spin them dry, or you’ll end up with one solid block, which will be difficult to use later on.
Freezing In Cubes
This allows for easy individual use of pre-portioned servings. One ice cube is about 2 Tablespoons, and an average muffin-sized mold is about ¼ cup.
Tools & Supplies Needed
Below is a list of the tools and supplies necessary for both of these methods. But you might not need everything, depending on the process you choose to use.
- Quart freezer bags
- Permanent marker
- Sharp chef knife
- Salad spinner OR paper towels
- Ice cube tray (optional)
- Muffin pan (optional)
- Cupcake liners (optional)
- Large pot (optional)
- Large bowl of ice water (optional)
How To Store Spinach In The Freezer
A convenient way to store frozen spinach is to put it into freezer bags. You can even pre-measure it to allow for easy individual use.
To make it last even longer, use a vacuum sealer to lock in the freshness and add further protection from freezer burn.
How Long Can You Freeze Spinach?
If you freeze raw spinach, you should use it up within 3 to 6 months. When blanched or sauteed, it can last up to one year.
It’s helpful to use a permanent marker to label the baggies with the date so that you know when they will expire.
There are often a few questions people have when freezing spinach for the first time. I hope to answer as many as I can in the details below.
Can you freeze fresh / raw spinach?
Yes, you can freeze fresh, raw spinach. Make sure to clean and then dry it well first so it doesn’t stick together.
Do you have to blanch spinach before freezing?
No, you do not have to blanch spinach before freezing it. But doing so can help to increase the amount of time it will last.
How long do you blanch spinach for freezing?
You should blanch spinach for only 2 minutes before freezing, then cool it right away in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
What happens if you don’t blanch spinach before freezing?
If you choose not to blanch your spinach before freezing it will have a shorter shelf life. Blanching also kills any bacteria.
Does frozen spinach need to be cooked?
No, you do not need to cook frozen spinach. You can use it in dips, smoothies, or other recipes right out of the bag.
Does freezing spinach make it soggy?
Yes, freezing spinach makes it soggy, whether or not you blanch it first. Unfortunately there’s no way to prevent this, since the freezing process breaks down the cells, so it will always end up wilted and watery.
So there you have it, a few easy ways to freeze spinach. Which method will you choose depends on the time you have, and how you will use it later on.
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More About Food Preservation
- Freezing Carrots With Or Without Blanching
- Freezing Corn On Or Off The Cob
- How To Freeze Pumpkin Chunks Or Puree
Share your tips for freezing spinach in the comments section below.