Make Your Spinach Last 20 Times Longer By Freezing It
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Did you know you could freeze fresh spinach without blanching or cooking it? Yes, it’s true and I’m going to show you how I triple-washed two batches of spinach for our April mission meal and froze about 12 cups of spinach for future “cooked” meals.
I began with the freshly picked spinach. My daughter and I cut quite a bit from our local non-profit garden, called the Lord’s Acre, in our community. This garden provides organic produce to the poor and needy in the community.
They also offer garden and food-skills training to all ages. Guess how MOAM is going to help with this mission? This summer, I’m sharing ways to preserve this gorgeous food that’s growing and ways to cook delicious food right beside the garden. Doesn’t this sound intriguing and fun?
Read more about this community garden and perhaps if you have a green thumb and love gardening or have your own abundant garden you can gather ideas for helping the poor and the needy.
I used about 12 fresh cups for this fabulous strawberry spinach salad with poppyseed dressing. Click here for the recipe. This was part of our April mission meal served by 4-year-old children.
Frozen Freshly Torn
After I pinched off the large stems from the collection box above, I submerged it in a sink full of water. Then I dunked, swirled and dunked some more to remove debris and bugs. I did this three times to ensure cleanliness.
By the time I had swirled it in the water, it pretty much torn itself into bite-size pieces and I was ready to spin the excess water off with the salad spinner. Likewise, spinach can be placed on a large bath towel on your counter to dry.
The rest of the spinach was placed in quart size freezer bags in 2-cup portions. Large pieces of spinach can be cut with kitchen shears or run a chef knife through it before cooking.
Spinach can also be pureed with some water in a blender. Add just enough water to get the blender going. This is a great way to boost nutrition in soups, sauces and cooked meatballs, meatloaves or burgers. It’s sneaky nutrition for picky eaters.
Freeze the puree in snack size bags squeezing the air out or ice cubes trays or baby food containers. View my pesto tutorial here to see frozen purees.
Some Awesome Recipes With Spinach
- Chicken and spinach enchiladas (chopped)
- Homemade pizza topped with spinach (chopped)
- Marinara sauce (chopped or pureed for those picky eaters)
- Italian meatballs (chopped or pureed)
- Cheesy spinach bites (chopped)
- Tortellini Soup (chopped)
- No Boil Manicotti with spinach (chopped or pureed in the sauce)
- Western Omelette (chopped)
- Southwest Egg rolls (chopped)
- Homemade spinach tortillas (pureed)
Thaw the spinach in a bowl overnight in the refrigerator and use just like store-bought spinach in your favorite cooked recipes.
Why Freeze Spinach
- Preserves fresh spinach from going bad
- Freeze an over abundance from your garden
- Creatively sneak in extra nutrition for your picky eaters
- Enjoy freshly picked spinach (with more nutrients) when it’s out of season
I hope this post inspires you to take advantage of sales, buy in bulk, bite off more than you can chew at your local farmer’s market (knowing you can freeze it) and give to others because you’ll have plenty if you stock your freezer.
Freeze your favorite fresh vegetable.
Jackie Brown is passionate about freezer-cooking for her family of six and wants to inspire others to freezer-cook and share their bounty. She wants to help keep your freezer organized with a simple inventory to save your sanity and make menu planning a breeze. You can check out her blog MomOnAMission.me
This article was originally published on MomOnAMission.me. It is republished here with permission.
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