Who doesn’t love garden fresh spinach?? Well, this year my garden produced more spinach than I could possibly eat before it went to seed. So the easiest solution for me was to freeze it. Freezing spinach is a great storage solution; not only because it is so simple, but because you can also pre-measure servings to best suit your lifestyle. You can freeze spinach from the garden, but you can also freeze store-bought spinach before it goes bad to reduce waste. This tutorial will walk you through the most simple method for freezing spinach at home.
Spinach lends itself very well to being frozen, and there are two great methods to do this. One method includes blanching the spinach before it is frozen. This is the method I am not using. The other method, and the method I am showing you now, freezes fresh spinach with minimal preparation. I used the latter method because I was in a rush to get it done. But, the blanching method really only adds ten minutes or so, if you prefer to blanch the spinach first. The blanching method is the method used by most major food brands for freezing spinach, and is probably what you have experienced when working with frozen spinach before. However, the two different methods yield comparable results.
Gather spinach from the garden, or purchase from farmers market or grocery store.
If the spinach is from your garden, spend a good amount of time thoroughly washing it. I like to first rinse the spinach under running water. I then soak the spinach for a few minutes in a sink filled with water. Again, be sure to clean very well. Spinach tends to be gritty with dirt when not cleaned properly. If you are freezing store-bought spinach, you won’t have to be quite as diligent during this step. Store bought spinach usually comes pre rinsed.
After rinsing the spinach, place desired amount into freezer quart bags. I didn’t have any freezer quart bags and just used regular sandwich baggies – as you can see. Sandwich baggies are a great band-aid, as long as the spinach will be used fairly quickly (within a month or two.) If you plan on storing longer than a couple months, be sure to use the freezer quart bags.
This next step requires a straw, and is the most complicated step during this whole process. But that’s not saying much considering this whole process is so simple. I like to call it the ‘poor man vacuum seal,’ and I promise, you will find all kinds of uses for this technique forever after this.
For the poor man vacuum seal: Seal quart bag, leaving one centimeter open. Place straw into open portion of quart baggie and close baggie around straw. Suck out all of the air in the baggie. When desired level of vacuum seal is reached, while continuing to suck the air out, pull straw out of baggie and seal immediately. I mean the moment the straw leaves the bag. You may need to practice this a couple of times before you get the hang of it. I have ‘poor man vacuum sealed’ so many things, and it really does work almost as well as a regular vacuum seal if done correctly.
After you have ‘poor man vacuum sealed’ the individual spinach packets, mark with date and place in freezer.
You have just successfully prepared your spinach for freezer storage. When removing the spinach from the freezer for use, it will be just like the frozen spinach purchased from the freezer section in the grocery store – and can be used interchangeably. No more running to the store for last minute Spinach Quiche! 🙂