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 begin 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? Click here to 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.
- 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 plastic shoe box overnight in the refrigerator and use just like store-bought spinach in your favorite cooked recipes.
- 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