Wondering how to store spinach? Well, you can just leave it in the bag you may have got it in, or you can store it in other ways that will help prolong the life of your spinach. Learn all the helpful tips to properly store your spinach and everything you need to know about the various ways to store spinach below.
Spinach isn't just for Popeye and you don't have to eat the stuff from the can like he did.
Fresh spinach is a leafy green vegetable that is so easy to add in to so many recipes.
One of our favorite ways to hide some extra spinach for the kids is in a few tasty green smoothies.
You can also use spinach in a classic spinach artichoke dip. So easy and delicious.
Spinach can be one of those vegetables that people love to hate and it's not always necessary, especially with raw spinach. It is so nutritious and can be used in so many fantastic recipes, it is hard to see why people want to hate on it.
Why eat spinach?
Eating some spinach is a great way to get some extra nutrients that your body needs.
Here are some of the health benefits (source) you can get from adding some spinach to your diet:
- Spinach can help curb your appetite
- Can help improve your eye health
- Helps prevent heart disease and can lower your risk for cancer
- Helps lower your risk for anemia and helps prevent osteoporosis
- Helps boost and strengthen the immune system and improves hydration
- Spinach is also high in fiber that's great for your digestive health
- Spinach is a nutritious vegetable and is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and iron
How to wash spinach?
I highly suggest waiting to wash your leafy greens until you're ready to use them.
Remember that wet spinach wilts and spoils very fast.
When you went to wash your spinach leaves, place them in a colander or the bowl of a salad spinner and run it under cold water or ice cold water to rinse it. Don't use hot water or you could risk the spinach leaves wilting.
Pat the spinach leaves dry with paper towels promptly before using or storing them.
How long does raw spinach last in the fridge?
The best option to store spinach and keep it fresh is by placing it in the refrigerator in the crisper drawer for a week to ten days.
You can store your spinach in an airtight container or a ziploc bag with a few dry paper towels. Loosely wrap spinach with the paper towels which will help absorb any excess moisture within the container.
To maximize the shelf life of spinach, be sure that you don't store it next to apples or bananas as they'll release ethylene gas that will spoil your spinach faster.
Like many other leafy vegetables, raw spinach should not be stored at room temperature for long periods of time for food safety purposes.
If you plan to use your spinach that day in the next few hours, you can leave it on the counter until you are ready for it.
It's very important to know that spinach starts to spoil and wilt the second it gets wet and isn't thoroughly dried off. So, to keep it fresh until you're ready, be sure the bag of spinach doesn't get wet. Raw spinach also shouldn't be stored in high temperatures or in direct sunlight.
It is also very helpful if you examine your bag of spinach as soon as possible.
Pick out any bad leaves and remove them so they don't spoil the rest of the bag of spinach leaves.
How long does cooked spinach last in the fridge?
The best way to store cooked spinach is in an airtight container, without the paper towels, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Spinach can be used in various recipes, pasta dishes being one of the most common ways to use it.
Spinach would also be a great addition to some red sauce with your Italian style impossible meatless meatballs.
Can you freeze spinach?
Yes and you can freeze your spinach very easily. It is also a great way to preserve the flavor.
You may need to blanch your raw spinach before you freeze it depending on when you plan to use it.
If you plan to use the frozen spinach within a few weeks, you don't need to blanch it first.
You can store unblanched spinach in the freezer in a freezer bags, after you've squeezed out all the excess air.
However, if you plan on keeping it in the freezer for up to 4 months, you should blanch it first, otherwise, it will change texture, flavor, and will discolor.
Don't forget to check all the leaves and make sure they're still good quality before freezing them.
To blanch your spinach, use 2 quarts of water to every pound of spinach leaves.
First boil a pot of water and place your spinach in the boiling pot of water for one minute before quickly removing them and transferring them an ice-water bath for 1-2 minutes.
Once the spinach has finished the ice water bath, drain the water and squeeze the leaves in a few paper towels to pull out any excess water and dry out the leaves before freezing.
Alternatively, you can puree your spinach and place the puree in ice cube trays to freeze for individual size servings. Once they're frozen, pop the spinach ice cubes out and store them in a freezer-safe bag.
How do you know if spinach has gone bad?
There are a few telltale signs of spoilage that will pop up once your spinach has gone bad.
Good spinach will be bright and green, bad spinach will turn yellow and eventually brown or black.
Spinach that is still good will be crisp, and spinach that has gone bad will become soggy and turn into slimy leaves.
Good spinach doesn't have much of a scent, bad spinach can have an unpleasant smell or funky aroma.
And, last but not least, if your bag of spinach is still in the original packaging, when spinach turns bad, an easy way to tell is that it will cause the bag to expand and look like it is been blown up with air.
Buying spinach tips
Here are some helpful tips when picking out your fresh spinach or raw spinach:
- When buying prepackaged spinach at the grocery store, always check the expiration date on the bag and make sure that you're not buying some spinach leaves with an expiration date that's too soon.
- If choosing storebought spinach in a sealed plastic bag, keep an eye on the packaging.
- If you're buying your fresh spinach with other salad greens at the farmer’s market, get it home for proper storage as soon as possible to reduce your risk fo bacteria growth maintaining the best quality possible of your spinach whole leaves.
Spinach fun facts: California is the biggest producer of spinach in the United States, followed by Arizona, New Jersey, and Texas. Raw spinach actually comes in three varieties but most people don't realize that. You can find spinach that's savoy, semi savoy, and flat-leaf.
Now that you know everything there is to know about storing your tasty spinach leaves properly, you should always have some one hand for whatever you want to make. Don't forget you can leave your spinach on the counter for just a few hours then it should be stored in the fridge for longer periods of time if you need to.
And, you can always freeze your spinach leaves in a plastic zipper bag with the air removed, in the freezer for even longer shelf life of your spinach.
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