Looking at how to freeze fresh spinach for smoothies? – I was looking for the answer to the very same question just weeks ago, and couldn’t find anything!
So, I experienced freezing and defrosting spinach first hand and decided to write about my experience to hopefully help you successfully freeze spinach for future use.
Why Spinach Is Great For Smoothies
Spinach is a fantastic choice for a green smoothie. It has a relatively natural taste and yet is filled with nutrients such as fiber, zinc, vitamins, folate, and calcium (to name a few!).
You can often buy it fresh and use it in salads (before freezing the excess for smoothies as shown in this tutorial) or in some cases, you can even buy it frozen (for the same price as fresh or cheaper)
I love using spinach in smoothies as a little goes a long way, and it blends really well (I don’t like bits in my drinks, is anyone else the same?)
The Best Time To Freeze Spinach
You should aim to freeze your spinach as soon as you can. This will minimize the nutrients lost during the refrigeration process.
Simply storing your spinach correctly in the refrigerator will preserve it for longer and may allow you to consume it prior to freezing.
I’ve found the best way to store fresh spinach is wrapped in paper towels in the crisp draw inside the refrigerator (most modern fridges have one of these which is specially designed for delicate vegetables such as spinach).
You can place the spinach inside the towels and then inside a container if you’re worried about it being damaged from other fruits and vegetables stored here as the draw is pulled back and forth.
Tools & Equipment For Freezing Food
These are my tried and tested tools and equipment for freezing food.
Whether it’s fresh fruits or completely prepared meals these tools will make the process easier, and the food last longer and taste better!
Containers – We opt for glass containers as they are better for the environment, much higher quality and don’t stain like plastic, however they are an investment.
So if you’re short on money buy high-quality plastic containers in the meantime.
Just be sure that you buy your containers in a range of sizes as you’ll be using them to freeze and store a range of different foods.
Ziplock Bags – Invest in quality freezer bags and they’ll help keep out air, prevent frost and keep your food fresh for longer.
The majority of the high-quality ziplock bags come with a small area for you to write information about the food (i.e. what it is, when it was frozen and defrosting instructions) on the bag.
Ice Cube Trays – Ice cube trays can help you freeze more than just water. Instead, we use them for freezing small portions of food such as egg whites, tomato sauce, pesto etc.
Simply add the food to the tray, freeze and once frozen pop the food out and into a ziplock bag, then you can simply take one or two portions of food out and defrost as needed.
Foil Baking Containers – We use foil baking containers when we’re batch cooking frozen meals.
They are affordable, durable and come in a variety of sizes allowing you to portion out or put everything in one large container to be cooked at a later date.
If all that wasn’t enough, the majority of meals are safe to be cooked in the oven with the foil container. This reduces the amount of hassle, time and washing up you’ll have to do – winner!
How To Freeze Fresh Spinach For Smoothies
It’s worth mentioning that you can freeze spinach in a smoothie pack together with other ingredients from your favorite smoothies. However, if you’d prefer to freeze your spinach separately then here’s how;
Start by washing your spinach. I personally like to pop it in a colander/strainer and gently rinse the tap water over it. I advise you follow this step even if your spinach packaging claims it’s been pre-washed as a precaution.
Then either pat your spinach dry or allow it to dry naturally. This can take around 20 minutes depending on the surface temperature.
Once the spinach has dried move it into a freezer-safe storage container of your choice. I personally find that a grip seal bag works best.
Remove as much air as possible from the container before freezing.
Alternatively, consider blending your spinach and popping the liquid results into ice cube trays or ice cube bags.
Then you can simply pop a cube of spinach into your blender when you’re ready to make a smoothie.
Frozen spinach lasts approximately 12 months. After that time the spinach will begin to lose valuable nutritional value.
How To Defrost Frozen Spinach
Frozen spinach can be removed from the freezer and put straight into your blender for your smoothie.
However, if you plan to use your spinach for something other than smoothies then consider researching the best recipes.
Spinach that’s been frozen sadly isn’t going to be suitable for every meal.
How To Tell If Your Spinach Has Gone Bad
You’ll be able to tell if your spinach has gone bad from a change in color (it’ll go dark green and then turn black), smell, and texture. Much like carrots, spinach leaves tend to go slimy as they go bad.
You may notice your spinach has turned bad during the cooking process (or having been stored post-cooking) due to signs of mold, excessive liquid, a distinct odor, or due to the texture and consistency.
You should not eat spinach which you suspect has gone bad as this could potentially lead to food poisoning. If you’re unsure, throw it away.