Here’s all you need to know to blanch and freeze spinach to enjoy all year long.
If you love adding spinach to smoothies, soups or sauces, you’ll enjoy having these handy frozen spinach pucks.
Why Blanch Spinach?
You will find websites that say you don’t have to blanch spinach. They say all you have to do is pop spinach in a bag and freeze. Be cautious when following that advice. It will work if you plan to use your frozen spinach fairly quickly, but if it stays in your freezer for more than 9-12 weeks you risk loss of flavor, color, texture and overall quality.
Blanching preserves flavor, texture and color. It is worth the little bit of time and effort it takes. Read my handy guide on Blanching & Freezing Veggies.
Vegetables that have not been properly blanched will continue to age in the freezer. The naturally occurring aging enzymes in fresh produce continue to function at freezing temps. What stops the enzymes from aging your veggies is blanching – which is a fancy word for boiling your veggies for a short period of time.
To prevent flavor loss and to lock in nutrients and help preserve color blanch spinach and other veggies before freezing. The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends blanching (boiling) spinach for 2 minutes.
How to Freeze Spinach
How to Blanch and Freeze Spinach
- Gather fresh spinach.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- Meanwhile, wash spinach at least two to three times to ensure all fine silt is removed.
- Remove any large stems and yellowed or blemished leaves.
- Toss spinach into boiling water. To ensure even boiling, don't overcrowd the pot, repeat the process several times in small batches.
- When water returns to full boil, set timer and boil for 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with freezing cold water and ice.
- After 2 minutes of boiling the spinach, immediately turn off heat and transfer spinach from boiling water to ice cold water.
- Let spinach cool in ice water bath for 2 minutes.
- Remove from water and squeeze out as much water as possible using the back of a spoon and wire mesh or your hands.
- If desired, chop spinach to desired size.
- Place spinach in ice cube tray or into freezer bag.
- Place ice cube tray in freezer for one to two hours then transfer frozen cubes to freezer bag.
- Remove as much air from bag as possible before sealing. Use a straw inserted into a small opening and suck out air to create a simple vacuum seal. This helps prevent freezer burn.
- Label and freeze for one year.
1 pound (16 oz) of fresh spinach = 10-12 cups leaves = 1 1/2 cups cooked
10 oz frozen spinach = 1 1/2 cups cooked spinach
Blanching & Freezing Spinach – The Video
Enjoy your frozen spinach! It’s best used within one year.
More Spinach Posts
What’s your favourite way to use frozen spinach? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram at #getgettys or Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.
Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.
Updated post. First published in 2016