Meals containing spinach are rich in iron, Vitamin C, potassium, making them a healthy way to add some extra nutrients into your diet that you may be missing. Spinach salad, spinach inside of a smoothie, or even mixed in with pasta or rice is a great way to sneak this health ingredient into your diet.
While spinach is a great addition to any diet, it is a hard item to keep fresh in your refrigerator as it can begin to wilt rather quickly. Buying frozen spinach or freezing it yourself is a great way to extend its shelf life.
So, when you want to keep frozen spinach on hand to use later, what is the best way to take it from frozen to whatever dish you are planning to make? Luckily there are a variety of ways that you can easily thaw frozen spinach to cook with it in no time.
Spinach can be easily and safely thawed in the refrigerator, at room temperature, in the microwave, using warm water, or when being cooked. With so many ways to thaw, it is an ideal dish to keep frozen and throw into meals you are cooking whenever desired.
These methods range from taking a couple of hours to just a few minutes to fully defrost your spinach. When choosing one, be sure to keep in mind how long you have to dedicate to the task..
Methods Of Thawing Frozen Spinach
When it comes to ways to thaw spinach the best, there are a variety of options. Spinach can be thawed at room temperature, in the refrigerator, with warm water, in the microwave or during cooking, leaving no shortage of methods to choose from.
All methods are easy, simple and ideal for large and smaller portions of spinach. Choose the one that best fits your time frame of thawing and give it a try.
Thawing Spinach At Room Temperature
Thawing spinach at room temperature is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get the job done. This method requires little effort and will also help keep your spinach from becoming soggy or wet.
To do so, simply place the desired amount of spinach that you want to thaw into a strainer. Put the strainer into the sink so that any melting water has somewhere to escape and won’t flood your kitchen counters.
Allow spinach to thaw completely, up to five hours. Once it is thawed, consume or refrigerate immediately as leaving it out for too long can cause it to spoil. Be sure to cook or refrigerate your thawed spinach within two hours to avoid spoiling.
Thawing Spinach In the Refrigerator
Thawing spinach in the refrigerator is the most time consuming method, but it will yield great results. Spinach that has been thawed in the refrigerator is not too soggy or wet, given that the water does not melt very quickly.
Refrigerator thawing does take about two days to complete, so be sure to plan ahead of time if this is the method you are choosing. When you need to thaw your spinach for a meal you plan to eat immediately, this may not be the best way.
To thaw spinach in the refrigerator, simply move it from the freezer in the same bag into the refrigerator. Allow it to naturally defrost for about one to two days before cooking.
If you do not want to thaw all of the spinach that is in the packaging, break apart your desired amount, place it in a resealable plastic bag and put it into the refrigerator. This method will still take about one to two days to defrost.
Once your spinach has defrosted in the refrigerator, use it within three to four days. After this it has a larger chance of wilting or losing quality. Thawed spinach is best used immediately.
Thawing Spinach With Warm Water
If you want to use your frozen spinach as soon as possible, rather than in a few hours or even days, thawing it in the microwave is the best method to use.. This method will ensure no excess water is retained, keeping your spinach from becoming soggy.
When thawing spinach with warm water, simply place the desired amount straight into a strainer and spread it evenly throughout. Place the strainer of spinach into the sink so that excess water can be drained effectively..
Run warm water over the spinach, ensuring the water pressure is not too high. Move around the spinach with your hands as it thaws, ensuring all blocks of ice are melted and broken up.
Once the spinach has been defrosted completely, cook or serve immediately. To make sure the spinach doesn’t become soggy, consider patting it dry with a paper towel after it has been thoroughly thawed out.
Thawing Spinach In The Microwave
When you need your frozen spinach defrosted quickly and do not have an abundance of time to spend on this task, microwaving is a great method to use. Thawing spinach in the microwave is easy, fast and can yield some very high quality results perfect for any dish you may be cooking spinach with.
No one wants soggy spinach to work with, which is why using this method properly is important to avoid just this. Be sure to remove excess liquid so that your spinach does not become soggy or wet during cooking.
To thaw spinach in the microwave, follow these steps. Take the desired amount of spinach you want to cook and place it in a microwavable dish.
Set your microwave to the defrost option. Microwave the spinach for about two minutes, until defrosted thoroughly. Once finished, move the spinach to a strainer.
Allow the excess water to drain through the strainer until there is none dripping off. Move the spinach to a paper towel and dry it, removing the rest of the liquid and preventing it from being soggy.
Thawing Spinach By Cooking It
Sometimes the fastest and best way to thaw spinach for cooking is using the cooking process itself to do so. This eliminates an extra step and speeds up the process, though it might not be ideal for all dishes. Be sure to consider what you are using the spinach for before choosing this method.
Sauteing or adding spinach to soup is an easy way to defrost it. During the process of cooking, the spinach will thaw while being heated very quickly. This method will eliminate the need to thaw separately before preparing it.
If you want to thaw spinach while cooking it, simply add it to the meal you are cooking and allow it to defrost in the process. Don’t worry about the spinach becoming soggy or wet as most of the water will evaporate while cooking.
This method is a great way to preserve vitamins and minerals by not draining the water the spinach is in. If you ever want to combine steps, cooking spinach to defrost it is a great way to do so. Though it’s important to remember, this method is probably not ideal for spinach salads and other dishes with uncooked spinach.
Storing spinach correctly is a great way to extend its shelf life and use it for even longer between grocery store trips. Spinach can be stored in either the refrigerator or the freezer. Choose your storing method based on how long you plan to keep the spinach around for.
Spinach that has been refrigerated typically lasts around 5 to 7 days before it starts to wilt and go bad. The best way to extend its lifetime in the refrigerator is by lining a container with dry paper towels and placing the dry spinach inside of it. This will ensure it doesn’t become soggy or spoil quickly.
When you want to keep spinach around for longer than that, freezing it is the best way to do so. Frozen spinach is good for up to three months, meaning its shelf life is extended greatly compared to when it is stored in the refrigerator.
The best way to store spinach in the freezer is in airtight containers or resealable plastic bags with excess air removed. This will prevent it from getting freezer burn or becoming overly soggy.
When it comes to storing spinach, be sure to consider how soon you plan to use it before choosing your storage method. In addition, if you have frozen your spinach, thawing it properly is key to preserving quality during this process.
Spinach is one of the best vegetables to keep frozen. It can be stored for a long period of time, up to three months if stored properly and at or under zero degrees fahrenheit.
Freezing spinach also keeps it from wilting or spoiling, as it does rather quickly when refrigerated. If you do not use spinach in the amount of time it takes to wilt in your refrigerator, it will often go to waste. Using frozen spinach instead is a great way to prolong how long it stays good for.
There are a variety of options when it comes to ways to defrost spinach. Under warm water, in the refrigerator, at room temperature, with the microwave and during cooking are all effective, easy ways to do so.
All of these methods will provide you with delicious, fresh spinach to use in your meals. Be sure to follow instructions to avoid having soggy or wet spinach after defrosting, no matter how you choose to do so.
Tiffany McCauley is a celebrated food and travel journalist and cookbook author known for her engaging stories on culinary adventures and cultural insights. With a background featuring collaborations with notable brands and publications, Tiffany brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to Fanatically Food, where she champions taste, sustainability, and the art of cooking. Read More Here