How to Blanch Fresh Spinach: A Quick Step-by-Step Guide

Blanching spinach is a simple, yet effective cooking technique that helps maintain the vegetable’s vivid green color, enhance its flavor and preserve its nutrients. Here’s how to do blanch fresh spinach step-by-step:

  • Choose the amount of spinach.
  • Boil a large pot of water.
  • Wash the spinach while waiting for the water to boil.
  • Submerge all the spinach in the boiling water without over crowding the pot.
  • Boil for two minutes.
  • While waiting for the spinach to boil, fill a large bowl with iced water.
  • After two minutes of boiling, immediately transfer the spinach into the cold water.
  • Let the spinach cool in the ice bath for two minutes.
  • Remove it from the ice bath, drain it and thoroughly dry.
  • Place the dried spinach into any container you like and remove as much air as possible before sealing. This will help prevent a freezer burn.
  • Label the date on your container and freeze up to one year.

This method involves briefly submerging spinach in boiling water and then immediately plunging it into ice water to halt the cooking process.

Not only does this quick procedure tenderize the leaves and bring out a more appealing taste, but it also ensures the spinach retains most of its vitamins and minerals. This makes it a smart technique for health-conscious cooks.

The remainder of this article will examine the steps in more detail.

Blanching spinach.
Blanching spinach

How to Blanch Fresh Spinach

AS a Certified Health Coach many people ask me about food storage including blanching spinach and other vegetables. At home. I also blanch my own spinach using the method discussed in this article. Let’s examine the steps in more detail.

Proper preparation ensures the spinach retains its vibrant color and stays clean for use in salads or as a side dish.

Selecting and Cleaning Spinach

To begin, one must select fresh spinach leaves vibrant and free of any signs of wilting or decay. It is imperative to clean them thoroughly to remove any dirt that often clings to leafy greens.

Place the spinach in a large bowl of lukewarm water, gently swish it around, and then lift the leaves out into a colander. This process may be repeated several times until the water runs clean.

Setting Up the Blanching Station

Before starting the blanching process, set up an efficient blanching station:

  1. Pot of water: Fill a large pot with plenty of water to ensure the spinach can move freely once it’s added.
  2. Boiling water: Bring the water to a boiling point to deactivate the plant’s enzymes which could cause the spinach to lose its desirable qualities over time.
  3. Ice bath: Prepare an ice bath with a mix of ice and water in a bowl large enough to accommodate all of the spinach. This will halt the cooking process immediately after the spinach is removed from the boiling water.
  4. Trim: If necessary, trim the spinach stems for more uniform cooking and easier consumption.

Setting up these components beforehand allows for a smooth blanching operation.

Blanching Process and Preservation

This section outlines the precise steps for the blanching technique, proper cooling and draining practices, and the best approach for storing blanched spinach for future use.

The Blanching Technique

To blanch spinach, one first needs to bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. A slotted spoon is then used to immerse the spinach in the water for approximately two minutes, or until the leaves become bright green.

This quick heat exposure is crucial in preserving the color, taste, and nutritional content.

The two minute boiling time must be precise. Less time stimulates the activity of enzymes which will break down the spinach while frozen. Too much time will remove too much flavor, color and nutrients.

Blanching spinach in a restaurant.
Blanching spinach in a restaurant

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Cooling and Draining

After blanching, the spinach should be drained immediately using a colander and then placed in an ice-water bath for about 2 minutes to halt the cooking process.

One must then squeeze out excess water from the spinach gently with their hands, being careful not to crush the delicate leaves.

This is an important step because if there is any moisture left on the leaves, they will be more prone to freezer burn.

To dry it properly, leave it on a rack or in between layers of paper towels for a few minutes. If you are in a rush, another option is to use a salad spinner to dry the leaves.

A salad spinner is one of those gadgets you’ll wonder how you got along without one before. Amazon has affordable ones, salad spinners.

Spinach in a salad spinner.
Spinach in a salad spinner

Storing Blanched Spinach

For freezing, it’s best to pre-freeze the spinach by spreading it out on a baking sheet and placing it in the freezer for 1-2 hours.

Once firm to the touch, transfer the spinach to freezer-safe containers or freezer bags, ensuring all excess air is removed.

Properly packaged, spinach can be stored in the freezer for long-term use, preserving its quality when you’re ready to thaw and enjoy it.

To maintain freshness, always use airtight containers and store at a consistent freezing temperature.

This video shows how to blanch vegetables including spinach.

If you have any questions to ask me about this article don’t hesitate to comment below or email us. You can find an email on our contact page.

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