Can you eat wilted spinach?
In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat wilted spinach?” and discuss how to cook their leaves?
Can you eat wilted spinach?
Yes, you can eat wilted spinach. A dark-green leafy vegetable, spinach is a popular side dish. This is, in my opinion, one of the world’s healthiest veggies. It’s hard for me to resist adding spinach to any of my dishes.
The cool winters and mild summers make coastal California ideal for spinach production, where nearly 65% of the total U.S. spinach is produced (5).
On this site, you’ll find information on the health advantages of spinach as well as vegetarian spinach recipes. Additionally, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite vegan spinach recipes for other websites.
Spinach may be used in a wide variety of recipes, including grains, soups, main courses, sides, smoothies, and so on and so forth. Adding raw spinach to salads is a tasty and healthy alternative to cooking it.
However, I do not like them when they are raw. Wilted spinach or sautéed spinach is my preferred preparation method because of its simplicity. Spaghetti with sauteed spinach is a delicious addition to any salad, side dish, main course, or other meal.
Do you know what WILTED SPINACH is, and how to tell?
Wilted spinach is spinach that has been cooked for a limited period of time until it has shrunk substantially. This process is called blanching. Blanching is a thermal treatment that is usually performed prior to food processes such as drying, freezing, frying, and canning. It is essential to preserve the product quality during the long-term storage because it inactivates the enzymes and destroys microorganisms that might contaminate raw vegetables and fruits during production, harvesting and transportation. Blanching involves heating vegetables and fruits rapidly to a predetermined temperature and maintaining it for a specified amount of time, typically 1 to less than 10 min (1).
The result is dry and crisp. This is the ideal method to consume spinach since the nutrients in the leaves are more concentrated in this form. Overcooking not only dulls the appearance of the food but also reduces its nutritional value.
Spinach is a water-rich leafy vegetable. As soon as it’s heated, it begins to wilt and release its water. As a result, evaporation will take longer if you add more water. As a consequence, the leaves will be overcooked. Overcooking spinach reduces its nutritional value and renders it tasteless. As a result, the spinach must be cooked only long enough to see it shrink.
Blanching is an effective method to reduce the residual pesticides of the vegetables. It also reduces the browning of leaves during cooking, decrease the microbial load of the vegetables and, because it causes structural changes in plant tissues such as disruption of cell membranes, loosening of the hemi-cellulose, cellulose and pectin networks, and alternating cell wall porosity, it can improve the extraction of bioactive compounds. Polyphenols and other antioxidants may increase after blanching (1).
On the other hand, there is a significant loss in some soluble nutrients and vitamins, such as vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is water soluble that makes it prone for leaching from cells. Texture and color change as well (1).
Spinach contains high amounts of nitrates and oxalates in its leaves. Young babies with low stomach acidity may suffer from infantile methemoglobinemia due to excessive nitrates in their diet, where nitrite is substitute for oxygen in hemoglobin and death may occur. Consumption of oxalate containing foods (vegetables) can have two major effects on human health. Oxalic acid can form insoluble salts by binding to cations (e.g. calcium, iron, magnesium) in the foods and, thus, decrease the bioavailability of these essential minerals. Studies report that nitrates and oxalates in spinach are reduced by blanching (2).
SPINACH LEAVES: HOW TO COOK THEM?
The process of wilting spinach leaves is one of the most straightforward yet time-consuming. If you’re using pre-packaged baby spinach, it’ll just take five minutes. Pre-washing is a common practice for these leaves. So these are fresh greens that may be added to the pan right away.
To remove any particles, you must wash and scrub the leaves. But the cooking process adds a little water to them. As a result, you’ll need to thoroughly dry it before putting it in the cooking pot. The greatest tool for this job is a salad spinner.
If you want, you may air-dry the spinach leaves for a few minutes to ensure that they don’t contain any water when they’re added to the pan.
Cooking Spinach – 2 Methods
In truth, there are two methods to wilt the spinach. Each of the two methods has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Place the spinach leaves in a pot of boiling water and blanch them for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they begin to wilt and shrink. In addition, you may steam them in a steamer basket for 3 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. To customize the taste of the wilted spinach salad, use any number of seasonings.
It’s also simple to wilt spinach leaves by sautéing them in oil. Your 5 minute wilted spinach is ready with only 3 ingredients. I used a lot of garlic in this dish since it gives a lot of flavors. In fact, these two are a perfect match. Oil and salt are the additional components in this dish. It’s done.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO CREATE WINEY SPINACH
In a skillet, heat the oil to a temperature of 375 degrees. Sauté for approximately a minute on low heat with garlic that has been coarsely chopped. Salt and pepper to taste are now added to the mixture. In the event that you need to add a greater amount of spinach, do it in batches.
I’ll show you how. Mix with a few bunches of leaves. When it comes into touch with heat, it will begin to shrink. It just takes around 15 to 20 seconds to complete. Second, put in the next set of leaves and make sure they’re all on the pan.
Season with a touch of salt once you’ve added all of the leaves. Water will be released from the spinach as it shrinks. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until all of the water has evaporated, over medium to high heat. This 5-minute side dish is full of flavor and good for you.
When it comes to how to serve wilted spinach, there are many options.
This is a versatile meal that may be utilized in a variety of ways, as I previously said. This may be served as an accompaniment. Alternatively, you may include it into your soups, lentils, and rice dishes towards the end.
In order to preserve the wilted spinach, what is the best method of storage?
Properly packaged, they may be preserved for a long time. They may also be stored in the freezer for up to a year and a half. It is important to blanch the spinach before freezing it. Put the wilted spinach into the freezer bags or pouches. Take out as much air as you can. Make sure the bag is securely closed by rolling it up. Studies showed that frozen storage of spinach significantly reduced the phenolic compounds and the antioxidants after 6 months of frozen storage. Vitamin C contents of spinach decreased during processing by about 30% and during storage by a further 30% (4).
Even if you keep it in the fridge, it will last for a week. Your wilted spinach may be made ahead of time if you want to use it in soups, curries, gravies, or purees. Refrigerate for 5 to 7 days in an airtight container with a cover. In a study, fresh-cut spinach was treated with citric acid and ascorbic acid solutions and packaged in mono-oriented polypropylene (OPP) bags or low-density polyethylene (LDPE) bags. Best results were observed when LDPE bags were used to store fresh-cut spinach at 4ºC and 90% HR (3).
To learn more about eating wilted spinach click here
Other FAQs about Spinach that you may be interested in.
How much spinach should you eat?
How much spinach should I eat a day?
In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat wilted spinach?” and we discussed how to cook their leaves?
- Xiao, Hong-Wei, et al. Recent developments and trends in thermal blanching–A comprehensive review. Inform process agric, 2017, 4, 101-127.
- Sorour, Mohamed A., Khaled A. El-Shikh, and Rania G. Mohamed. Impact of some domestic processing on Nitrate, Nitrite and Oxalates contents of selected leafy vegetables. J Sohag Agrisci, 2021, 6, 57-65.
- Piagentini, A. M., and D. R. Güemes. Shelf life of fresh-cut spinach as affected by chemical treatment and type of packaging film. Braz J Chem Eng, 2002, 19, 383-389.
- Puupponen‐Pimiä, Riitta, et al. Blanching and long‐term freezing affect various bioactive compounds of vegetables in different ways. J Sci Food Agri, 2003, 83, 1389-1402.
- Kandel, Shyam L., et al. Spinach downy mildew: Advances in our understanding of the disease cycle and prospects for disease management. Plant Dis, 2019, 103, 791-803.