In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to substitute fresh spinach for frozen?”, discuss answers to other related questions like how do you freeze fresh spinach and what can happen if you eat bad spinach.
How to substitute fresh spinach for frozen?
Frozen chopped spinach is a great choice for dips, but if you have fresh spinach to use or spinach is just going to be bad and you have to use it early, you can easily substitute it for frozen. To substitute fresh spinach for frozen, you need to know the basic and easy conversion:
1 pound of fresh spinach (cooks down to 1.5 cups drained) is a perfect substitute for 10 ounces of frozen spinach
To substitute fresh spinach for frozen spinach for dips
If you are going to prepare dips from fresh spinach instead of frozen spinach, follow the directions given below:
- Clean and arrange the fresh spinach. Remove any long or tough stem.
- Add the spinach to a large non-stick pan and place that pan over medium-high heat.
- Cook the spinach for about 3 to 4 minutes until it is cooked through. Do not forget to continuously stir spinach while cooking.
- Once cooked, let it cool for a while and then chop it by placing it over the cutting board and cutting it with a sharp knife.
- Now, squeeze the chopped spinach by your hands as much as possible to take out any liquid from it. Separate or fluff it up and use it for frozen spinach as directed in your recipe.
How do you freeze fresh spinach?
It is not a good idea to freeze the raw spinach at all. Because it will naturally be soft and wilted once it thaws out. But if you freeze spinach in the right way, it can help you store spinach for months (12-14 months).
To store spinach in the freezer, wash the spinach and discard the leaves that are not looking fresh. Boil and give a quick blanching to the spinach leaves for 1-2 minutes. Blanching helps in preserving the color, taste, texture, and even nutrients of the spinach. Drain the blanched leaves and dunk in ice-cold water for 2 minutes to stop the cooking process and revitalize the leaves. Now, try to squeeze out water as much as possible and separate the spinach into portions (for this, you can use an ice-cube tray or ball them up). Once frozen, bag up and you have now got yourself some frozen, portion-sized spinach ready to use whenever you need it.
Can you refrigerate fresh spinach?
If you are willing to consume the stored spinach within a week (5-7 days), refrigerating the spinach will help you store it.
To store spinach in the fridge, place a layer of paper towels at the bottom of the container and lay your spinach leaves on top of this. Now, add another layer of paper towels on top of the spinach and replace the lid. The paper towels will help you draw any moisture away from the leaves, and will keep the spinach leaves fresh and crispy for longer. Place this container into your fridge towards the bottom to keep it as cold as possible without freezing (around 38-40 Fahrenheit is optimal), so the bottom section half of your refrigerator is the place to put the container.
How does spinach go bad?
Spinach, being at the more delicate end of the green leafy scale, can easily go bad. The improper storage conditions can cause spinach to go bad if you have refrigerated or kept it frozen. Spinach goes bad if you stored it in a container that was not good enough to keep a check on the moisture. Also, if you have placed spinach on the shelf of the fridge, where fruits are also present, it will go bad sooner than ever because of the production of ethylene oxide by fruits such as bananas.
How to tell if the spinach has gone bad?
It is very easy to spot the tell-tale signs when spinach goes bad. A few of these signs are:
- Wilting and loss of crispness
- Darkening of the leaves
- Blackened edges or spots on the leaves
- Strong odor
What can happen if you eat bad spinach?
Spinach, being a leafy vegetable, is a notorious harborer of bacteria. And bacteria grow up quickly on rotting veggies. Therefore, it is never safe to eat bad spinach. The most obvious risk associated with the consumption of bad spinach is you being the victim of food-borne illness. This illness can be due to contamination of vegetable by E.coli, Listeria, and Salmonella, that can enter through any point in the supply chain. The general symptoms of food poisoning due to these bacteria include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, fever, stomach cramps, and encephalitis.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “How to substitute fresh spinach for frozen?”, discussed answers to other related questions like how do you freeze fresh spinach and what can happen if you eat bad spinach.