Friday, May 8, 2015

Freezing Spinach and Greens

We start storing food whenever we have surplus.  We freeze, dry, and can much of what we grow for later use.  Right now greens are at their peak.  I usually freeze some now to eat in late winter for variety.  One of my favorites is to freeze spinach in pint containers.  Once egg season starts in February - March, and we have surplus eggs, I use it for quiche.  Greens are a great last minute addition to lentil or other soup.  Since the greens have been cooked, just thaw and add just before serving.

To freeze: Get everything together and clear space.  I use one or two large kettles, two colanders, a slotted spoon, two large bowls, and freezer bags.

Rinse spinach while the water in the kettle is coming to a boil. I pull any long stems.

Plunge spinach in boiling water.  I put half a colander in each pan of boiling water.  I like to use less spinach per pan so the water temperature remains high and it blanches quickly.

Watch for color change - about a minute or two.

Remove with slotted spoon.  It has reduced in size dramatically.

Chill in cold water immediately to stop the cooking process.  

Once spinach has cooled, I squeeze out excess moisture.

Then I place in small bags and squeeze the air out.  Date bag and place in freezer.  

I use the blanch water in cooking - bone broth, soup stock, cooking water, sauces, etc.

Tips and Variations: Some people steam rather than blanch.  Some people use ice instead of cold water to keep as much nutrition as possible.

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