Adding leafy greens to a smoothie is a quick and easy way to super-charge its nutrition. But they don’t tend to stay fresh for too long.
Both spinach and kale can begin to wilt after just a few days, and their nutrient content can decrease too.
So here are our tried and tested tips on how to freeze spinach and kale (or any other leafy greens), and keep them fresh for as long as possible…
How To Freeze Spinach – Preparation
#1. Remove any bad leaves
As leaves wilt, they release a gas that triggers other leaves to do the same. Just one squishy leaf can speed up the wilting of an entire kale or spinach bunch. So removing any offending leaves at the start, will extend the overall freshness by a few days.
#2. Place a dry paper towel in the bag or container.
This will absorb extra moisture that can cause spoiling. If after a few days, the paper towel is wet, then swap it for a fresh, dry one. According to The Kitchn, a container beats a bag for keeping leafy greens fresh, but both will last at least one week.
How To Freeze Spinach – Storage
#3. Remove as much air as possible from INSIDE the storage container.
If using Ziploc bags, then flatten them completely to remove excess air before sealing. If using mason jars or Tupperware containers, then pack the leaves tightly, so there’s no space for excess air.
#4. But allow air to circulate OUTSIDE of the containers.
Spinach and kale freeze well, so it’s a great way to extend their life beyond the refrigerator. Just make sure there is plenty of air circulation around the outside of the containers, to ensure the leaves freeze as quickly as possible.
#5. Or use ice-cube trays to freeze individual portions of leafy greens.
Then you can pop a cube in the fridge to defrost overnight, so it’s easy to blend into your morning smoothie. If you have a high-powered blender, then it’ll have no problems liquefying a frozen cube, so you can add it directly without defrosting.
How To Freeze Spinach – FAQs
Do I need to cook the spinach first? No. You can freeze the leaves straight from fresh, and add the frozen leaves directly to your smoothie without any cooking.
Does freezing spinach reduce its nutritional value? Study after study show that frozen produce and fresh produce have similar nutritional values. When spinach isn’t in season, it’s typically better to buy frozen. When it is, go for the fresh stuff for the maximum nutrients.
Can I buy ready-frozen spinach instead? Yes. Anything that saves time and hassle, will make it easier to stick to a healthy smoothie habit.
So there’s the short run down on how to freeze spinach and kale for smoothies. We’d love to hear what you think of these quick tips, and your suggestions for future hacks too. Get in touch using the tab on the right or via Facebook.