Spinach is a highly nutritious, delicious, and leafy vegetable. It is packed with minerals and nutrients. You can use spinach in salads, soups, dishes, and healthy smoothies. Many restaurants, cafes, and salad bars offer specialty spinach dishes. While spinach is a popular ingredient, it needs to be stored carefully. Spinach is highly perishable and can rot without proper care. Ideally, spinach needs to be dried and stored carefully in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.
In this article, we discuss how to freeze spinach, how long spinach can last, how long spinach can last in the fridge, how to tell spinach has turned bad, how to store spinach, and how to keep spinach dry.
How To Store Spinach?
The ideal way to store spinach properly depends on whether the spinach is cooked or fresh.
Here are a few things that you will need to store spinach:
- Containers: Cooked spinach can be stored in airtight containers. You can store spinach in glass and plastic containers. Cool down the cooked spinach before placing it in the refrigerator. For fresh spinach, you will need a fresh and dry container that has been cleaned properly. Various containers are designed for storing spinach. You can opt for produce keepers that are designed to keep the food dry naturally throughout the day. Glass containers are perfect for storing huge quantities of spinach. The container's size should depend on the quantity of spinach you are planning to store. Most prefer to store spinach in a large glass container. Spinach mostly comes in plastic containers; you can use the same container to store spinach properly. Remove the spinach and dry out the container. You can use a paper towel to line the container and put the lid back on.
- Paper Towels: Paper towels are essential for absorbing the excess moisture from spinach. Paper towels are used to clean and dry the container. Paper towels are primarily used for drying the excess moisture from spinach. If the paper towel gets too wet, then you can use a fresh paper towel to dry out the excess water. Spinach stays dry and fresh with dry paper towels.
- Refrigerators: You can use refrigerators and freezers to store spinach fresh for longer periods. With high-quality commercial refrigerators, you can store spinach at ideal temperatures. Place spinach in containers before storing it in refrigerators.
- Freezer Bags: Freezer bags are ideal for storing cooked and raw spinach. Cool down cooked spinach to room temperature before storing it in the freezer bag. You can also dry out the excess moisture from raw spinach and store it in freezer bags.
Here is a step-by-step guide for storing fresh spinach properly:
Step 1: First, use dry paper towels and line the bottom of the container.
Step 2: Layer the dry spinach on the paper towel inside the container. The paper towel will absorb the moisture from the spinach and slow down the rotting process. Dry the spinach properly before placing it in the container. Excess water can damage the spinach. If you want to dry huge quantities of spinach, you can purchase a big plastic container where you can place half of the spinach over paper towels. You can then add another layer of paper towels and put the remaining spinach over it.
Step 3: You need to remove the rotten leaves from the spinach before placing them in the container. Rotted spinach leaves can cause the rest of the spinach to go bad.
Step 4: Before storing spinach in the refrigerator, you need to close the container's lid. Spinach stays well at room temperature, but you need to store it in the fridge to store it for extended periods.
Here is a step-by-step guide to store cooked spinach properly:
Step 1: Allow cooked spinach to cool down to room temperature.
Step 2: Place the cooked spinach in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Step 3: Place the spinach-filled airtight bags in the refrigerator and freezer.
How to Freeze Fresh Spinach Leaves?
You can effortlessly freeze spinach leaves in a freezer. Place spinach leaves in an airtight freezer bag and remove the excess air before placing it in the freezer. Frozen spinach leaves can be stored in the freezer for over a year. Blanch spinach properly before storing it in the freezer. Non-blanched spinach only lasts up to 4 to 6 months in a freezer. Blanching protects the flavor and nutrients.
You can use frozen spinach leaves in soups, sauces, noodles, and other dishes. Additionally, you can blend spinach leaves and make delicious smoothies.
How Long Does Spinach Last?
The shelf life of spinach can depend on various factors. It can depend on the date of purchase of the spinach, preparation method, and the process of storage. Raw spinach can only last for less than two hours at room temperatures. Cooked spinach can be stored at room temperature for 3 hours. Cooked spinach should be consumed during that time frame. Fresh spinach can last up to two weeks in a refrigerator if stored carefully and the spinach remains untouched and is placed in an airtight container. Cooked spinach can last up to 5 days in the fridge. Frozen raw and cooked spinach can last for more than a year.
Some other factors also affect the shelf life of spinach — the storage temperature and how it was stored before purchase. For restaurants and high-volume food establishments, you can effortlessly switch between the refrigerator and freezer modes of convertible refrigerators depending on your needs. You can opt for refrigerator mode if you want to store spinach for 10 to 14 days. Additionally, you can switch to the freezer mode if you want to store spinach for more than two weeks and up to a year.
How To Tell if Spinach is Bad?
There are numerous ways to tell if spinach has gone bad. You can smell, feel, and observe to check if the spinach has turned bad. Rotted spinach leaves lose the bright green color, look slimy, and emit a foul odor. First, the crisp spinach leaves will turn yellow, and then the leaves will become soggy.
How Long Does Spinach Last In Fridge?
Fresh and raw spinach can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. In some cases, fresh spinach can last up to 2 weeks. Keep spinach fresh by storing fresh spinach in plastic bags and containers. Cooked spinach can be stored in the refrigerator safely for 3 to 5 days.
How To Keep Spinach Dry?
Store spinach in a dry place and wash it before usage. You can also wash spinach before storage, but dry out the leaves properly. Additionally, you can purchase a salad spinner to keep spinach dry. You can also lay down spinach on a fresh dry towel and place another towel over it. After some time, the two paper towels and fresh air will absorb the excess moisture from the moist spinach.
There are various ways to increase the shelf life of spinach. Refrigerate spinach properly in airtight containers. If you wish to store spinach for over six months, you need to blanch it properly. The blanching process helps in retaining the nutrients in the spinach. Fresh spinach is used in soups, entrees, salads, and subs.