How to freeze spinach leaves
Fresh spinach leaves are obviously delicious, but it's always good to have some in the freezer too. This is how I grow and freeze spinach leaves at home.
I always try to give us vegetable related challenges here at home. Right now, the challenge is to make due with what we have available in our garden. No trips to the supermarket that is! Leafy greens are one of the staples here at home and I try to grow enough to keep up with the demand.
I especially like spinach and I have a good yearly plan for it. I make sure to transplant my spinach to the polytunnel in fall, overwinter it and then I can start harvesting early the next year. January is a good time to sow new spinach seeds in the polytunnel. When February comes, I sow spinach seeds in a cold frame. And in March, I sow spinach in the beds outside. I can start harvesting this spinach in May.
The plants I put in my polytunnel sometimes start to bold, which means that I have to harvest the entire plant on the spot. I generally try to harvest the spinach leaf by leaf though, to get a nice and large harvest. Just cut the entire plant off if it shows signs of bolting. The leaves aren't as good after the plant has bolted.
Freeze spinach leaves
Freezing your spinach is a great way to have a supply of spinach ready at any time. Start by rinsing the leaves in a large tub of water. After that, parboil your leaves in lightly salted water for 2 minutes. Pour the leaves in a strainer and rinse the spinach in cold water. Squeeze out as much water as you can.
Newly harvested leaves will lose a lot of volume after the parboiling. Around 2.3 pounds (1 kilos) of fresh spinach will weigh around half as much after parboiling and squeezing out the water.
I'm not very particular about the stems and don't mind eating them. I do try to avoid the main stems though, they are just too thick and woody. The leaves are almost always finely chopped so it's ok to include the finer spinach stems, frozen or fresh. Try to freeze spinach too!