{Tips & Tricks} Thawing and Draining Frozen Spinach

Friday, April 01, 2011

Spinach and Sausage Pasta

I'm a firm believer in always having a freezer full of frozen vegetables. Since there are only two of us in thise house, most of the time we can't work our way through fresh vegetables fast enough. Of course we always have fresh tomatoes and lettuce in my refrigerator since we love to make sandwiches for lunch every day; however, when it comes to spinach, peas, and pearl onions, you will most likely find packages of these in my freezer because they come in handy when preparing many meals. Don't get me wrong, I use fresh vegetables whenever possible but sometimes when I'm in a bind, it's always nice to turn to the frozen vegetable options.

Many of you might be shaking your heads at the thought of frozen vegetables. At times, fresh produce might be limited or expensive throughout the seasons which forces many of us to turn to canned or frozen options. While canned vegetables tend to lose a lot of nutrients during the preservation process, frozen vegetables may even be more healthful than fresh produce. Why? Vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be picked at their peak ripeness. It's at this time that the vegetables are the most nutrient-packed.

Even though the first step of freezing vegetables is to blanch them in hot water to kill bacteria and stop them from degrading, this process has a tendency to slightly breakdown the vitamins within the vegetables. The good thing is that the flash-freeze process that vegetables go through locks the vegetables in a nutrient-rich state. Therefore, when the vegetables end up in your freezer, they are packed full of nutrients. That's why I believe in always keeping a freezer full of vegetables. Having the ability to toss nutrient-rich vegetables into dishes whenever need be helps to make cooking fun and simple.

One of my favorite vegetables to have in the freezer is chopped spinach. When thawing chopping spinach, you might notice that this vegetable will retain a lot of the water. By following the steps below, you will end up with thawed and drained spinach that is perfect to add to countless dishes.

Thawing and Draining Frozen Spinach
  1. Remove the frozen block of spinach from the box and place it in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave the spinach for 1-2 minutes or until the spinach becomes soft and mushy.
  3. Take a colander and line it with a couple sheets of paper towel.
  4. Place the mushy spinach on the paper towel.
  5. Wrap the paper towel around the spinach and squeeze the water out of the spinach. Make sure you do this over the colander just in case the paper towel tears. The paper towel won't tear if you use a couple sheets of strong paper towel.
What are your spinach tips and tricks?

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3 comments

  1. This was a great post and very helpful.By the way your pasta dish looks delicious!Are those meatballs?

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  2. I always enjoy your photos and tips. We eat a lot of spinach in our house, too. My favorite way to prepare it, is to wilt fresh spinach in a garlic-infused oil. If you own a potato ricer, it makes a great way to squeeze out excess water. Works great!

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  3. Great tip! I have used coffee filters to drain spinach, too.

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