Spinach is a popular ingredient in many dishes and it has many health benefits. This green vegetable contains nutrients such as fiber, iron, Vitamin C, and folic acid. The antioxidants in spinach fight oxidative stress, and the nitrates in spinach can help moderate blood pressure levels.
The best way to thaw frozen spinach is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight, and the quickest way is to run it under warm water. This article will present various easy ways to defrost spinach.
5 Easy Ways to Thaw Spinach
Many people keep spinach blocks or spinach cubes in the freezer to cook with later. The following ways to defrost spinach are quick and easy, and you should use different methods depending on the recipe you’re following and how soon you’ll need the spinach.
The best way to thaw frozen spinach is to leave it in a bowl in the refrigerator for at least one night. This works well for recipes in which you intend to cook spinach, such as lasagna.
- Put the frozen spinach leaves in a bowl
- Place the bowl in your refrigerator and leave it overnight
- If the spinach hasn’t defrosted by the morning, run the leaves under warm water for a minute or so to fully thaw them
The warm water method is the quickest way to defrost spinach, so it’s perfect for when you’re short on time. Spinach thawed with this method works well for cooked-spinach recipes because the method results in wilted leaves.
- Place the frozen spinach leaves in a strainer
- Run the strainer under warm water until all the ice on the spinach melts completely
Microwaving is the best way to defrost frozen spinach to use in a salad because this method keeps spinach crisper than other methods. Microwaving your spinach is ideal when you need to defrost it quickly because the method only takes a few minutes.
- Place the spinach blocks in a microwave-safe bowl in a microwave oven
- Set the microwave oven to the defrost setting and microwave the spinach until it has completely thawed
Defrosting on the counter is a recommended way of defrosting spinach when you’re not in a rush to use the spinach because the method takes a while.
- Place the spinach in a bowl
- Leave the bowl on the kitchen counter to thaw overnight
Defrosting spinach in the sink takes a while, so, like the refrigerator and counter methods, this method isn’t recommended for when you need the spinach right away.
- Place the spinach in a strainer
- Leave the strainer in the sink overnight so the ice can melt and the excess water can drain down the sink
How to Thaw Spinach by Cooking it
Although some people prefer to thaw spinach before using it in a recipe, the vegetable can be thawed during the cooking process. If you’re frying vegetables in a pan, you can add the frozen block of spinach, frying for at least 5 minutes until the spinach is thawed and cooked. Alternatively, add the spinach to boiling water and boil for around nine minutes.
Thawing spinach by cooking is a convenient way to defrost it and doesn’t require extra preparation. However, putting frozen spinach in a pan to cook with other vegetables can introduce excess water to the food as the ice around the spinach melts. If you’re using other frozen vegetables with spinach, the food may become too runny.
Rinsing the spinach under warm water for a short period before cooking can help speed up its overall thawing process if you’re in a rush.
More Tips on How to Defrost and Drain Spinach
- Eat defrosted spinach within 48 hours: Once you’ve defrosted the spinach, eat it within the following two days, and don’t refreeze it
- Never eat raw frozen spinach: Make sure to defrost or cook frozen spinach leaves thoroughly before eating them to eliminate any harmful bacteria remaining on the leaves
- Keep defrosted spinach for no more than two days: Once you’ve defrosted the spinach, it will keep in the fridge for up to two days. After two days, the spinach will become soggy or gooey, so you’ll need to eat it within 48 hours of defrosting
- Store in the freezer for up to one year: Spinach should only be stored in the freezer for up to 12 months. If you store the spinach in the freezer for any longer, it’s at risk of developing freezer burn
- Thaw spinach with lukewarm water: When using the warm water method to defrost spinach, make sure the water is warm, not hot. If you use hot water, the spinach will start to cook and lose its juices in the process
- Microwave on a low setting: When thawing the spinach in the microwave, don’t use the hottest setting. Instead, opt for the defrost setting
- Always check the expiration date: Check the expiration date of the spinach before freezing it to ensure you don’t freeze expired food by accident
What You Can Cook With Thawed Spinach
Because thawed spinach is usually wilted rather than crispy, it’s best used in warm dishes where the spinach is cooked with other ingredients. Defrosted spinach works well in spinach dip, alongside sour cream or cream cheese and herbs.
Spinach soup is another good way of using your defrosted spinach. You can create spinach soup by frying thawed spinach with other vegetables, then boiling the vegetable mix in stock. For a smooth spinach soup, blend the mixture with a food processor.
Keeping spinach frozen is a great way to reduce food waste and avoid throwing leftover vegetables away. There are many easy ways to defrost your frozen spinach, including leaving it in the refrigerator, sink, or on the kitchen counter overnight, washing the spinach in warm water, and microwaving it.
Once you’ve defrosted the spinach, you can enjoy this nutritious vegetable in various ways, including spinach dip, spinach soup, and creamed spinach.