The best way to store spinach begins with selecting the best spinach. After all, if we care about keeping spinach fresh, we want to keep great spinach fresh, right? So choose spinach with green, crispy leaves. It should look as though it were picked only moments before you found it in the supermarket. You should buy organic spinach that hasn’t been affected or treated by pesticides. It should be firm and not wilted. Get rid of any wilting or damaged spinach for maximum freshness.
Which type of spinach should I buy?
The type of spinach you purchase will depend on the recipe you’re cooking. A thin and flexible stem will be from a younger plant, whilst a thicker, firmer stem will be from an older, mature plant. Both are equally good, but your recipe might suggest you need one over the other. Young plants are good for salads where the spinach is served raw. Older, or more mature spinach is great for cooking, and in soups.
You should avoid bags that appear moist, as moisture causes the spinach to rot. Spinach generally deteriorates faster when stored in a plastic bag. Buy dry spinach and don’t wash it until you’re going to use it. Once you got your hands on the good stuff, now you need to think about the best way to store it in the refrigerator.
How do I keep spinach crisp?
The best way to store spinach in the refrigerator is to keep it free of packaging, out in the open, not in a drawer. What’s best about this storage technique is that you always have a collection of spinach at your fingertips. You can simply grab a handful and use it straight away in your fresh salad or recipe. Give the leaves a quick rinse and a spin through the salad dryer. No prep work. Just fresh, crisp spinach leaves ready to be eaten.
Which container should I use?
You can also store your spinach in paper towel lined containers. By placing it in the colder compartments of the refrigerator you will retain freshness for up to a week longer than normal. A container will prevent the spinach from being thrown around and damaged, unlike the plastic bags you might buy in the store. The paper towels will naturally absorb the moisture and keep the spinach fresh. Keep it away from apples and bananas, as they contain ethylene, which causes the spinach to decay prematurely.
If you plan on eating the spinach shortly after purchasing, you can store it in the same packaging, or move it to another sturdy plastic bag. If you want to transfer your spinach, be sure to pat it dry to prevent it from wilting and rotting too early. Leaving a paper towel inside the bag with the spinach is also a good idea. See my recommendations on excellent eco-friendly paper towel brands.
Be careful, spinach can freeze at temperatures below 32° F. Make sure the fridge temperature is higher than that. Spinach should be kept at a pretty low temperature, though: 39° F is ideal. That will ensure the nutrients stay packed in the leaves.
Storing your spinach in the refrigerator will slow down the nutrient loss process, so you have the best, most nutrient dense spinach at your disposal. A temperature above 50 degrees will accelerate the loss of nutrients, so it’s important to get the balance right.
You can freeze spinach as well, but you’ll need to use it immediately, still frozen. It’s best to use frozen spinach in a soup or smoothie, as it won’t appear very nice when cooked, despite retaining all of its nutritional values.
Do you love vegetable smoothies and juices? See this post for a discussion about the best mason jars for smoothies and juicing!
I’m strong to the finich, cause I eats me spinach!
Once you’ve figured out the best way of storing spinach in your refrigerator, enjoy all the benefits it will bring you. It’s nutritionally incredible, packed full of iron and vitamin D with trace amounts of healthy fats. It’s so versatile, it can be used in soups, salads, steamed, raw, or cooked. Superfood, indeed!
If you like this article, be sure to check out my post on how to store lettuce in the refrigerator. You might also enjoy this tutorial on how to clean and cut Brussels sprouts. Wondering how long bananas last in the fridge? Find out here.
Adding spinach to your morning smoothie? You totally should. I took a look at the best blenders for protein shakes with ice. Here’s what I found.
Spinach is a great side, but what about the main course? That spinach would go well with some tasty, oven-roasted turkey cooked on a roasting rack. Or, perhaps a rotisserie chicken, which you can learn how to truss here.
And when you’re done cooking, where are you going to store it? These meal-prep storage containers are perfect for the job.
For those with a taste for fish, why not head on over to my recipe for pan-fried walleye fillets?