Spinach is a great cool weather crop that can give you a big harvest and fill you up. Learn how to preserve spinach to extend its shelf life- so you can enjoy it longer!
Spinach is one of my favorite cool weather crops and one of the first things ready to harvest in the early spring and the last thing in the garden in the fall.
Spinach is known for its high nutrient content, making it a nutrient-dense food choice. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate, iron, and magnesium. To add even more benefits, it’s easy to grow and preserve! So whether you have a large crop of spinach you need to save or you just don’t want your store-bought spinach to go to waste, learning how to preserve spinach at home is invaluable.
The great thing about spinach is that it’s very versatile. You can add throw it in soups, smoothies, and so much more.
Luckily, spinach is easy to preserve and there are a few different ways you can do it- meaning there’s a method that will work for everyone!
(Are you a beginning gardener or new to growing spinach? Here’s How to Grow Spinach!)
4 Ways to Preserve Your Spinach Harvest
Have you harvested your spinach and need a way to preserve it so that it doesn’t go to waste?
Here are 4 different ways to preserve spinach to try!
✅ Ready to take control of your food source and preserve more? Check out my Food Preservation Toolbox to help you learn and preserve more food this year!
How to Preserve Spinach by Freezing
Freezing is the most common way to freeze spinach. It’s quick and easy, and is an easy way to use it in dishes throughout the year. It’s a great option that retains a lot of the nutrients in spinach.
First you need to wash and dry your spinach. I’ll admit that I sometimes skip this step since I am picking from my organic garden, but since I don’t want bugs or debris in my preserved spinach I’ll wash and spin it dry in my salad spinner if needed.
Then chop the leaves into the desired size. If I am preserving baby spinach, I usually don’t chop.
To freeze spinach, you have a couple of options: Blanch or no blanch.
While I skip blanching for many things- like herbs or zucchini- I do recommend blanching spinach before freezing. To do this, place the leaves in boiling water and cook for 1 minute.
Quickly scoop out the leaves and place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Leave the spinach in the ice bath for about 1-2 minutes.
Then drain the spinach and dry as thoroughly as possible.
Place in freezer containers in serving size portions. I use a vacuum sealer or freezer bags.
If you want spinach to throw in smoothies or smaller servings, you can flash freeze in small piles on a tray or in ice cube trays and then transfer the piles/cubes of frozen spinach into a bag after they are frozen solid.
Preserve Spinach by Dehydrating
I love dehydrating things as a way to preserve because it’s easy and shelf stable. And it’s an easy way to preserve extra spinach!
I also love dehydrating spinach into spinach powder which can be easily added to almost anything.
All you need is an electric dehydrator and you’re ready to go! (Having trouble deciding? Check out my Dehydrator Buying Guide.)
There’s next to no prep work when it comes to drying spinach. You can decide if you want to blanch for 1 minute before drying or not. I tend to go with not blanching and just dehydrating raw.
if you want to dry your spinach get Step by Step Instructions for Dehydrating Spinach.
Use a Freeze Dryer
Freeze drying will give you a similar texture as frozen spinach, but with a shelf stable final product.
Blanching for freeze drying is optional, but most of the time it is skipped.
Pile the spinach leaves on your freeze drier trays and place it in the pre-cooled freeze dryer and then follow the manufacturers instructions for herbs/leaves.
Best thing about freeze drying is that foods last YEARS.
Preserve Spinach by Canning
Last up in canning spinach. This is not my preferred way to preserving spinach- I just don’t like the texture or taste of canned spinach, but some people love it!
It also takes a LOT of spinach to make a canner load- an average of 18 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints.
Also, please note that spinach must me pressure canned and not water-bath canned.
First wash your spinach. This is not optional- you really don’t want bugs, bacteria, or dirt in your jars! Discard any diseased, wilted, or discolored leaves. Only can the best quality produce.
Then it’s time to blanch/cook the spinach leaves.
Place 1 pound of spinach at a time in blancher basket and steam 3 to 5 minutes or until well wilted.
Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt to each jar, if desired. Fill jars loosely with spinach and add fresh boiling water, leaving 1-inch headspace.
Wipe the rims of the jars and cover with a lid and ring- tightened to finger tightness.
Place the jars into the pressure canner. Process pints for 70 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure (be sure to adjust appropriately for altitude if necessary).
Another note is that spinach can be grown year round in many places.
You can stagger your spinach planting and over winter you spinach so that you are actually growing spinach in the winter.
Spinach is frost hardy and grows well in cool weather- especially under row covers or frost blankets.
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