Here’s how to baby your spinach harvest:
- Snip. Don’t pull or twist off the leaves, or pull the stalks out of the ground. Instead, use kitchen scissors and snip each leaf with a little stem attached. Collect loosely in a large strainer or colander.
- Bathe the leaves. Don’t spray or wash the leaves to remove dust. Instead, fill the kitchen sink with plenty of cold water, then submerge the spinach leaves and gently rinse them by lifting. Dust and dirt will sink to the bottom. Shake the leaves dry and then put them into a pot with some boiling water.
- It’s important to blanch the leaves for 2-3 minutes in boiling water to stop enzyme action. Otherwise, the leaves will continue to lose flavor and nutrition in the freezer.
- Chill. Immediately submerge the blanched spinach in a basin of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain.
- Now freeze. I used three kinds of containers: muffin tins, a heavy freezer container, and several plastic freezer bags. With the muffin tins, I froze small quantities of spinach for two hours, and then put them all in a gallon freezer bag for individual use.
Written by Sow True Seed Garden Ambassador for WNC, Nan Chase