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  • Shirley Chibuoke

Cooking, Storing and Eating Spinach

Spinach is a versatile leafy green vegetable known for its vibrant green leaves and crisp texture. It is a popular ingredient in various cuisines and dishes around the world. Whether enjoyed raw or cooked, spinach adds a delightful freshness and earthy flavor to meals. Its tender leaves can be used in salads, sandwiches, or wraps for a nutritious and refreshing crunch.

hands picking spinach, bowl with spinach leaves being held

It is widely celebrated for its rich array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a powerhouse of health benefits. Packed with vitamins A, C, and K.

Tips for using spinach

  • Add spinach as a topping on pizza when its almost done cooking

  • Make quesadillas, wraps and sandwiches with it

  • Add it to your salads

  • Use it as a side dishes

  • Add it to your eggs

Cooking with Spinach

As mentioned before, spinach works great as a side dish. A good dish to try would be Sigeumchi Namul (or seasoned spinach). It's a popular Korean side dish, and it's made exactly the way it's named. Seasonings such as garlic, sesame oil, and soy sauce are added to blanched spinach to create a delightful side dish that is rich in iron. Making it is truly as simple as it sounds, so here's a recipe to try!

Spinach is a very delicate green; not only does it bruise easily, but it can easily be overcooked as well. Listed below are three of the easiest ways to cook spinach and ensure it doesn't overcook or turn soggy:

Storing Spinach

There are many ways to prepare spinach for long-term storage; these are just some examples. You'll want to choose your method depending on how you're using the spinach. If you want to keep the versatility of spinach, you'll want to use one of the traditional methods. More creative ways are best used when you know what recipe you're using them in.

Traditional ways to store spinach include:

  1. Refrigeration: After purchasing or harvesting spinach, remove any damaged or wilted leaves and place the spinach in a plastic bag or airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator crisper drawer, where the higher humidity helps maintain its freshness. Use within a week for optimal taste and texture.

  2. Blanching and Freezing: Blanching spinach involves briefly immersing it in boiling water, then transferring it to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. After blanching, drain the spinach, squeeze out excess water, and pack it into freezer-safe bags or containers. Label and freeze for longer-term storage. Frozen spinach can be used in soups, stews, and other cooked dishes.

Creative ways to store spinach:

  1. Spinach Cubes: Blend fresh spinach with a little water and pour the mixture into ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer the spinach cubes to a freezer bag. This allows you to conveniently portion out spinach for smoothies, sauces, or sautés without the risk of spoilage.

  2. Dehydrating: If you have a food dehydrator, consider dehydrating spinach leaves. Once fully dried, store the spinach in an airtight container or jar in a cool, dry place. Rehydrate the dried spinach by soaking it in water or adding it directly to soups and stews.

  3. Spinach Pesto: Blend fresh spinach with garlic, nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil to create a flavorful spinach pesto. Spoon the pesto into ice cube trays and freeze. Pop out the pesto cubes and store them in a freezer bag. These cubes can be added to pasta dishes, spread on sandwiches, or used as a dip.

  4. Or try adding it to fresh pasta noodles. Here's a recipe our staff member, Lindsay, shared to making green pasta!

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