Spinach leaves can be cultivated as soon as they are large enough to use--often when the plant has six to eight leaves. Spinach can be cooked or eaten raw. The vegetable is high in folate and vitamins K, A and C. Spinach originated from Persia, known today as Iran. The vegetable comes in three types, according to Spinach Words, a website devoted to the vegetable. Savoy has dark-green, slightly curled leaves and is found in most modern supermarkets. Flat and smooth-leaf spinach is commonly processed and frozen. Semi savoy is similar to savoy but is easier to clean. Unlike lettuce, spinach can be refrigerated and frozen. Properly storing spinach allows the vegetable to contain nutrients for several days.
Pick out yellow or wilted leaves from the spinach and discard. Do not wash before refrigeration or freezing; the excess moisture will cause the spinach to wilt prematurely.
Wrap the spinach loosely in a paper towel. The towel will absorb excess moisture.
Place spinach in a large plastic bag. Do not pack the spinach tightly; the spinach should remain loose for ventilation and circulation.
Refrigerate spinach at temperatures below 40 degrees; after seven days, the spinach will begin to significantly lose any amount of folate. Folate is a Vitamin B compound that promotes new cell growth in the body. A Penn State University study found that spinach loses almost half of its nutritional content after seven days of storage.
Prepare spinach for freezing by dipping spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds, or until just wilted. Remove spinach and dip in a bowl of cool water.
Place the spinach into an airtight freezer container or freezer bag. Label the storage container using a permanent marker to identify the date frozen. Store spinach in the freezer for up to two months.
Things You Will Need
- Paper towel
- Plastic bag
- Freezer bag or airtight container
- Permanent marker
- Creative Cooking Corner, a cooking website, suggests cutting frozen spinach before thawing; the spinach can be easily sliced when it is in a hard form rather than soft.
- To increase iron absorption, eat foods high in Vitamin C such as citrus fruits and tomatoes.