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How to Blanch Spinach

Learn how to blanch spinach without removing the essential nutrients. The leaves remain fresh, green, edible, and nutritious. Freeze and add to smoothies, sauces, salads, soups, and other recipes anytime.

Fresh spinach leaves - Green Amaranth

About Spinach (Green Amaranth or Baby Spinach)

Spinach is a staple leafy and nutritious vegetable that comes in green, red, or multiple colors. There are more than 50 species of spinach, but this post is about the green Amaranth and baby spinach.

Regarding nutrition, spinach is rich in carotene, calcium, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, iron, protein, and vitamins.

Spinach is eaten raw or cooked. You can add it to salads, stir fry, gravies, smoothies, or soups. The most edible parts of spinach are the succulent young leaves. Matured leaves are fibrous and bushy; they are better for stewing or braising because of their slightly bitter flavor.

Like any other leafy vegetable, spinach is perishable. It gets damaged and decays quickly. However, keeping vegetables’ nutrients alive for a long time is possible by blanching.

What is Blanching?

Blanching is a method of preparing vegetables (can also be fruits and nuts). It involves plunging vegetables in hot boiling water for a very short time ranging from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. This is to soften the leaves, enhance the green color, and ultimately preserve them without losing the nutrients.

Blanching is not cooking in the real sense of the word but a method of preparing your vegetables before using them in any recipe. Blanching changes the texture of spinach, but it doesn’t affect its taste or flavor.

After blanching, you can add the spinach to a recipe or store it in the freezer to use another time. Compared to raw greens, blanched greens can last for months in the freezer without losing taste or nutrients. Trust me; frozen spinach is a fantastic time saver for any recipe you choose to add it to.

Why Blanch spinach?

Blanching spinach helps to preserve the color, texture, and flavor of the spinach while also making it easier to prepare and store. Blanching removes some of the enzymes that can cause the leaves to go bad prematurely.

Spinach’s nutritional value is enhanced by blanching because it reduces soluble oxalate.

  • Oxalate can reduce mineral absorption
  • Oxalate may contribute to kidney stones.

You may want to argue that the nutritional value of the spinach will be gone when you blanch. The truth is, it has been proven that just a minimal amount of nutrients will get lost in the process. However, you can eliminate about 30 to 90 percent of the soluble oxalate.

Blanching and freezing spinach is an easy way to preserve the vegetable for later use. It helps maintain the nutritional value of spinach and can save time in the kitchen.

What You Need

To blanch the spinach, you’ll need:

  • A large pot big enough to hold all of your spinach at once without crowding or spilling over
  • A colander with small holes works best for draining the water from the blanched spinach.

How to blanch spinach for freezing

  • Remove the spinach leaves from the stems. If you are using tender young leaves, the stems can remain.
  • If using amaranth, it is best to chop the leaves, as seen below. This will make it easy to use in your stews and soups. If using baby leaf spinach, chopping is optional.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add about 1 pound of spinach leaves at a time to the boiling water and blanch for 1-2 minutes. A little more or less depending on the quantity of the spinach.
  • Place a colander in the sink and pour all of your blanched greens into it as soon as they’re ready–don’t let them sit too long in hot water because this will cause them to lose their bright green color!
  • Place it under running cool water until it is cool enough to touch. This will stop the intensity of heat from the boiling water to prevent the spinach from cooking.
  • Squeeze out excess moisture from spinach gently using your hands.
  • Use as desired or freeze for later use.
finely Chopped spinach

How to Store Blanched Spinach

After the blanching, you can now store the spinach in the freezer. Place the blanched spinach in a freezer-safe container(s) and freeze for up to 6 months.

If you love to use it in batches, you can put the spinach in an ice cube tray. Let it rest in the freezer for two hours before placing it in a freezer bag. Make sure that the bag is sealed well to avoid freezer burn. You can store it this way for up to 6 months.

Be sure to label and date each bag before placing in the freezer for long-term storage.

How to tell that your spinach is bad

It is essential to check the spinach before you wash and blanch it. You will know that the vegetable is bad from the following signs;

  • Darker-colored leaves that are limp and slimy
  • Melty and clumpy leaves
  • The storage container or bag is filled with a brownish liquid
  • The container or bag smells very bad

Blanching Tips

  • Do not overcook the spinach. It tends to lose a lot of nutrients when you overcook it. Blanching for too long will also result in limp, mushy greens that are difficult to freeze and won’t taste good when you’re ready to use them later on.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pot. If you have too much spinach in the pot, it won’t be able to cook evenly and may end up undercooked or overcooked.
  • Make sure the pot of water is boiling before adding spinach. If it’s not, your spinach will cook unevenly, and some parts will be undercooked while others are overcooked.

Using Frozen Spinach

When you’re ready to use your frozen spinach, simply defrost it in the refrigerator.

Uses for Blanched Spinach

Blanched spinach is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas:

  • Salad greens – Toss blanched spinach with your favorite salad dressing and top with croutons or nuts for an easy lunch or dinner.
  • Soup – Add blanched spinach to soups and stews to add more nutrients, like this recipe for potato soup with bacon and leeks.
  • Omelets – Cook eggs until soft, then add blanched spinach before folding the omelet over onto itself (or just layer it on top).
Blanched spinach


What happens if I don’t blanch Spinach?

Blanching prevents the spinach from decaying. It also helps to preserve color, flavor, and taste. You can still freeze your spinach without blanching if you plan to use it within a few weeks.

Is blanching necessary for spinach?

If you intend to store the spinach for a long time, I would say blanching is necessary. This preparation technique helps to stop the enzyme action that leads to decay.

Does blanching spinach remove the nutrients?

Spinach is nutritious, and you get the most out of it when you eat it raw. The nutrient retention rate depends on the method of cooking you use. There is some truth to the stories you have heard about spinach losing its nutrients when it is blanched. Blanching may reduce the water-soluble vitamins, but you can avoid this. Ensure that you don’t overcook the leaves. If you can keep the blanching time short, the vegetable will still retain a high percentage of its nutrients.

How can I thaw frozen spinach?

You can thaw in the refrigerator overnight. You can also blend it with smoothies directly or add it to soups.

Can I use my microwave to blanch spinach?

No! Blanching in the microwave because it can cause uneven cooking of your greens and make them mushy instead of crisp-tender like they should be when done correctly on the stovetop.

Spinach is a versatile vegetable that fits into many recipes. You can use blanch spinach for the following recipe.

Fresh spinach leaves - Green Amaranth

How to Blanch Spinach

You'll have a healthy, versatile side dish when you know how to blanch spinach. Nutritious spinach greens are cooked without losing all of their goodness.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy vegetable recipe, spinach
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 104.3kcal


  • 1 pound spinach Amaranth or baby spinach
  • 2 quarts Water
  • salt


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the spinach.
  • Remove the spinach from boiling water as soon as it's done cooking. About 1 t0 2 minutes (it should be bright green and still have some bite).
  • Drain immediately with a colander
  • Place the colander in a bowl of ice water for 2 minutes (this will stop the cooking process) or run it through the cool water from the tap until it is cool to the touch.
  • Squeeze out excess moisture from spinach gently using your hands.
  • Use as desired or freeze for later use.


Calories: 104.3kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.5g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 1.8g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 453mg | Potassium: 2531.1mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 1.9g | Vitamin A: 42533.4IU | Vitamin C: 127.5mg | Calcium: 505.8mg | Iron: 12.3mg

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