Sunday, 24 July 2011

Me and My Spinach

Right now everything in the garden is at a standstill. I keep telling everything to hurry up, but not one veggie is listening to me..lol I guess it is for the best since once everything is ready I am sure that i will be complaining that too much is ready.  Just like I was complaining it was too cold yesterday and now at 9:40am its already too hot inside...gesh.
With the spinach all but done I thought I would just show a few pictures of my 2011 adventure in freezing spinach. I am sure every other gardener has been doing this for years. However, this is my first year growing and therefore freezing spinach. This way I can look back and see how I did it since I am bound to forget by next summer.

Freezing Spinach
First off big surprise you need some fresh spinach and a lot of it. 3lbs shrinks down to about 12oz. Once you have collected the spinach wash it in cold water and remove the stems. Take about 10oz at a time of  the spinach whole or cut into pieces and place into boiling water. Blanch for 2 mins and then place into an ice bath to stop the cooking and cool it down.
Spinach Blanching
Next take the spinach out of the ice bath and place into a strainer. Try to squeeze out as much water as you can.
Once you have gotten most of the water out place spinach to dry on paper towel lined cookie sheets and press the layers to remove more moister.
1st time I left the leaves whole. The next few times I chopped them before blanching
Repeat these steps till all of your spinach is blanched and ready to freeze.
I then divided out the spinach into 6oz bags and used my food saver to vacuum seal them
And there you go spinach already to go into the freezer.
I harvested roughly 8lbs of spinach and after blanching I was able to freeze 48oz. Its Crazy how much that shrinks!
The pictures here show how I did this the first time. The next time I used my pasta pot with its stainer. This helped rectified the issue of trying to scoop out all the spinach out of the pot. I also chopped the spinach up before blanching. This makes it easier to add to sauces and what have ya. The last  time I blanched I tried steam blanching the spinach in my steamer. Once the water was boiling I let it steam for 4mins and then followed the same steps as above. I think I liked that the best since it did not heat up the house and the removable steam section made it handy to scoop out the spinach.

5 comments:

  1. Lucky you to have all that nice spinach to freeze! I always seem to have a hard time growing spinach. Last year was the first and only year that I had a good spinach harvest. I am hoping that my fall planting will produce a crop so we have some to freeze. I got a surprise when I cleaned out the freezer a couple of days ago and found a package from last year!

    Your jam looks wonderful!

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  2. Robin-I'll send some good growing spinach vibes your way!Beginners luck over here. Spinach is a nice surprise to find at the bottom of the freezer. I usually just have freezer burned meat..lol

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  3. I made soup yesterday with some frozen spinach from the spring garden. (Soup in this weather, I know!) Spinach is so great because unlike other greens, it's still really tasty after being frozen.

    I do it a little differently though - after blanching and shocking, I just gather some into a ball and squeeze with my hands to get the excess water out.

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  4. Thank you for visiting my blog. That's how I find so many wonderful bloggers to follow!

    I cannot imagine gardening in zone 2! You do get some lovely spinach though. I got all of two little packets put in the freezer this spring, but we did eat quite a lot fresh. I'll try planting for a fall crop soon. Spinach is one vegetable we love, even after it has been frozen.

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  5. Thomas -Soup in this weather is a wee bit crazy, but I do it too! I think I am going to make cabbage soup tonight if the house keeps cool. I am glad to hear that you squeeze the excess water out of your blanched and shocked spinach. I was doing that too,however, I was unsure if that was okay so I kept it to myself..lol

    Annie's Granny- No problem I enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for stopping by mine. I didn't realize how much more people can get out of their gardens down south until I started reading blogs..lol We can below freezing here in September so not much for fall crops.

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