Leafy greens have some pretty amazing superpowers, nutritionally speaking, yet they don’t stay fresh for long. I’m going to show you two different methods for freezing spinach (or any other leafy green) to give your greens 10x the shelf life! Never let that beautiful bag of fresh spinach go to waste again.

Now I know we’ve all been there. You buy that big beautiful bag of greens, lovingly place it in your fridge and vow to eat it for daily lunches and smoothies. Two weeks later you’re digging through that fridge only to find a bag of gross, wilted mush that once resembled spinach. This was definitely me when I first started drinking green smoothies. I knew I needed a better way to store my leafy greens. These two quick methods do exactly that!

making bags of spinach to show how to freeze spinach.
Table of Contents
  1. How to Freeze Spinach
  2. Freezing Greens Method #1: Cubes
  3. Freezing Greens Method #2: Storage Bags
  4. FAQs
  5. Why Should I Freeze Spinach?
  6. Delicious Spinach Smoothie Recipes
  7. More How-To Recipes
  8. How to Freeze Spinach Recipe

How to Freeze Spinach

Following these simple steps can literally make your spinach (and other leafy greens) last 10x longer. Pick the method you like best and go crazy!

how to freeze fresh spinach in white ice cube trays.

Freezing Greens Method #1: Cubes

Try to use as many fresh leafy greens as possible, yet if they’re getting close to the expiration date then make these cubes.

  1. Blend 2 cups of leafy greens (about two handfuls) in a blender with 1/2 cup liquid (preferably water, but a touch of lemon juice can help). It’s done when it reaches a juice-like consistency. The goal is no leafy chunks!
  2. Pour contents into an ice cube tray, then freeze. Make sure the tray is level in the freezer.
  3. Store the frozen cubes in a freezer-safe container. I use gallon silicone ziplock bags for zero freezer burn.

You can follow these same steps for kale, chard, romaine, cabbage, and even herbs. I don’t typically recommend adding ice to your smoothies because it dulls your blender blades, as well as causes the motor to work extra hard, yet this cube recipe is the exception to the rule.

placing leafy greens into plastic freezer bags for storage.

Freezing Greens Method #2: Storage Bags

For this method, gather the following items: fresh spinach, dish towels, paper towels, freezer-safe bags or containers and a sharpie.

  1. Prepare spinach by washing and drying. Pack the spinach into freezer-safe bags or containers. You can pack the spinach tightly. Label bag or container with date. If a precise amount (such as for a recipe) for the spinach is needed, make sure to add that to the label as well.
  2. Place bags or containers in the freezer, allowing for air circulation for proper freezing. If using spinach within a few weeks or months, a standard freezer is sufficient. For longer freezing times, a deep freezer is recommended as it will keep the frozen food at a lower temperature, prolonging its quality. Note that for deep freezing or longer freezer storage times, it may be prudent to double bag the spinach in order to prevent freezer burn.

As the spinach leaves freeze, they will lose a lot of volume due to ice crystals breaking down the cell walls. (For this reason, frozen spinach is also easier to blend when making green smoothies from a freezer pack.) And done! No need to waste spinach any longer.

washing spinach with water in a white strainer then gently drying with a tea towel before placing in a storage bag to freeze.

FAQs

Can you free spinach without cooking it?

Yes! No need to cook fresh spinach before freezing it. Fresh spinach is also more nutrient-dense, so freezing fresh spinach holds in more nutrients than freezing cooked spinach.

Do you have to blanch spinach before freezing it?

Nope! No need to blanch before freezing. Fresh spinach easily blends in water, and since it is getting blended into a smoothie at some point, then that alone negates any need to blanch.

Can I freeze bagged spinach?

You sure can. The bagged spinach from Costco freezes just as well as the fresh spinach from the roadside stand. Just give the bag a sniff test before starting to blend, to make sure it’s still fresh.

Why Should I Freeze Spinach?

Unless you buy spinach by the cup-full every day for your green smoothie (or pick from your garden), you probably buy it in bunches. Or like me, in Costco-sized bags. It starts out crisp and fresh, yet after only a few days, starts to wilt and smell funky. I used to throw out half bags of spinach all the time because I couldn’t get through it fast enough.

I learned how to freeze fresh spinach because I was sick of wasting money and time on something that didn’t last. Concerned about the loss of nutrition from freezing spinach? Read on.

Fresh vs Frozen Spinach

I often get emails asking about how to use frozen fruit and veggies while still getting the most in the way of nutrients. The truth is, frozen produce is often less expensive than fresh. It’s also frozen at peak freshness, making it even fresher and more nutrient-dense than some of the fresh produce at the grocery store.

My best advice is to buy produce fresh in its season, then freeze it to retain almost all those precious nutrients. Even if you grow your own leafy greens, you can prolong the shelf life by learning how to freeze them properly.

handful of spinach over a glass bowl of fresh spinach.

Delicious Spinach Smoothie Recipes

Now that you’ve got a freezer full of spinach cubes, here are some great recipes to try:

What are some of your favorite spinach smoothie recipes? Leave a comment letting me know! And don’t forget to share how to freeze fresh spinach with your friends, so no one has to experience spinach buyer’s remorse again!

Find more smoothie recipes

Need some green smoothie recipes to help boost your leafy green consumption? I’ve got a green smoothie recipe app—Daily Blends—with 100+ recipes, recipe categories, shopping list builder, and ingredient bar (recipe finder based on ingredients in your home)!

Click here to get the green smoothie app!

More How-To Recipes

Love learning how to use more plants in your life? Then you’ll want to learn how to…

4.72 from 7 votes

How to Freeze Spinach

Use this great + simple hack to keep your greens fresh and your smoothies tasting great all year long
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Smoothie
Cuisine: Plant-Based
Serves: 4 bags of spinach

Equipment

  • 4 freezer-safe bags

Ingredients  

  • 4 cups spinach 1 large bag/container/bunch
  • dish towels
  • freezer safe containers
  • sharpie

Instructions 

  • Sort through spinach and remove any that are slimy or spoiled. Wash the spinach in plenty of cool water. Lay out on a clean dish towel and pat gently to remove excess water.
  • Pack the spinach into freezer-safe bags or containers. You can pack the spinach tightly. Label bag or container with date. If a precise amount (such as for a recipe) for the spinach is needed, make sure to add that to the label as well.
  • Place bags and/or containers in the freezer, allowing for air circulation for proper freezing. If using spinach within a few weeks or months, a standard freezer is sufficient. For longer freezing times, a deep freezer is recommended as it will keep the frozen food at a lower temperature, prolonging its quality.

Notes

  • You can use this method for ANY leafy greens! Kale, Swiss chard, carrot tops, you name it.
  • If deep freezing or longer freezer storage times, it may be prudent to double bag the spinach in order to prevent freezer burn.
Freezing Spinach in Cubes: 
  1. Add 2 cups spinach and 1/2 cup water to blender and blend until the leafy chunks are gone.
  2. Pour blended ingredients into an ice cube tray and lay flat in freezer to freeze.
  3. Store leafy green cubes in a freezer-safe storage bag until ready to use.

Nutrition

Calories: 1kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 4mg, Potassium: 28mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 469IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me!Mention @SimpleGreenSmoothies or tag #SimpleGreenSmoothies!

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Comments

  1. What a great way to prevent waste of fresh leafy greens that sometimes go bad before they are all used up.
    Thanks for the tip!!

  2. When my leafy greens are at the end of their fridge life I pack them into a ziploc in 1 cup increments and freeze them. ARe your cubes better (healthwise)?

    1. Hey Beth,

      That is a great way to freeze your greens as well. We just wanted to share another way you can use up your extra greens that you might have laying around.

  3. I just put the bag of greens in my freezer. It does take up more room than cubes would, but then the recipe is just the same, and you are not blending ice cubes, which can be bad for your blender. I also cut up and freeze anything that is just starting to get overripe, or I don’t want to use right then, to use in smoothies later, like cubed beets, cut up carrots, pears, apples, peaches, mangos, etc. I buy boxes of bananas on sale, peel them, break in half, and arrange flat in gallon Ziplocs. They do discolor over time, but are fine for smoothies.

    Another hack that I use, too (for SGS meals!) is use my ice trays to freeze tablespoons of tomato paste. When a recipe calls for a few tablespoons of paste, less than the whole can, I measure the leftovers into ice trays in 1 T. increments. Freeze and pop into a Ziploc bag to save for other recipes. Recipes calling for tomato paste are usually hot anyway, and it only take a minute for them to melt into whatever you are using them for.

    1. Hey Carol,

      I love your freezing method! Thank you so much for sharing that 🙂

      These leafy green ice cubs are not bad for your blender because they are not as dense as just water is in a solid ice cube. This is just another option that could help with salvaging your extra greens you might have left over after you have blended your batch.

    1. Hey Lola,

      When you blend 2 cups greens and 1/2 cup liquid that should fill up a whole tray. So however much that fills up is what you will add to your smoothie. If your tray has 12 cubes then you will add those 12 to your smoothie.

      Hope that helps!

    1. Hey Tudy,

      You can totally do that too! This is just another option to freeze your greens. Also, doing it this way you already have your water (or other liquid) in it so you just need to add your fruit and you are ready to go.

      Cheers!

  4. Totally going to try this! I’m so excited about this. I am constantly throwing away greens because I couldn’t use them fast enough.

    1. Hey Brianna,

      It’s so awesome!! Have fun saving your greens =P

  5. This is such a great idea! I like to prep my smoothies ahead of time whenever I can so I throw the spinach in the freezer bag along with the fruit. Definitely trying this for the spinach I have leftover though.
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hey Adaiha,

      It really is a great way to save that extra spinach!! Can’t wait for you to give it a try.

      Cheers!! 🙂

  6. Quick Question! If a recipe calls for 1 cup of leafy greens, how many green cubes would you use in this instance?
    Love you guys so much!
    Thank you!

    1. Hey Jade,

      When you blend 2 cups greens and 1/2 cup liquid that should fill up a whole tray. So however much that fills up is what you will add to your smoothie. If your tray has 12 cubes then you will add those 12 to your smoothie.

      Hope that helps! 🙂

    1. Hey Leigh,

      Yes it would be water unless you are making your smoothie with a different liquid base, like almond milk or ect.

      Hope that helps!

  7. Yes I do sometimes get frustrated by not using my greens fast enough. This is a green saver! Thank you for this tip. Great way to prep ahead!

    1. Hey Theresa,

      So glad you found this post to be helpful!!

      Cheers to saving those greens!!

  8. While not freezer related, I have purchased a Genius Air Plus Refrigerator Refresher & Deodorizer. It helps keep food in the fridge fresher longer and keeps odors down. It’s like a battery powered box of Arm and Hammer.

    1. Hey Donweber,

      That is so interesting! I have not heard of that before but will definitely check it out.

      Thank you for sharing that with us 🙂

  9. I stuff spinach into 1 cup containers (ziploc style plastic) and freeze. When I have lots I also have filled larger containers (and froze) and just cut out as needed. I then just pop into blender and blend as usual. I also put kale into containers and freeze. I blend from frozen for a smoother finished product.

    1. Hey Pam,

      That’s a creative way to freeze your greens!

      Thank you for sharing that with us! 🙂

    2. Hi Pam,

      Thanks for your tip. I prefer not to use ice cube containers ( because they’re plastic). This will work out great for me.

  10. Would love to do this, but do not have the freezer space! Instead, I package greens in freezer bags – once I fill the bag, I flatten and roll to get the air out! I can find room for the rolled bags!!! When ready to use, I hit the bag against the counter edge to shatter the greens and then use what I need!

    1. Hey Kathy,

      That is a pretty rawesome way to freeze your greens too!

      Thanks for sharing =D

    1. Hey Amy,

      Yes you are correct those ice tray to the right are the same thing but with banana 🙂