how to freeze fresh spinach

How to Freeze Spinach (or any other leafy green)

POSTED ON 3.31.2021

I’ve found the best way to guarantee constant availability for leafy greens is to freeze them. I’m talking how to properly freeze spinach.

Leafy greens have some pretty amazing superpowers, nutritionally speaking, but they don’t stay fresh for long. I’m going to show you how to freeze spinach (or any other leafy green), and 10x it’s shelf life! Never let that beautiful bag of fresh spinach go to waste again.

how to freeze fresh spinach

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 containers/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.

Simply tossing a bag in the freezer doesn’t help either! The leaves in the middle don’t freeze right, plus freezer burn is always an issue. So I learned how to freeze fresh spinach, because I was sick of wasting money + 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 nutrients. The truth is, frozen produce is often less expensive than fresh. It’s also frozen at peak freshness, making it even fresher + 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.

This spinach freezing hack may not be for everyone, but if you’re planning on blending your greens then I’ve got two words for you: spinach cubes.

How to freeze spinach:

Following these simple steps can literally make your spinach (and other leafy greens) last 10x longer. Try to use as many fresh leafy greens as possible, but 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.

And that’s how to freeze spinach! 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 these cube recipes are the exception to the rule.

Fav spinach smoothies

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

What are some of your fav 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 appβ€”Daily Blendsβ€”with 100+ recipes, recipe categories, shopping list builder, and ingredient bar (recipe finder based on ingredients in your home)!

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How to, Plant-Based Diet

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About Jen Hansard

Mom of 2, ran across the Grand Canyon and lover of smoothies, coffee & tacos. I transformed my family's health with a plant-based diet. I also found myself again along the way.

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COMMENTS
38
  1. Barbara Roberts says:

    I just buy organic prewashed kale and freeze the whole bag. I take out a handful when I need it for my smoothie.

  2. Theresa Jackson says:

    How many cubes would you blend in your recipes?

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Theresa,

      It depends on how much spinach you had to freeze. If you blended a half cup of spinach and put the entire thing in one tray, then I would put the whole tray in your blender πŸ™‚

  3. Christina says:

    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!!

  4. beth says:

    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)?

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      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.

  5. Carol Simpson says:

    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.

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Carol,

      I love your freezing method! Thank you so much for sharing that πŸ™‚

      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.

  6. Louise nelson says:

    That is how I do all my greens also my herbs

  7. Lola says:

    How many cubes would you put in a smoothie???

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      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!

  8. Tudy says:

    Why can’t you just freeze spinach as is and grab them when you are ready to blend?

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      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!

  9. Brianna says:

    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.

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Brianna,

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

  10. Adaiha says:

    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!

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Adaiha,

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

      Cheers!! πŸ™‚

  11. Jade says:

    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!

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      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! πŸ™‚

    • Jade says:

      Oh duh – That makes sense. haha! Thank you so much!

  12. Leigh says:

    It says 2 cups of greens and 1/2 liquid. 1/2 of what? 1/2 cup of water? Thanks!

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      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!

  13. Theresa OMara says:

    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!

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Theresa,

      So glad you found this post to be helpful!!

      Cheers to saving those greens!!

  14. DonWeber says:

    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.

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      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 πŸ™‚

    • DonWeber says:

      Hi Carissa. I meant to mention that QVC has them.

  15. Pam T says:

    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.

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Pam,

      That’s a creative way to freeze your greens!

      Thank you for sharing that with us! πŸ™‚

    • Kristen says:

      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.

  16. Kathy says:

    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!

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Kathy,

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

      Thanks for sharing =D

  17. Amy says:

    What is in the ice cubes to the right? (Looks like bananas maybe?).

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