Experts weigh in on the best way to store spinach.
Whether you add it raw into smoothies, sauté it for an omelette, or bake it into a quiche, spinach is a versatile vegetable that is easy to add to any meal for extra nourishment. Like most salad greens, spinach is delicate, and if you don't store it correctly, there's a good chance it'll get slimy and gross before you have a chance to enjoy it.
You'll definitely know when your spinach has gone bad. The edges of the once bright, crisp green leaves will first turn yellow, and eventually gnarly and soggy, often taking on an unpleasant smell. At that point, it's better off in compost than on your plate.
So how do you prevent this fate and keep your spinach fresh for as long as possible? By learning how to store your spinach in the fridge correctly. That's it! Here's how.
The First Thing You Should Do When You Buy Spinach
The key is to keep your spinach as dry as possible because excess moisture is what causes spinach—and all greens for that matter—to get slimy. The first thing you should do when you get a bag or bunch of spinach is to pick out any leaves that may have already started to turn.
Wash the remaining leaves and dry them thoroughly, ideally using a salad spinner or, at minimum, patting them down with a clean dry kitchen towel. The key is to make sure the spinach leaves are dry before you store them.
The One Kitchen Tool We Recommend For Storing Spinach
It's only once your spinach leaves are washed and dried that you can store them. The experts at Cook's Illustrated recommend storing salad greens in a salad spinner. Cook's Illustrated Cookbook says, "For delicate greens, line an empty salad spinner with paper towels. Layer the dried greens in the bowl, covering each layer with additional towels, and refrigerate."
If you don't have a salad spinner—we highly recommend that you invest in one if you enjoy eating fresh greens—store your spinach in a hard-sided lidded container lined with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. We've found that this method keeps the spinach fresh for up to 10 days.
You Can Freeze Spinach
You can freeze spinach if you have more than you can use in a week or so. You'll be able to use the frozen spinach in smoothies, quiches, and omelettes just like you would use store-bought frozen spinach. Here's how to freeze spinach:
Rinse the spinach and blanch them in a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds, which takes the raw edge off before freezing.
Dunk the blanched spinach in a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process.
Use your hands to squeeze as much water out as you can.
Place the spinach in a zip-top bag or airtight container, and freeze it for up to six months.