The blanching technique is an effective way to bring out the flavors, make the spinach color fresher, and soften the texture. When learning how to blanch spinach, you will need to prepare several bunches of spinach because during the process, one bunch of spinach will only result in a small amount of boiled spinach. The basic rule goes like this: 450 grams of spinach will yield about one cup (8 ounces) of spinach. Spinach as much as 450 grams is approximately equal to 10 to 12 cups of fresh spinach leaves.
Step 1. Boil a large pot of water over high heat
If you want, you can add a little salt to make the water a bit salty.
Step 2. Wash the spinach leaves, then dry them
Step 3. Prepare ice cubes and water in a large bowl
Fill the bowl 3/4 full with ice cubes, then add cold water up to the top of the ice. Ice and water should be available after the spinach is boiled.
Step 4. Put the spinach in boiling water, and let it sit for 30 seconds to a minute until the spinach looks bright green
Step 5. Drain the water with a sieve or slotted spoon
Step 6. Put the spinach in the ice water
Let the boiled spinach soak in the ice water for a few minutes or until it's no longer warm. This will stop the cooking process, make the spinach soft, and retain its nutrients.
Step 7. Squeeze the spinach by hand to remove excess water
Leaving too much water in the spinach can mess up your recipe. Spinach is 90% water so there is no need to add water when cooking it.
Step 8. Store spinach in an airtight container
Freeze spinach for later use, or use it immediately for cooking.
- You can do the blanching technique for other vegetables, then store them in the freezer for later processing when they are out of season. Some other types of vegetables that are suitable for blanching include chickpeas, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus. Serving these vegetables immediately after boiling does not necessarily stop the heating process taking place. As a result, the vegetables become mushy when served.
- Blanching spinach can also be done before drying with a dehydrator.
- When you're ready to eat spinach, reheat it briefly, or just to warm it up. Heating too long will re-cook the spinach and remove most of its nutrients.
- Leaving spinach in boiling water for too long will destroy most of its nutritional content, stripping it of its valuable vitamins and minerals.
- Do not cook spinach whose leaves are yellow, wilted, or bruised.
- Spinach is sensitive to ethylene. Storing it with tomatoes, apples, or melons will make the leaves turn yellow. These fruits secrete ethylene compounds naturally.