Spinach is a leafy vegetable loaded with antioxidants and nutrients. You can consume spinach fresh or perhaps, after storage with the help of several preservative techniques. These include canning, dehydration, or freezing.
However, there’s a challenge that comes with spinach storage. The leafy green vegetable doesn’t stay fresh much longer.
You probably have some spinach kept in your fridge while reading this. And you intend to use the vegetable in a couple of days.
But before you do, check your stored spinach to ensure it’s still in good shape. Keep in mind that vegetables don’t stay fresh for a long time.
Now, here’s the big question you’re probably asking.
How Can One Tell If Spinach Is Bad?
You don’t need a device or nutritionist to identify bad spinach. Your eyes and sense of smell are enough to identify bad spinach. It also applies to other leafy green vegetables, not only spinach.
Here are the different ways to identify bad spinach. Keep reading!
Check the texture:
If you discover that your spinach is slimy (moist texture) or moldy, please be careful. That’s a sign that your vegetable is bad. And at this stage, it’s best to discard it.
Consider the smell:
The smell is another sign that can tell you if your once fresh spinach is no longer fresh. If the spinach has a strong smell, then it’s bad, and you should discard it.
But then, please note that burnt, overcooked spinach, or one subjected to higher heat, can become smelly. That’s not what we are referring to. We are referring to fresh spinach, one that hasn’t been cooked yet.
Observe the color change:
Color change is another way to identify bad spinach. A darkened color is an indication that your spinach is no longer edible.
There are also cases where the spinach’s leaves could become yellow and witty. In most cases, all or a tiny portion might experience a color change.
Most people consume spinach that has gone yellowish or witty. So, it’s a matter of choice, including how you intend to use the leaves.
But here’s some advice. It would be much better to cook with yellowish or witty spinach. Why? The ingredient used in the dish would help to bury the taste.
How Long Can You Store Spinach?
Spinach doesn’t last that long. It doesn’t matter how you store it. The best you can get from your stored spinach is three weeks or less.
Spinach is similar to kale. Both vegetables don’t last long, regardless of how and where you store them. But keep this in mind. Several factors can affect how long your spinach would last.
These factors include where you got the spinach from, including how they come packaged. Let’s assume your spinach is from the farmer’s market. Such spinach can last up to two weeks when stored properly.
However, if your spinach is the pre-packaged one bought from the supermarket, rest assured it would last longer than the one from the farmer’s market. It could last for two weeks, including an additional three or five days, depending on the storage condition.
A handy tip: Consume your spinach fresh if your reason for adding the vegetable to your meal is due to the nutrient content. Why? Spinach tends to lose its nutrient concentration much quicker than you would expect. Only consume spinach stored for long if you’re more concerned about the fiber content, not the nutrient.
So, it’s understandable that fresh spinach can last for two weeks or including an additional three to five days, depending on where you got them from.
Now the question is, how long would cooked spinach last? Well, cooked spinach won’t last longer than the fresh one. Keep that in mind. If stored in the fridge, it might last for three to five days. But please note that the earlier you consume your cooked spinach, the better.
How Long Does Frozen Spinach Last?
Frozen spinach is the most comfortable way to store your vegetables for a long time. You can store spinach for months. And what’s more, all the nutrients would remain intact. Plus, you will have the vegetable to cook your food whenever you need one.
You can make your frozen spinach at home or purchase one made commercially. But it’s quite simple to make.
Chop or blanch the spinach, then flash freeze it. Your spinach would have a great texture that works beautifully well in spinach dips, soups, egg dishes, casseroles, and other meals that require the use of vegetables.
A Handy Tip: Commercially produced frozen spinach is usually blanched. The process involves boiling the vegetable and submerging it in cold water to stop the cooking process and retain its color. After that, the vegetable is packaged and refrigerated.
Why Frozen Spinach Is A wise choice
Your frozen spinach can spend months in your refrigerator and retain all of its nutrients. If properly packaged and refrigerated, it can retain its quality for 12 months, though you can still consume it afterward.
Imagine setting up to cook, and the one thing missing in your kitchen is vegetables. Such experiences can be devastating. You also won’t feel good going to the market because of a vegetable.
You don’t need to worry about not adding vegetables to your meals or missing out on the goodies vegetables add to a meal with frozen spinach. Besides, frozen spinach can retain its nutrient and fiber content for months. So you won’t be missing out on anything.
So, let’s see several reasons frozen vegetables make a wise choice.
Allow you to cook and eat healthier meals:
Truth be told, some of the foods we eat are total garbage. These include some of the ones we prepare at home.
So, adding vegetables to whatever unhealthy meal you’re cooking would make much sense health-wise. You can add vegetables to your pizza, pasta, cheese dip, scrambled eggs, and any dish you feel can use a vegetable. It would be a wise upgrade to your meals.
Spinach boosts diverse health benefits: All the nutrients and fiber in frozen spinach are intact. It doesn’t matter if you have stored the vegetable for months.
Spinach generally comes packed with diverse vitamins and minerals, making it one of the hottest superfoods on the planet. It boasts iron, calcium, vitamin K and other nutrients essential to the body.
Healthier than fresh spinach:
It’s more beneficial, health-wise, to store and consume frozen spinach than fresh spinach. Freshly stored spinach loses its folate and vitamins over time, but frozen spinach doesn’t.
All the nutrients and vitamins remain intact for months, making it a wiser option for home and commercial use.
If you prefer cooking with enough vegetables, frozen spinach will make a wise choice. Why? A single box of frozen spinach equals three bundles of spinach.
The price of one box is also low compared to buying three bundles of spinach.
Frozen spinach last long:
You can store frozen spinach for months, but you can’t do the same with fresh spinach. At best, fresh pre-packaged spinach from the supermarket can last for two weeks, including an additional three or five days. But your frozen spinach can last for twelve months.
Now this means you will have a vegetable on hand to use whenever you need one. It will also allow you to add vegetables to your foods at all times.
So, how can you tell if spinach is bad? It’s simple. You only need to use your eyes and sense of smell to figure out. If the spinach is bad, you will discover a change in color, smell, and texture. Furthermore, remember to avoid cooking with a spoilt vegetable. Discard spinach once any sign of spoilage is spotted in the vegetable.
You can decide to make frozen spinach or buy it from the supermarket. Frozen spinach’s nutrients and vitamins are intact, making it a healthier option for those seeking to store their vegetables. It can remain fresh for 12 months and even more.
So, if you enjoy adding spinach to every meal to get the goodies the vegetable brings, frozen spinach would be a wise choice. But if you don’t want to go for that, you can make out time to buy fresh spinach from the market beforehand, whenever you plan to cook.
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