How To Substitute Fresh Spinach For Frozen
You can substitute fresh spinach in a recipe that calls for frozen spinach. Just keep in mind that you’ll need about three times as much fresh spinach to equal the same amount. So, if your recipe calls for one cup of frozen spinach, you’ll need three cups of fresh spinach.
While fresh spinach leaves are a simple salad staple, frozen spinach does require a little more work, but can be added to just about anything that is already been made using your stovetop. You can replace 1 packet (10-ounce) of frozen spinach leaves with 1-1/2 pounds of fresh spinach. If using older spinach leaves, we would recommend 1.2kg/2 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, to account for any pieces you need to discard.
Note* For perspective, the photo I used in this post is using 1 packet (11.5 oz) of fresh baby spinach leaves, rather than the equivalent 1 pound for this recipe. I have seen various conversions, but it is my understanding that one 10 ounce bag of frozen spinach is equal to 1 and a half cups once it is been drained, which is about what you would get by cooking 1 pound of fresh spinach. A single box of frozen spinach could equal as many as three fresh spinach clumps once cooked, so when spinach is the star of the dish (like in Spanakopita), you cannot really beat frozen spinach for efficiency.
Since frozen spinach is blanched (that is, briefly cooked in really hot water, and then submerged in cold water to stop cooking and keep the color) before being packaged, it is kind of a shortcut. Using Frozen Spinach Frozen spinach is fine to use for this recipe, however, it has been blanched, which gives it a lightly cooked taste. Spinach is a frozen vegetable that has flavors that stand up to the freezer process, and it does not lose its texture as cooked spinach is very soft. Arugula has a texture that is similar to that of spinach, so you can use arugula as a substitute for spinach in recipes calling for cooked or fresh spinach.
Fresh spinach also retains a fair amount of liquid as it cooks, so you might have to strain it out before adding to dishes. Cook spinach, but do not squeeze the water out, before you chop spinach and add to the rest of the ingredients. Now, try to squeeze the water out as much as you can, and divide the spinach in portions (for this, you can use an ice-cube tray or just squirt it). If you are having trouble fitting all of the spinach in one 5-quart pot, simmer down a few portions of all of the spinach for one minute before adding the rest.
Once frozen, bag and you have now got some frozen, portion-sized spinach ready for when you need some. To keep spinach in your freezer, wash your spinach and discard any leaves that do not seem to be very fresh. To prepare fresh spinach in boiling water, put 1 pounds of washed spinach, covered, into a small amount of boiling salted water.
|How to Substitute|
|Frozen spinach leaves||You can replace 1 packet (10-ounce) of frozen spinach leaves with 1-1/2 pounds of fresh spinach.|
|Older spinach leaves||If using older spinach leaves, we would recommend 1.2kg/2 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, to account for any pieces you need to discard.|
Thawing and draining frozen spinach ahead of time prevents overhydration in the dish, particularly for pasta-based dishes such as spinach cakes, or spinach used as pizza filling. A paper towel helps draw out any water from your spinach leaves, which keeps your spinach leaves crisp and crunchy longer. Freezing is the best way to lock in the spinachs moisture and healthful ingredients before using it in food.
If you’re interested in Can You Eat Baby Spinach Raw then you can check that article.
You can if you really want to make it look like as close to frozen spinach as you can, but you really could just prepare it by cooking with water left over on the leaves after you wash them — it is actually kind of like vaporizing. In general, you are better off pre-cooking spinach, as the natural water from spinach is released when you cook it, and can make your recipe a little too watery. For that reason, watercress can be a good option for recipes calling for cooked spinach, such as eggs, pastas, and soups.
In general, spinach has similar nutrients and other protective compounds, regardless of whether you use it fresh or frozen. Fresh spinach is straight from the farm and may have better flavor than frozen, making it easier for you to enjoy your meal. Frozen whole leaf spinach quickly thaws when added to any sauce or soup, and it really boosts nutritional value. Any cool-weather vegetable, such as celery, squash, kale, can be frozen for long-term storage, and spinach is no different.
If you are planning to make Spanakopita, spinach dip, lasagne, or stuffing the shells–basically, every spinach dish that your mother made–use frozen. Frozen chopped spinach is an excellent option for dipping, but if you only have fresh spinach to work with, or the spinach is simply going to go bad and you need to get an early start, you can easily swap that out with frozen. Nigella uses frozen chopped spinach in her spinach and coconut soup (on Nigellas site) for convenience and speed. You can use butterhead lettuce the same way as spinach for dishes like salads and grain bowls.
Butterhead Lettuce If you are going to use spinach in your fresh lettuce, there are some types of lettuce that you may want to consider using instead. Kale You can use kale in place of spinach, but you will need to pick the right kind depending on your recipe. If you are making a salad and are going to use kale instead of raw spinach, you are better off using baby kale, as it is softer than adult kale. When using kale as a substitute for spinach in cooked dishes, you can use whatever kind you prefer, including Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale, which is the type typically sold at grocery stores.
If you are running out of spinach, or cannot find any in your local stores, you might be wondering which greens you can substitute for spinach in your favorite recipes. Bok Choy is tasty when both raw and cooked, and it can be used just like spinach in many recipes, like soups and stir-fries.
The cooking instructions on the back of the packet may be misleading, asking that you boil or microwavable frozen spinach an excessive amount of times. Improper storage conditions may result in the spinach going bad, whether you have it stored in a refrigerator or freezer.
If you’re interested in How Long Can You Freeze Tuna Steaks then you can check that article.
To test whether the spinach has gone bad, grab a piece of spinach and compress it between your fingers. If you are using this steamed spinach as a side, you will want to add salt and pepper, garlic, oil, lemon juice, and/or additional flavors.
How many cups fresh spinach equals frozen?
When fresh spinach is called for in a recipe that asks for a cooked spinach, one pound of it will provide 10–12 cups of torn leaves, which will cook down to around one cup. After heating, one bag of spinach leaves weighing 10 ounces provides around 1-1/2 cups.
Can you substitute fresh spinach for frozen in recipes?
Almost everywhere that you would typically prepare with raw spinach, frozen spinach may be substituted. Since spinach is watery when it is raw, you should probably simmer it down nevertheless since it will release its water and alter the texture and flavour of your meal when it is completed.
Is fresh spinach the same as frozen?
Generally speaking, the nutrients and other defensive chemicals are the same whether you use fresh or frozen spinach. The American Heart Association notes that fresh spinach has more folate than frozen spinach, a B vitamin that some research suggests may help to avoid heart disease.