Creamed spinach is one of those meals that basically anyone can prepare. The ingredients are easy to access at affordable prices, and the health benefits which come with the food are numerous. A nice bowl of creamed spinach can be prepared in about 25 minutes or less.
As expected, the food has a rich creamy taste – thanks to butter and milk ingredients – along with the leafy texture from spinach. The basic ingredients used in making a tasty bowl of creamed spinach are: flour, olive oil, milk, butter, pepper, salt, garlic, and spinach.
If you have a big bag of spinach that’s will soon go bad, you can easily make some creamed spinach out of it to avoid wastage – this is something that I’ve done severally.
Creamed spinach has many health benefits that make it a worthy addition to your diet; even Popeye didn’t miss out on the benefits of spinach. It is a food that’s rich in vitamins A, K, C, and B2. It also supplies substantial amounts of iron, manganese, magnesium, and folic acid. The Lutein found in spinach is really good for the eyes and can potentially lower the risks of eye disease.
If you’d like to make a large batch of creamed spinach soup for storage till a later date, can you freeze creamed spinach? Yes, you can freeze creamed spinach. Freezing can preserve creamed spinach for up to 12 months. The creamed spinach will have to be packaged in sealable freezer-safe bags before being kept in the freezer. It is also important for you to give the creamed spinach some time to cool if it’s still hot.
Freezing Creamed Spinach
Typically, fresh spinach will turn softer and mushy after it has been stored in the freezer for some time. However, since the spinach is used in a creamed spinach cooking recipe, it’ll already be mushy anyways. The altered texture of the spinach doesn’t affect its taste and nutritional benefits. This means that you won’t need to be worried about the spinach’s texture when the creamed spinach has been subjected to freezer conditions for some time.
When it comes to the dairy products in the creamed spinach’s recipe, you should know that there may be potential change in consistency. Dairy products are known to freeze badly – the milk proteins separate from other liquids in the recipe. However, even when the creamed spinach’s consistency gets altered after freezing, you can significantly get it back during reheating.
How to Freeze Creamed Spinach
It’s good to know that creamed spinach can be safely preserved in the freezer for over a year. This gives you the opportunity to save up time spent preparing the dish from scratch. However, you must follow the correct steps if you want the best results out of freezing your creamed spinach. Here are some easy steps for you to follow:
Step 1: Let Freshly Made Creamed Spinach Cool Down
I want to quickly inform you that you can first blanch the spinach you wish to use in the creamed spinach recipe. Blanching is an easy process that potentially lengthens the preservation time of spinach.
After cooking the desired portion of creamed spinach, it’ll still be hot. You must never place hot food directly in the freezer. Doing so will cause other frozen foods in the freezer to defrost and re-freeze many times. Instead, give the cooked creamed spinach some time to cool totally – you should be able to touch it without any worries.
Once the creamed spinach has cooled down, you can start packaging it for long-term preservation in the freezer.
Step 2: Transfer the Creamed Spinach into an Airtight Freezer-Safe Bag
After the creamed spinach has cooled to room temperature, transfer it into freezer-safe bags. Don’t fill the sealable bag completely – you need to leave some space for any expansion that takes place during freezing. If one freezer bag won’t be enough, you can make use of 2 or more.
Try to squeeze out as much air as possible from inside the freezer-safe bag before you seal it. One advantage that freezer-safe bags have is that they save much space in the freezer. After filling all the freezer bags with creamed spinach, you can stack them on top of each other to save space.
In fact, you can let the creamed spinach freeze solidly in the freezer bags and then stand them upright in a freezer compartment to save space.
Step 3: Label Freezer Bags and Store in Freezer
Use a marker to write the present date on the freezer bags so that you’ll be constantly reminded of how long the creamed spinach has been frozen for. Although creamed spinach lasts for up to a year in the freezer, I’d recommend eating it within the first 6 months of freezing.
After labeling the freezer bags with the present date, look for one of the coldest areas in your freezer and keep the creamed spinach there.
How to Thaw and Reheat Frozen Creamed Spinach
After months of freezing your creamed spinach, you may eventually want to eat some of it. I recommend that you only defrost and reheat a portion of the frozen creamed spinach that you can finish at once.
Take the creamed spinach out of the freezer and leave it to sit in the fridge overnight. Thawing in the fridge is the best way to defrost your frozen creamed spinach. However, the process takes several hours – which is why you’re advised to do it overnight.
If you don’t have much time to spend thawing creamed spinach in the fridge, you can submerge the freezer bags in a bowl of lukewarm water. After about an hour, the creamed spinach should have thawed.
After defrosting, transfer the creamed spinach into a microwave-safe dish. Place the microwave-safe dish in the microwave, set the temperature to high and heat for about 30 seconds. After the first 30 seconds of heating, remove the creamed spinach from the microwave and stir together. Place the creamed spinach back in the microwave and repeat the process till the creamed spinach is completely reheated.