Smoothies are a delicious and nutritious way to start your day. Packed with fruits, veggies, protein powders and more, smoothies provide a quick breakfast or snack when you’re on the go. Spinach is a popular addition to smoothies for its nutrition profile. But can you freeze raw spinach for smoothies? Keep reading to find out.
Freezing Raw Spinach
Yes, you can absolutely freeze raw spinach to use later in smoothies! Freezing spinach is an easy way to preserve fresh spinach to have on hand whenever a smoothie craving strikes. Here are some tips for freezing spinach:
- Make sure the spinach is fresh, with no wilted or slimy leaves.
- Wash the spinach thoroughly under cool running water.
- Allow the spinach to completely dry. Use a salad spinner or lay the leaves on a towel to remove excess moisture.
- Cut or tear the leaves into pieces if the leaves are large.
- Pack the spinach into freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Squeeze out excess air and seal.
- Flatten the bags of spinach to make them stackable in the freezer.
- Label the bags with the contents and date.
- Freeze the spinach for up to 6 months.
Freezing spinach in individual portions, like 1 cup bags, makes it easy to grab just what you need for each smoothie. Make sure the spinach is completely frozen within 2 hours of harvesting or purchasing for best quality and texture.
Using Frozen Spinach in Smoothies
Adding frozen spinach to your smoothies is super easy. Here are some tips for using frozen spinach in smoothies:
- Add 1 cup frozen spinach to your smoothie ingredients and blend as usual.
- For thicker, creamier smoothies, use only 1/2 cup frozen spinach.
- Add extra liquid to account for the icy spinach. Try an extra 1/4 – 1/2 cup liquid.
- Use other frozen fruits and veggies too like bananas, mango and avocado.
- Blend on high for 1-2 minutes until the smoothie texture is smooth and creamy.
- Drink smoothies made with frozen spinach right away for best texture and taste.
When using frozen spinach, you don’t have to thaw it first. Just measure what you need straight from the freezer into the blender. The frozen spinach gives smoothies extra nutrition without altering the flavor.
Nutrition Benefits of Spinach in Smoothies
Adding fresh or frozen spinach to smoothies provides a big boost of nutrition. Here are some of the top nutrients found in spinach:
- Vitamin A – This powerful antioxidant promotes eye health.
- Vitamin C – Important for immune system function and iron absorption.
- Vitamin K – Plays a role in bone health and blood clotting.
- Folate – Crucial for cell growth and synthesis.
- Iron – Spinach is an excellent source of non-heme iron.
- Magnesium – Supports muscle and nerve function.
- Potassium – May help control blood pressure.
Just 1 cup of raw spinach provides over 15% of your daily vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and magnesium needs. Spinach also contains beneficial plant compounds like lutein and zeaxanthin which support eye health.
Best Fruits and Veggies to Blend with Frozen Spinach
Spinach pairs well with both fruits and vegetables in smoothies. Some delicious options include:
- Fruits: bananas, mangoes, pineapples, avocados, strawberries, blueberries
- Veggies: kale, zucchini, carrots, beets, cauliflower, broccoli
Bananas and mangoes add creamy sweetness that balances the earthy spinach flavor. Avocado makes smoothies extra thick and luscious. Berries infuse vibrant color and antioxidants. Kale, carrots and beets complement the nutrition profile of spinach.
Smoothie Recipes with Frozen Spinach
Here are 3 nourishing and delicious smoothies recipes that use frozen spinach as a base:
Green Monster Spinach Smoothie
- 1 cup frozen spinach
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tsp matcha powder
Tropical Spinach Smoothie
- 1 cup frozen spinach
- 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- 1/4 avocado
- 1 tbsp lime juice
Blueberry-Almond Spinach Smoothie
- 1 cup frozen spinach
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tsp honey or maple syrup (optional)
Get creative and come up with your own frozen spinach smoothie combinations! Spinach, fruits and liquids are endlessly mixable.
Storing Smoothies Made with Frozen Spinach
Like most smoothies, spinach smoothies taste best when enjoyed right after blending. The frozen spinach helps them stay cooler longer, but smoothies with fresh spinach should be consumed immediately. Here are some storage tips if you don’t finish your spinach smoothie in one sitting:
- Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
- Give it a good stir or shake when taking it out of the fridge.
- Add a handful of ice cubes to help chill and thicken up the smoothie again.
- Optimal flavor will be within the first 4 hours.
You can also freeze extra spinach smoothie in batches for later. Pour into freezer safe containers or ice cube trays. Thaw in the refrigerator before enjoying.
Freezing spinach to use in smoothies is an excellent way to always have this nutritious green on hand. Simply wash fresh spinach, dry thoroughly, and pack into freezer bags. Store frozen spinach up to 6 months. Add 1 cup frozen spinach straight to your smoothie ingredients and blend until smooth. Combining frozen spinach with fruits like bananas, mangoes, pineapple and avocados creates a delicious, creamy smoothie packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Store smoothies made with frozen spinach in the refrigerator no more than 24 hours for best taste and texture. Freezing spinach helps make healthy breakfast smoothies quick and easy any time of day.
|Spinach Nutrition Facts (1 cup raw)||DV%*|
*DV = Daily Value based on a 2000 calorie diet. Nutrition facts from SELF Nutrition Data.