Adding frozen spinach to your smoothies is a quick and easy way of getting your greens in for the day and providing you with a boost of the health benefits the vegetable provides, without taking away too much of the smoothie flavor.
However, you might be wondering how you would use frozen spinach in a smoothie and how exactly would you freeze it in the first place?
This article tells you all you need to know about frozen spinach so you’re ready to throw some in next time you make a smoothie. Let’s get to it.
Why Should You Add Spinach To Your Smoothies?
Before we show you how to freeze spinach for your smoothies, you might be wondering why it can be such a beneficial ingredient to add?
Adding spinach to your smoothies can help you meet your daily recommended intake of vitamin K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, fiber, vitamins A and C, and omega-3 fatty acids.
These vitamins and minerals can help with boosting a whole range of health benefits.
The Health Benefits Of Frozen Spinach Include:
Eating foods rich in fiber can improve digestion and prevent constipation. Spinach contains high levels of dietary fiber, making it one of the best sources of this nutrient.
Fiber helps to keep things moving along smoothly in your digestive system, helping to avoid constipation and other gastrointestinal problems.
Promotes Weight Loss
Spinach is packed full of nutrients that promote weight loss. Studies show that people who eat spinach tend to weigh less than those who don’t.
Eating spinach also makes you feel fuller longer, meaning you’ll be less likely to snack on unhealthy snacks or overeat at mealtimes.
Boosts Energy Levels
Spinach contains lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene, three antioxidants that may help to boost energy levels.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two of the most powerful antioxidants known to science, while beta carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body.
Vitamin A is essential for healthy eyesight, skin, and immune function.
Protects Against Heart Disease
The antioxidant properties of spinach protect against heart disease. Antioxidants fight free radicals, molecules that damage cells and cause inflammation.
Free radicals can lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), heart attacks, strokes, and even cancer.
Supports Healthy Skin
Spinach is loaded with nutrients that support healthy skin. Beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin work together to create anti-aging effects.
These antioxidants help to strengthen cell membranes and slow down the aging process. They also help to make the skin look healthier and younger.
May Help Lower Blood Pressure
Spinach contains potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. Potassium works as a natural diuretic, removing excess fluid from the body and lowering blood pressure.
Spinach has high levels of carotenoids and zeaxanthin and this helps to remove cancer-causing free radicals from the body.
Spinach can therefore help to prevent a variety of different cancers such as stomach cancer, esophagus cancer, and mouth cancer.
How Do I Freeze Spinach For My Smoothies?
Freezing spinach requires little initial prep work, and you can freeze a large amount of spinach at one time. Once you know how to do it, freezing spinach can be quite quick and easy.
Step One: Remove The Bad Leaves
First, rinse your spinach to get rid of debris and dirt. Next, remove the brown and soggy-looking leaves whilst cleaning, as one bad leaf can speed up the wilting process of all the surrounding leaves.
Step Two: Dry the Spinach With A Paper Towel
Pat the spinach dry with dry paper towels, or use a salad spinner and this should remove any excess moisture.
Pop your spinach in a freezer bag and place the towel in the bag with it. This works to absorb the moisture whilst your spinach is in the bag.
Step Three: Remove The Excess Air
You should remove as much air as you can from the storage container or bag and if you are using a Tupperware container, ensure you pack the spinach in as tight as possible.
Ziploc bags also should be flattened after it is filled to help remove excess air.
Using Frozen Spinach As Part Of Your Smoothie Recipe
When adding frozen spinach to your smoothie recipe, first thaw it out completely. This means letting the spinach sit in its liquid for about 10 minutes.
You want to remove as much moisture as possible, so that there’s no risk of the spinach turning soggy once blended.
Once the spinach has been fully thawed, blend it with all of your ingredients until smooth. If you’re using frozen banana chunks, add them after blending.
Frozen bananas tend to turn mushy if they’re added too early.
Spinach Ice Cube Trays
To freeze spinach ice cubes, simply follow these steps. Spinach ice cubes can be kept in the freezer for around 2 months.
- Wash and drain your spinach thoroughly.
- Place the washed spinach in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Pour the blended spinach through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any remaining fibers.
- Transfer the strained spinach into an ice cube tray.
- Repeat Steps 1 – 4 until you have enough spinach to fill the entire ice cube tray.
- Cover each ice cube tray with plastic wrap and then place them into the freezer for 24 hours or until you want to use it in your smoothie.
- After at least 24 hours have passed, take out the trays and pop them into the fridge for another 12 hours before adding them to your smoothie blender.
- When ready to serve, scoop out the frozen spinach cubes and enjoy! After leaving in the fridge, they should be defrosted enough they can be used in your morning smoothie and most blenders will be able to handle the spinach ice cubes with ease.
Can I Add Other Ingredients To My Spinach Ice Cubes?
Yes, you can add different types of fruit, nuts, seeds, granola, protein powder, etc. to your spinach ice cubes.
Just remember to only add small amounts of these ingredients because too much can affect how well your ice cubes melt when you eat them and put them in your smoothie.
What If I Do Not Like Spinach?
If you don’t like the texture of spinach ice cubes, you can try blending spinach leaves with other ingredients.
Try making a green smoothie by mixing spinach with kale, cucumber, celery, mint, parsley, lemon juice, and water.
Moreover, if you want to make a more nutritious smoothie, you can add spinach ice cubes to your smoothie along with kale, apples, strawberries, blueberries, and ginger and this can make the taste too.
Often, you will not taste the spinach in your smoothie when blended with other ingredients, however, the more ingredients you add along with the spinach, the more the taste will be disguised.
We hope you have learned all you need to know about freezing spinach for your smoothie and how you would go about doing so to make your smoothie taste great.
We’ve also covered how it can give you a boost of health benefits and help you live a high-quality life.
Adding frozen spinach to your smoothie is easy, tasty, and healthy so why not give it a go for your next breakfast? We promise you won’t regret it.