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Frozen Spinach, A Love Story

Frozen spinach is one of the most useful items in my freezer. I buy a few boxes of inexpensive good quality spinach from Whole Foods and Traders Joe’s at a time so I always have it on hand.  Sure, I love fresh leaf spinach too, but I’ve found that frozen spinach can go a long way in my kitchen. It lasts nearly forever in it’s frozen state (at least, I’ve never had it go bad in my freezer) and there seems to be a never ending parade of recipes in which to use it. Here are some of my favorites:

1) Lasagna: Thawed frozen spinach is great to add to ricotta cheese when you want to add a little extra protein and flavor to the family’s favorite baked casserole.

2) Chicken Tortellini Soup: Thawed chopped frozen spinach is delicious in soups. It adds a nice texture and subtle earthiness to many of the hot soups I like to make. Plus, if your children don’t wolf down spinach willingly, this way they’ll gobble it up and be none the wiser, unless, of course, you choose to point it out to them.

3) Baked Dips: There is a reason everyone has a recipe for Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip – it is delicious! It may not be something we eat everyday, but I love to whip it up once or twice a year. When you feel so inspired to reach for the box of frozen spinach in your freezer – it will make life simpler and yummy!

How-to Thaw Frozen Spinach: Take it out of the freezer in the morning, it doesn’t matter how early. Leave the box or bag in the sink, unopened. Or, place it on a cotton kitchen towel to thaw. When you are ready to work with it later in the day, remove it from the box or bag and place it in a potato ricer. Press down on the ricer to squeeze out all of the excess water. This is a great way to dry the spinach completely before cooking with it.

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