View Full Version : When Recipe Calls For Frozen Spinach
03-12-2003, 11:37 AM
FRESH spinach... in bags or loose vs. boxed frozen spinach that recipes always seem to call for.
Question: have u ever switched fresh for frozen? I'd rather cook with fresh. I just don't like frozen. I tried a box once, and it tasted like... phew.... fish.
For example: a spinach dip recipe calls for box of frozen, thawed.
(Or any recipe that calls for it...there are so many.) When can you or CAN you use fresh? (Must I cook it first...maybe that's it!!??)
I never want frozen. But I want the 100,000 dishes that call for it.
Anyone else out there like me and have you had success switching for fresh?? Thanks. PS: Also: if you have any fresh spinach recipes, I'd love to have em. ~ Brenda
03-12-2003, 11:46 AM
Using your example of spinach dip, you have to cook the spinach first before adding it.
I always microwave fresh spinach with NO added water. I just put it in dry in a container. I also prefer fresh to frozen, mostly because I am never successful in getting all the water out of thawed spinach and also because there's never enough spinach in the little box after you wring it out.
03-12-2003, 11:56 AM
Have had very good luck using fresh. I tend to play the amounts by ear... sometimes I add more, sometimes less. Not a big deal (we like our spinach).
I've also found that since switching to organic, loose-pack frozen spinach, I've gotten far better quality flavor from frozen product. So, if you don't want to play with fresh spinach, you might try this route. The organic product even gives you the "mouthfeel" of freshly blanched spinach.
I-- like Lori-- tend to eyeball amounts. Dunno why switching from frozen to fresh would possibly make a difference. I do that with a lot of ingredients.
As to actual amounts, here's what Cook's Thesaurus has to say:
spinach Equivalents: One pound fresh = 1 cup cooked = 5 ounces frozen Notes: Spinach is packed with nutrients, and it's quite versatile. You can toss it raw into salads, or cook it briefly to make a side dish or soup. Of the two main varieties, smooth leaf spinach = flat leaf spinach = salad spinach is more delicate and better suited to salads than curly leaf spinach. Look for spinach with small, narrow stems--they're younger and more tender. And always use fresh spinach if you can; it's much more palatable than frozen or canned spinach. Substitutes: Chinese spinach (more delicate) OR Swiss chard (more flavorful, but takes longer to cook) OR beet greens (more flavorful, but takes longer to cook) OR sorrel (color fades when cooked; consider adding parsley for color) OR kale (especially in casseroles; takes longer to cook) OR turnip greens (discard stems; takes longer to cook) OR escarole (especially with hot bacon dressings)
03-12-2003, 12:30 PM
Oh thanks all. I am so happy you guys spoke up! YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!! I JUST LOVE THIS PLACE!!
I've interchanged other frozen or fresh vegetables before...but doing same with recipes that call specifically for frozen spinach(why don't they ever say: OR fresh?? is what bothered me and kinda warned me off trying it.) Doh. I'm a kitchen chicken, I guess. How dumb of me!! <slapping self>
Lorilei: I didn't even know they sell the loose frozen in bags. I bet that is much better than boxed. That sure sounds like a great option: for one thing, it lets you keep some on hand at all times.
I want that creamy, wonderful spinach dip I've tasted in restaurants and from the deli and now maybe I can make my own!! YUM. Thanks much. :)
03-12-2003, 01:28 PM
I prefer fresh spinach but sometimes it's not very good, too expensive, or no time to wash it. It takes a fair amount of fresh to give you the same amount as in a box. I keep a couple boxes frozen for back up use. If I'm pressed for time I'll use them in some things. but fresh is so much better! I would use frozen in lasagne, but would never use frozen as a "plain spinach "side dish.
03-12-2003, 01:59 PM
most of my recipes that say fresh or frozen say -- 1 pound fresh cooks out to 10 oz.
03-12-2003, 06:58 PM
I use frozen if what I'm making will be processed or blended. I save fresh spinach when I can enjoy it as unadorned as possible.
03-16-2003, 11:50 AM
Gail's post suggests it takes 2 pounds fresh spinach to equal a 10 oz frozen box.
Pat says "1 pound fresh cooks out to 10 oz."
That's a big discrepancy. Any one know for sure what is right?
Another question: I tend to use baby spinach whenever a recipe calls for fresh spinach. Is that ok? Or should adult ;) spinach be used?
03-17-2003, 04:41 PM
pushing this thread back up to see if there are any answers out there for me...
03-17-2003, 04:46 PM
I'm sorry I don't have an answer to the "how many pounds to equal 10 oz cooked" question, but wanted to reply that I always, always use baby spinach instead of the "adult" kind. I don't like those tough, curly leaves nearly as well as the tender ones.
03-17-2003, 09:03 PM
Really there are veggies that are SOOOO much better fresh vs frozen (after cooking) but come'on, spinach is great both ways! I always process my chard and freeze it for recipes with spinach (obviously, not fresh, but it is SO awesome!).
Hopefully this thread will not only introduce you to amounts of fresh vs. frozen, but also to be more open to the frozen variety, of spinach that is! :)
03-17-2003, 09:21 PM
Val- I almost always use the yummier baby spinach too.
Another way to quickly cook spinach to use in a "frozen" recipe is to wash your spinach, and pat it so that it is somewhat dry, leaving some water clinging to the leaves. Put an empty stock pot on the stove to med-high and toss in the spinach and cover. The water clinging to the leaves will steam the spinach to a nice "wilty" stage.
I don't have an answer though for quantity. I never follow the quantity recommended anyways, we LOVE spinach.
03-18-2003, 05:12 AM
yes, I guess the quantity issue isn't a big deal...
But I think I have been cheating myself. When a recipe calls for 10 oz frozen, I have used only 10 oz fresh. If I do that in the future, I will most definitey at least double it. We love spinach, too. The more the merrier.
Glad to know others prefer the baby spinach for cooking. (I prefer baby spinach both in raw salads and in cooking.)
I don't mind the frozen stuff, but fresh is better, IMO.
03-18-2003, 06:35 AM
and just to offer another use for those potato ricers gathering dust, they're great for squeezing the water out of a bunch of cooked or frozen and defrosted spinach. No, the spinach doesn't come out of the holes.
03-18-2003, 07:03 AM
that is a great idea, greg. I kinda wish I had a ricer, now. but I don't make mashed potatoes often, and when I do, I like them lumpy.
03-18-2003, 11:43 AM
Dang, now I wish I had a ricer.
Baby spinach: we grow spinach when we can...but mostly I buy baby spinach in bags (to have on hand for cooking mostly).
Off topic: Here is how I use it to make salads (mostly in summer when I don't want to cook much): baby spinach and maybe some mixed gourmet mix greens (a store I like sells both in bulk so I get a little of each when I'm in the mood for this) and: I get out big plates and put a big handful of greens in center. THEN: all around the edges of the plate -- I put handfuls of things until the circle is complete around outter edge of plate...(clean out the fridge time) mushrooms, artichoke hearts, avacado, lima beans, beets, shredded carrots and other veggies, olives, sliced hard boiled eggs, feta cheese.... So it ends up different every time and fun to eat and healthy. THIS IS MAKING ME HUNGRY :cool:
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