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Thread: Spinach - sub fresh for frozen in recipes, ever???

  1. #1
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    Spinach - sub fresh for frozen in recipes, ever???

    We grow spinach in our mini-garden. I'm not a fan of frozen. (Not that I've tried it all that much. Seems I remember a fishy taste that threw me off. That was probably a fluke...but since I've already got fresh (OR will buy it in winter), I've been meaning to ask....)

    My question is: all the recipes we see everywhere that call for using frozen spinach, anybody tried to substitute fresh (frozen, then thawed) or fresh (steamed and cooled) or ?? I've never frozen fresh spinach, but if it would be just as good....why not? Or would I even need to go that far??

    Anybody use fresh spinach in place of frozen spinach enough to say that we could have a fairly general rule that we could usually sub COOKED or one of the above spinaches for store-bought frozen? I'm thinking dips, egg/cheese casseroles, etc. Anyone even ever tried to?

    Thanks all.

    Catbatty Brenda in Oregon

  2. #2
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    Unless you are buying the spinach seasonally and locally, it is my understanding that frozen spinach is better for you (more nutrients preserved, etc). Also, I hate cleaning spinach.

    I confess I don't know much about freezing spinach, but if I had a crop I would definitely find out! Most veggies (as opposed to fruits) needs to be blanched first, not sure if that is true of greens....
    -Laura

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by catbatty View Post
    ...Anybody use fresh spinach in place of frozen spinach enough to say that we could have a fairly general rule that we could usually sub COOKED or one of the above spinaches for store-bought frozen? I'm thinking dips, egg/cheese casseroles, etc. Anyone even ever tried to?...
    Brenda, the only recipe I subbed fresh for frozen was a filling for a meatloaf...I was making the recipe and didn't have any frozen, but a huge bag of fresh, so I just cooked it down and it worked fine!

    ~Gail
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    If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do any fellow being, let me do it now and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again."
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  4. #4
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    Since spinach cooks down and yields such a small amount , you would need a boat load of fresh spinach to equal one 10 oz. package of frozen spinach that a recipe might call for. Once in a great while, I get the fishy taste, like the time I made the spinach dip to take to a gathering. I've been using pict sweet[?}. It comes in a bag and it's kind of loose and not a frozen block of spinach. I've not had a fishy taste with this brand. I like this because I can just use a couple hands full of spinach to add to soup or...

  5. #5
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    I was also going to suggest bag of looser frozen spnach. nice especially when you don't need a whole block and defrosts very quickly. I grow spinach in season but use it fresh. you need too much get enough frozen to be worth the process.
    "If the world were a logical place, men would ride side saddle." Rita Mae Brown

  6. #6
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    I ALWAYS sub fresh spinach for frozen-- frozen, for me, is the last stand-in option. Fresh doesn't need much cooking first, and it's far better to use a waterless method, such as tossing the cleaned leaves in a hot pan till they're soft; that way it doesn't yield lots of extra water. Or saute lightly. But you do need to use a lot to make up the amount-- for me, a full 10-ounce bag stands in for the little package well enough. But hey, using fresh, which has so much more flavor, i often use more than would be called for. It's rarely a mistake to add extra veg, in my view.

  7. #7
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    I agree with HH -- if I have fresh, I use it, whether it calls for frozen or not. I sub it ounce for ounce, because I think they weigh the spinach in the box before they freeze it.
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  8. #8
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    Heavy Hedonist said: I ALWAYS sub fresh spinach for frozen-- frozen, for me, is the last stand-in option. Fresh doesn't need much cooking first, and it's far better to use a waterless method, such as tossing the cleaned leaves in a hot pan till they're soft; that way it doesn't yield lots of extra water. Or saute lightly. But you do need to use a lot to make up the amount-- for me, a full 10-ounce bag stands in for the little package well enough.
    Ditto. I buy the buckets/tubs of organic (don't recall the brand at the moment) that come in either 8oz or 16oz sizes and then cook it down. The problem I have with frozen is I tend to forget to thaw it before hand and I find myself in a panic trying to thaw it in a sink full of water (I don't have a microwave). Raw spinach is so much more versatile for me.
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  9. #9
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    THANKS to ALL!

    Thank you so much to all who responded. I am now excited to use my fresh spinach or some Pic Sweet in a bag (as vbak mentioned). I love spinach.

    But,

    All this time I've had a blank about frozen spinach. One of those mind block things. I think I tossed the recipes even. I thought I was the only one who noticed the fish smell. I don't know why I didn't THINK THIS OUT along time ago!

    You have all REALLY helped me get past this!! A whole new world opens to me!!!!! Geeeee!!!!!!! I feel so RENEWED! (and INSPIRED!)

    PS: I draw the same blank when a recipe calls for frozen artichokes. (I love artichokes, fresh or canned...but frozen? Not so much. They seem all tough and unpalatable when frozen, to me. But perhaps I've been exposed to only some bad frozen hearts, eh?

    Thanks again!!!!

  10. #10
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    We rarely go through a whole bag of fresh spinach so I routinely throw the rest of the bag in the freezer, no blanching/chopping etc. When I'm ready to use it in a recipe I just take out what I need and prep it then. It practically thaws while I'm chopping it; I'm usually using it in a soup or casserole that's going to be cooked, or a dip where it doesn't seem to matter that it's not cooked. Hope this helps! Funny bags of spinach were on sale today and I bought one 'just to toss in the freezer for when I need it'

  11. #11
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    Well, that's a good idea, Peweh. Thanks.

  12. #12
    Here is a conversion chart:

    4 cups leaves, 6 ounces

    1lb fresh = 1 cup cooked

    15 to 16 oz. can = 1 1/2 - 2 cups

    10 oz bag = 6 cups of leaves, 1 1/4 cups cooked, 2/3 cup cooked & squeezed dry

    10oz frozen = 1 1/2cups cooked
    My new favorite saying: "Her cooking' was so bad that the flies got together and fixed the hole in her screen door."

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