Sunday, March 6, 2016

Spinach Life Hack

I learned this trick just the other day and it CHANGED MY LIFE!!!  Really.  I eat spinach like it is going out of style, but no matter how much I eat I can never seem to finish the ginormous, feed the entire neighborhood sized bag (that also happens to be the cheapest per oz at my big club store) before it goes bad.  As soon as those first leaves start to ooze, all bets are called off.  I can pick around the first few and close my eyes as I shove them in the blender, but my stomach is revolting.

Solution #1: In my brilliance I thought, I can puree a whole bag with a bit of water, freeze it in ice cubes and pull out some 4-5 cubes each time I make a smoothie.  Great concept.  A couple fatal flaws... the ice cube trays are now dyed green... and I can't get them clean-- an issue for my kids who don't like green tinted ice or any appearance of vegetable in anything that will touch food they will put into their mouths...  Another fatal flaw... The ice makes the smoothie super cold and very slushy... it ruins the creamy factor and getting those cubes fully pureed is a chore.  It will do the job, but it isn't my favorite.

Solution #2: Eat more spinach.  Good in theory.  Hide spinach in meatloaf or soup, juice the bad boys, or heck make chicken saag (heaven!!!)  But even with me pushing spinach in most meals, some still goes bad, and I am left feeling like a failed, wasteful homemaker- my pioneer ancestors are rolling over in their graves.

Then the heavens opened and I learned this trick:  Just freeze the whole darn bag.  (pregnant pause for dramatic effect)  Really it works.  It is like a Christmas miracle every time I make a smoothie.

Fresh spinach, frozen in the bag is just like fresh spinach in the bag, but colder.  It breaks apart in leaf size bits and I can grab it by the handful and shove it down into my blender.  It doesn't congeal together in one big mass.  It doesn't even develop those nasty ice crystals that form on fruit in the freezer. It is malleable and movable.  It really is miraculous.

There is only one downfall to fresh bagged, then frozen spinach-- it takes a bit longer for the cell membranes and fiber to break up in the blender.  I increase my blend time 30-45 seconds and I give the blender an extra shake to move all the bits around.  Problem solved!

Can't wait for big club store shopping day... time to load up on spinach!

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