Spinach is known for being healthy, and it’s also known for – unfortunately – not lasting brilliantly well when stored. Like many of the salad greens, spinach has a tendency to wilt and turn to mush at the slightest provocation, and if you’re wondering what you’ve done, the answer may be nothing.
However, proper storage can help to ensure that spinach lasts as long as possible, so we’re going to look at some options for storing spinach correctly to maximize its lifespan.
There are many good reasons to eat spinach, and Pharmeasy lists some of the health benefits, which include iron, magnesium, and calcium. It’s not called a superfood for nothing, so let’s look at how to store it, how long it should last, and how you can tell when it’s past its best.
Table of Contents
How To Store Spinach Properly
Spinach is best stored in the fridge, like most salad leaves. On the counter, it will quickly wilt, especially if exposed to direct sunlight. You probably already keep your spinach in the fridge, but if you frequently find a half bag of crushed, mushy green slime, you might be wondering what you can change.
On the whole, spinach only lasts a couple of days in the fridge if it isn’t stored properly, and unless you shop very frequently, that’s frustrating. With better storage, you can increase its lifespan.
Firstly, spinach doesn’t want to be crushed. Baby spinach in particular has delicate, tender leaves, and when broken, these quickly start to break down. Bacteria and mold can get in, and this will spread to the other leaves in the bag, resulting in a mess of spoiled spinach that’s only fit for the compost heap.
If you’re simply screwing up your spinach bag and stuffing it in the crisper drawer or any available space, you’re not storing your spinach correctly. You can keep it in the original bag if you like, but don’t put anything heavy on the bag, or squash it between other items in the fridge.
Anyone who has a full fridge knows that can be a problem, so you might wonder what else you can do.
A good answer could be this clever Prep Solutions Storage Container, which is specifically designed to offer the perfect environment to all kinds of perishables. You can open the dial at the front to increase airflow and reduce condensation, or close it. It also has a drain at the bottom to allow moisture to escape, making it perfect for spinach.
- PRODUCE STORAGE CONTAINER + COLANDER: This produce saver features an adjustable air vent & water reservoir to create the ideal environment for fresh fruits & vegetables, keeping them fresh longer.
- WASH & STORE IN ONE CONTAINER: This dishwasher safe container features a storage guide printed on the front for quick reference. Use the included divider into place to store different produce...
- MEAL PREP MADE EASY: Our food storage containers enhance the convenience of everyday meal preparation for the busy home cook. We offer airtight, secure storage canisters for all your kitchen needs.
The most common destroyer of spinach is excess moisture, and this container will protect it both from bruising and from damp. It should help your spinach to last significantly longer in the fridge.
If that doesn’t appeal to you, you can also try something like these Glass Storage Containers, but it is best to add a few pieces of kitchen towel to the container at the bottom. This will help to pull moisture from the leaves and air, and keep your spinach fresh for longer. If necessary, you can also leave the lid off.
- 18 PIECES glass food storage container set- 9 glass containers and 9 matching Locking lids. Rectangle L(35.5OZ) + M(21.6OZ) + S(12.5OZ), Square L(27OZ) + M(17.6OZ) + S(10.8OZ), Round L(32OZ) + M(22OZ)...
- EASY TO CLOSE--Are you still confused about the difficulty of closing the snap，The 9 locking lids are very easy to close, you don't need to leave the table and hold it by hand and then close it,only...
- OVEN/MICROWAVE/FREEZER/DISHWASHER SAFE-from -40℃/-40℉ in freezer to 400℃/752℉ in oven, safe for oven, microwave, dishwasher and freezer .The lids are not oven or microwave safe,please remove...
How Long Can Spinach Be Stored For?
Spinach isn’t long-lasting no matter what you do. On the whole, it will manage for about five to seven days in the fridge, sometimes a little more if you’re lucky. If the spinach is bruised or there are bad leaves in the container that have gone unnoticed, it will be less than that.
You can freeze spinach if you like, although normally it is cooked a little first. It takes very little time to cook spinach, and indeed you can just lightly steam it, then cool it and add it to a Ziploc bag or sealed container.
In the freezer, spinach should keep well for many months, so if you don’t require fresh spinach, this is your best option. Fresh spinach, however, will not keep for much longer than a week in the fridge, even if you have just picked it yourself from your garden.
How To Tell If Spinach Has Gone Bad
It is not hard to detect when spinach is no longer edible. The leaves turn to dark green mush very quickly, and the bottom of the bag or container is likely to fill with liquid as the leaves break down. It will usually have an unpleasant scent, too.
You will rarely see mold on spinach leaves, but you should keep an eye out for it just in case; any sign of mold means the leaves need to be discarded, as they are well past the stage that you should eat them.
Do not eat moldy or soggy spinach leaves. Salads that aren’t fresh can easily harbor dangerous bacteria and eating them might make you very sick. If in doubt, discard the spinach and eat something different; it’s not worth the risk of getting food poisoning or consuming other harmful bacteria.
Spinach Storage Mistakes To Avoid Doing
- Don’t wash your spinach when you get it home. It might be tempting to rinse it and then store it so you have spinach ready to grab any time you want it, but moisture will encourage the spinach to rot very quickly, so this is best avoided.
- Don’t trim your leaves before storing them, either. You may not trim baby spinach anyway, but true spinach often has the tips of the stems removed; these should be left alone until you want to use the spinach, as breaks invite bacteria.
- Don’t bruise your spinach. Treat your spinach gently and don’t squash it either in your grocery bags or once it is in the fridge. Every leaf that gets crushed will speed up the molding process and spoil your salad.
Say Goodbye to Expired Bags of Spinach!
Storing spinach properly involves having a solid container and a way to minimize the moisture in it. Whether you do this by purchasing a special vented container or by using paper towels doesn’t matter too much, as long as you keep your spinach dry and protect it from bruises.
This will keep the leaves fresh and tasty for as long as possible, although even with the best care, you will soon find it’s time to buy more spinach!