Harvesting spinach for the winter: affordable recipes for adventurous cooks
In the summer, when an abundance of greenery grows in the garden, reasonable housewives do not sit idly by. For many of them, preparing spinach for the winter is the most important culinary activity. After all, it is impossible to overestimate its benefits for the body. Let’s take a closer look at the value of this product..
A treasure trove of useful elements
Green spinach leaves can be called a storehouse of substances necessary for the successful functioning of our body.. Here are just a few of them:
- vitamins of group A, B, C, E;
- trace elements (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus);
- fatty acid.
Research by scientists shows that people who regularly consume spinach are less sick. After all, such a set of elements has a beneficial effect on the immune system. The body becomes more resistant to the formation of various tumors, including cancer cells. In addition, the consumption of spinach:
- improves memory and brain function in general;
- enhances reproductive ability;
- slows down the aging process;
- stimulates digestion;
- promotes the removal of toxins from the body;
- increases hemoglobin;
- regulates the deposition of extra pounds.
To achieve a visible result, you need to eat it all year round. Therefore, experienced housewives stock up on product for the entire season..
Harvesting spinach for the winter is a sure way to well-being
In the famous fable of Krylov it is said that if you sing the “red summer”, you will not have time to look back when winter will come. Many housewives try not to do this. They do not waste precious time, but work hard. Trying to create a storehouse of vitamin at home, they make preparations of spinach for the winter in different ways, not forgetting about parsley, dill, sweet pepper.
Although the plant can be bought at the store, no one gives a guarantee about the quality of the product. And why waste money on what you can get for free? Isn’t it better to prepare greens for your family on your own? Consider several ways to store spinach at home and not lose its beneficial properties..
You need to collect the leaves of the plant before the “arrows” appear in the bushes. Then they turn out to be much tastier..
The classic way is canning
In ancient times, when there were no refrigerators, culinary experts used different methods to store food. Especially when it comes to greenery. Canning spinach was considered the most effective winter preparation option. It did not require any skills, but only the banal execution of instructions. In our time, practically nothing has changed. Any housewife is able to make such a preparation of spinach for the winter..
To do this, take the fresh leaves of the plant, clean water and salt. For a glass of chopped spinach, 70 g of salt is enough. Liquid quantity 1: 1. Further, the following processes are performed:
- carefully sort and wash the leaves;
- the raw material is poured with hot (not boiling water) water and kept for about 8 minutes;
- take out the leaves with a slotted spoon and dry;
- put greens in clean jars, tamping them with a wooden spatula;
- the liquid that appears is drained;
- the brine is prepared separately, in accordance with the specified proportions;
- pour the product with hot liquid;
- covered with a lid and placed in a cold place.
Some housewives like to use different recipes for preparing spinach for the winter. For example, canning in the form of mashed potatoes. To do this, they pass the product blanched in hot water through a sieve or meat grinder. Then it is salted, put in jars, after which it is sterilized for 15-25 minutes. The product is ready.
Drying is a long-standing way to preserve health benefits
According to experts, if the plant is not subjected to heat treatment, it does not lose its valuable elements. But is it possible to dry spinach at home and not lose its beneficial properties? Many chefs have long been using such preparations for the winter..
There are several ways to do this better:
- Natural method. Clean leaves of the plant are laid out on trays or baking sheets, previously covered with paper. They are taken to a well-ventilated room (or in a shady place outside), where the temperature does not drop below 22 degrees.
- Using the oven. The leaves laid out on a baking sheet are sent to a cabinet heated to 45 degrees. Dried for about 3 hours.
- In an electric dryer. The leaves are placed on the lattice of the unit so that they do not stick together. Set the time specified in the instructions, start the device and take out the finished product.
Dried spinach is widely used in cooking. It is added to meat dishes, fish and garnishes. It practically does not lose its taste, remaining a useful product for the body..
It is best to dry young leaves when they are still soft. They should be bright green.
The modern method of harvesting a plant is freezing
As experienced chefs have noticed, adding frozen herbs to a dish gives it a summer freshness and a unique aroma. And some plants really reveal the subtleties of taste only after heat treatment. Therefore, the question: is it possible to freeze spinach for the winter, for experienced housewives does not even arise. They do this every year, enjoying the fruits of their hands..
The most affordable way to freeze a plant is to put the washed leaves in plastic bags, squeeze the air out of them and send them to the freezer. But for the adventurous chef, there are other options. Let’s consider some of them.
Harvesting with whole leaves
A wonderful way to freeze spinach for the winter is to use undamaged leaf plates. To do this, they are thoroughly washed under the tap and dried. Then the torn and wrinkled specimens are discarded. Rough petioles are removed. Prepared raw materials are poured with hot water in a bowl or poured over with boiling water, having previously folded into a colander. Then the leaves are dried naturally, and then folded into bags or plastic containers. The finished packages are placed in the freezer.
In order not to freeze the product several times in winter, it is better to initially prepare disposable portions for meals..
Ice cubes with surprise
A very convenient way to freeze a product is to use its juice. To do this, carefully washed leaves are first chopped with a knife, and then passed through a meat grinder or blender. The resulting mass is spread on a sieve or cheesecloth. Squeeze the juice and leave it for 20 minutes to settle. After that, the ice molds are filled with the resulting liquid, placed in the freezer and after 4 hours the cubes are ready. In winter, they are used as food colors containing a whole arsenal of useful elements..
Delicate herb puree
In order not to bother too much about how best to preserve spinach for the winter, enterprising housewives make mashed potatoes from it, and then freeze it. This method is quite simple and involves only a few steps. Washed greens are poured with hot water with the addition of soda (1 tablespoon is enough for three liters of liquid). Then the raw material is cooked over low heat until the leaves are soft to the touch. Then they are taken out and laid out on a sieve. Using a wooden spatula, grind until smooth. Add cold water and cook until thick. The readiness is checked in a simple way: if the mass does not slip off the spoon, then the mashed potatoes are ready. The cooled product is placed in small containers and placed in the cold. The workpiece is ready.