How to Cook Frozen Spinach Without Destroying Nutrients

Frozen block of spinach
Keep cooking temperatures low when preparing frozen spinach to maintain nutritional integrity. (Image: Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Spinach is a healthy vegetable that contains high amounts of vitamin A , vitamin C, folate, iron and magnesium. When you don't have fresh spinach, frozen spinach is a great alternative. But pay attention to the product's expiration date -- spinach frozen for too long can suffer nutrient degradation -- and use cooking methods that enhance its nutritional value.

In a Frying Pan

Step 1

Remove the frozen spinach from the freezer and remove it from its packaging.

Step 2

Place the frozen spinach in a frying pan made of aluminum or cast iron, or coated with a nonstick material.

Step 3

Heat up the pan on the stove on low or medium-low heat.

Step 4

Use a metal or wooden spoon to stir the frozen spinach in the frying pan, until it has been heated through. If the spinach was frozen in a large chunk, use the spoon to break the spinach into chunks. While cooking times may vary depending on the amount of product and processing procedures, it generally takes between four and six minutes of cooking to heat a package of frozen spinach.

Step 5

Remove the spinach from the pan and place it on a serving platter.

Step 6

Reserve the drippings that remain after cooking the frozen spinach, and pour them over the stir-fried spinach to maximize nutritional quality. As frozen vegetables are heated during the cooking process, they release a significant amount of liquid -- which is often high in vitamins and minerals. These reserved cooking liquids not only improve nutrient content, but may also maximize flavor.

Steam It

Step 1

Remove the frozen spinach from its packaging.

Step 2

Place the spinach in a microwave-safe bowl.

Step 3

Place the bowl of spinach in the microwave. Make sure that it is centered in the middle of the microwave for complete heating.

Step 4

Cook the spinach on medium power for a minute, or follow the instructions on the package.

Step 5

Remove the bowl from the microwave after the one-minute cooking time, then stir the spinach with a metal or wooden spoon. If the spinach has not been completely heated, return it to the microwave. Continue to cook for 30-second intervals until heated through.

Step 6

Remove the spinach from the bowl and place it on a serving platter.

Step 7

Pour any drippings that remain in the bottom of the bowl over the top of the cooked product. These drippings are high in vitamin and mineral content, and can maximize nutrient content.

Things You'll Need

  • Frozen spinach

  • Frying pan

  • Wooden or metal spoon

  • Serving platter

  • Microwave-safe bowl

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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