Here's When You Can Skip Defrosting Frozen Spinach or Kale
Cook with frozen greens? Read this.
It's the weekend. You're tired after a long week. Maybe you don't feel like washing and salad-spinning a ton of fresh greens to throw in everyone's smoothies. Or maybe you're making omelets for a big group and want to fold in some spinach or kale. Time to grab a bag from the freezer! But do you have to wait for the greens to defrost before using?
It turns out, when you're using frozen greens like spinach or kale in certain recipes, it's totally fine to toss some in your pot or blender without waiting for the greens to defrost. "[You can add greens] frozen to soup and stews or even sauce them up [i.e., include frozen greens in place of fresh ones in a sauce recipe or pesto]. Just remember they are going [to add] some moisture to whatever you are doing," says Chef Rich LaMarita of Natural Gourmet Institute, a culinary school and public cooking class center in New York City. The addition of frozen greens in these kinds of recipes, along with smoothies, works because a little extra moisture from the frozen spinach or kale will evaporate while cooking, or lend your shake a nice, frosty edge (along with any ice you add, as well).
Of course, there are times when you should defrost your frozen greens before using. "You will want to go the traditional route of defrosting spinach for things that wouldn't fare well with excess liquid, like eggs, pizza, calzones, and quesadillas," writes Sheela Fiorenzo on The Kitchn. Sorry, Saturday morning omelet batch.
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