Spinach is one of the many healthy leafy vegetables we start appreciating more as we get older. Like with a lot of meals it is normal to cook a little too much that you have to store and then reheat for later. Below are some of the most effective ways to reheat your leftover spinach.
The Microwave Method
The microwave method is one of the most effective ways of reheating your spinach. Simply follow these steps to warm up your spinach in the microwave.
- Take out your leftover spinach and put it in a microwave safe dish, preferably one made of glass or ceramic not plastic and with a lid,
- Adjust your power setting to medium to low heat before reheating your spinach,
- Let it warm up for 2 minutes or so, because spinach is quite delicate, so it won’t take long to heat up,
- For best results, spread your spinach out as much as possible so that it will heat up evenly,
- Also use only short bursts of 30 seconds and stir the spinach around between each one,
- Make sure that you do not overheat your spinach, and stop reheating as soon as it starts to steam,
The Stove Top Method
Another effective way to reheat spinach is on the stove top. In order to preserve the nutritional content and safety of your spinach, you need to reheat it over low to medium heat in a pot or a pan on your stove. Follow these steps to reheat your spinach on the stovetop.
- Take out your leftover spinach from the fridge,
- Take out a pan or pot,
- Add some cooking spray, or vegetable oil,
- Set your pan or pot to medium to low heat and put your leftover spinach in there,
- Stir your spinach frequently to make sure that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pan,
- Once your cookware is heated, warming up your spinach will take a few minutes or so,
- Keep an eye on your spinach so that you do not overheat it,
Warming Up Food With Spinach
There are a number of ways you can dress up spinach that and below are some of the ways you can warm up different dishes that include spinach.
Reheating Spinach Artichoke Dip
Warming up an artichoke dip is simple. You follow the same process you took baking it in the first place. Ensure that you lower temperatures when reheating so that you get a more thorough warm up. Heat up your spinach artichoke dip at 350F for 15 – 20 minutes, and check it occasionally.
Reheating Spinach Soup
One of the most effective ways to reheat spinach soup is on your stove over low to medium heat whilst stirring it constantly, especially if it’s a cream of spinach soup.
Reheating Spinach Quiche
When it comes to spinach quiche, reheating the quiche part of the meal is the tricky part. If it is not done well you might end up with a chewy, rubbery spinach pie. But if done right, it will taste just as delicious as the first time it was served. If you’re heating a spinach quiche that is frozen, you can stick it directly in your preheated oven at 350F. while it is covered with aluminium foil.
Tips For Reheating Spinach
- It is best to first steam your spinach, rather than fry it to a crisp,
- Make sure that you refrigerate any of your leftovers as soon as the spinach is cool and make sure it’s stored in an airtight container to prevent any bacteria growth,
- Most foods lose their nutritional content after cooking them, Reheating them again will bring that nutrition down even further,
The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Reheating Spinach
Some of the advantages of reheating spinach include
- Not having to waste and toss out extra vegetables,
- You can create a simple make-ahead meal,
- The reheating process is incredibly simple,
- The flavour will be just as good in your reheated spinach,
- You can enjoy your leftover meal or grab an on-the-go pre-made dish for any day and for any meal.
Some of the disadvantages of re-heating your spinach include,
- Spinach can become overcooked when reheated,
- All types of vegetables especially spinach retain moisture so it is important to follow the correct procedures when reheating otherwise you may lose the texture and taste of your meal after reheating,
The Best Way To Store Spinach
- Cooked spinach is much easier to store than fresh spinach. Once your spinach is cooked and cooled, you simply need to transfer your spinach to a container with an airtight seal and place it in your fridge.
- Cooked spinach lasts up to a maximum of 5 days if is properly stored in the fridge,
- Also, fresh spinach can be frustrating to store. The moisture in the leaves will make it wilt and rot, emit a foul smell and cause all their neighbouring leaves to follow suit.
- To prevent this from happening and keep your spinach as fresh as possible for a long period of time, line the container with a paper towel before placing it in your fridge. That way you the paper towel can absorb any moisture that might be lurking.
- It is much better to store spinach in a container rather than a bag because crushing the leaves will cause them to wilt and rot as well.
Reheating Spinach Myth
There has been a belief that became popular after getting some internet attention from the Netherlands as well as the UK that the nitrates in spinach will become toxic if reheated. When heated, nitrates begin to break down and become nitrites, which can then convert into nitrosamines. Nitrites can also affect oxygen intake and nitrosamines are a known carcinogen.
- When we consume naturally occurring nitrates, the digestive process breaks it down, creating a nitrite.
- Nitrites, on their own, are harmless and can actually be great at preventing botulism, so it’s commonly added to cured meats.
- When nitrates are exposed to high heat or the bacteria in our guts, they are further broken down. They become Nitric Oxide, which is good for your body as it helps send important signals that help regulate blood pressure.
- However,high heat can change the chemical compound entirely, turning them into carcinogens and this is how the myth developed.
Keep in mind that Nitrosamines are found in cosmetics, condoms, tobacco products, cured meats, as well as pesticides. Thus, If reheating spinach makes you feel threatened, you may also consider not applying make-up, quit smoking and eating deli meats and bacon, as well as consuming organic products.