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10 Ways to Use Up Baby Spinach

Got too much baby spinach and don't know what to do with all that green goodness? The good news is that baby spinach is an extremely versatile ingredient that can be used to add flavor, color and nutrients to a wide range of dishes. Compared with mature spinach leaves which are typically only used in cooked dishes, the small and tender baby spinach leaves can also be eaten raw.

10 Uses for Baby Spinach

And the bad news? Well, there isn't any, really. So get inspired by our pick of the 10 best ideas on how to use up leftover baby spinach, and be surprised by the versatility of this little leaf vegetable!

1. Make a Spinach Sandwich

Lettuce may be the most common green leafy vegetable used in sandwiches, but baby spinach is just as tasty, if not tastier. It also makes a super-healthy filling as it is loaded with a wide range of nutrients and phytochemicals. To learn more about the nutritional value of spinach, check out our in-depth article on health benefits of spinach.

2. Spinach Pancakes, Anyone?

Spinach pancakes are a popular treat in Scandinavia, where they are typically served with lingonberries. The web is full of recipes for Scandinavian spinach pancakes, so we won't be including a recipe here.

3. Goodbye Wheatgrass Shots, Welcome Spinach Shots!

Wheatgrass shots may be getting all the attention, but wheatgrass is hardly the only nutrient-dense, chlorophyll-rich plant that can be juiced to make super-healthy green shots. Fresh baby spinach, for example, makes a great alternative to wheatgrass as it is loaded with chlorophyll and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. For best results, use a juicer designed to handle spinach and other leafy greens, such as Kuvings' wide-mouth whole food juicer.

4. Serve Sautéed Spinach as a Side Dish

Sautéing spinach, whether baby-leaf or more mature spinach, and serving it as a side dish is a great way to use up large amounts of leftover spinach, especially if you have a big family to feed.

5. Use Baby Spinach in Green Smoothies

Thanks to its mild flavor, baby spinach is one of the best ingredients for green smoothies. As you may already know, green smoothies are essentially fruit smoothies that also contain some leafy green vegetables for added health benefits. For instructions on how to blend your first green smoothie, see Green Smoothie 101.

6. Make Spinach Ice Cubes (for Smoothies)

If you like the idea of using baby spinach in green smoothies, but have so much fresh spinach in your fridge that you simply can't use it all up before the expiry date, here's a great little tip: purée blanched baby spinach and freeze it in ice cube trays for later use in smoothies. In addition to adding color and nutrients to your favorite smoothie, spinach ice cubes also give the smoothie a cooler temperature and thicker texture.

7. Make a Spinach-Based Salad

Get out of the salad rut by trying replacing some or all of the romaine or iceberg lettuce in your salad with fresh baby spinach. By using baby spinach, instead of some of the more common salad greens, you will also be improving the nutritional value of your salad.

8. Add Spinach to Scrambled Eggs and Omelettes

You can also use baby spinach to add vibrant green color and mild flavor to omelettes or scrambled eggs. Simply add some thoroughly washed baby spinach to the egg mixture before cooking it on a frying pan.

9. Freeze the Remaining Spinach

If you've still got leftover baby spinach and don't know what to do with it, freeze it for later use in smoothies, soups and stir-fries. Before freezing baby spinach, blanch it in boiling water for about 90 seconds (increase the blanching time to 2 minutes if you're freezing more mature spinach leaves). Blanching spinach and other vegetables helps destroy enzymes that would otherwise cause the frozen vegetables to lose their nutrients, color and flavor.

10. Other Culinary Uses

In addition to above-mentioned uses for leftover baby spinach, here are a few additional things you can do with this versatile leafy green: sneak it into savory muffin batters and bread doughs; use it as a pizza topping and in pasta dishes; create a spinach-based serving bed for grilled fish or meat; or add it to dips for extra color and nutrients.

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