Spinach is a highly underrated vegetable that truly doesn’t get enough credit. It’s good for you, delicious, and super easy to make and incorporate into just about any meal.
Although spinach is typically prepared with oil, there are other ways to cook spinach that end up being just as delicious.
1 – The Water Method
Using water is a great way to cook spinach. For this method, we like to use ginger and garlic to give the spinach an extra kick and so it doesn’t end up being so bland.
In a large pot, add in some water, about half an inch. Be sure to turn the heat up so that it starts to boil. Then, add in the minced garlic and ginger. Next up, add in a handful of spinach and season with salt and pepper.
Once you see that the spinach has started to shrivel, take it out of the pot using some tongs and transfer to a serving dish. It’s as simple as that!
2 – Cooking Spinach on its Own
Believe it or not, spinach can also be cooked on its own, without having to add in any extra ingredients. This is because of the fact that spinach already has water in it, and once the spinach begins to cook it will release all that moisture.
In fact, many people prefer to use this method as it doesn’t create an oily spinach like some other recipes do.
To cook spinach this way, all you have to do is wash the spinach first before patting it dry with a paper towel. Once the spinach is dry, you can then toss it into a pan on medium heat.
The type of pan you use should have high sides because of the fact that you are putting in so much spinach at once. A pan with higher sides will contain the spinach much easier.
You can keep adding in more spinach to the pan as it continues to wilt. When you are done cooking your spinach, be sure to transfer it over to a baking sheet to cool.
Make sure you aren’t layering the spinach on top of one another as this will not only mush them together, but will overcook the spinach as well.
If you are using your spinach to add into another dish such as an omelet, you will want to make sure you have removed as much moisture from the spinach as possible. When the cooked spinach is cool enough, squeeze as much water out of it as you can.
3 – Using Butter as an Alternative
If you want to use something other than water to cook your spinach but don’t want to use oil, butter is another great alternative.
For this recipe, we will also be adding in some garlic to the spinach to give it a better flavor. Aside from the garlic, you will also need lemon juice, salt, and butter.
Again, you want to start out by rinsing your spinach first and then patting it dry before you can move on to cooking it. Be sure to heat up your skillet while you are rinsing your spinach leaves so that it is warm enough by the time you are ready with the spinach.
Add in butter to your warm skillet and mince the garlic while it melts. Once you’re done mincing, throw in the garlic with the butter. Now you are ready to add in your spinach. Keep an eye on it as it will wilt rather quickly once it’s in the pan.
When you see the spinach start to cook down, you can continue adding in more until you get the desired amount. Then, take the skillet off the heat and transfer your spinach to a serving dish.
The spinach continues to cook even after it has been taken off the stove so don’t stress it if you notice some leaves that are still a little bit uncooked.
4 – Steaming Spinach
This is similar to the water method we discussed earlier, but this uses less water. To steam your spinach, all you need to do is add in some water to a hot pan and then throw in your spinach leaves.
Be sure to put a lid on the pan so that the steaming process can begin. Don’t go too far away, however, as this tends to happen in under two minutes.
Once your spinach has cooked, transfer it over to a colander so that you can squeeze as much water out of it as possible. Now that it has been cooked, you can dress it up however you want and serve it.
Choosing the Right Spinach
Now that you know how to cook your spinach without having to use oil, be sure you are buying the freshest spinach you possibly can. To do this, be sure to look out for spinach that is a vibrant green and has a crisp stem.
You will also want to make sure that none of the leaves are wilted or browned as this is an obvious sign that the spinach is old.
Storing Your Spinach
Storing fresh spinach is rather simple. You can either leave it in the plastic container that it came in, or you can transfer the spinach to a plastic bag with a paper towel in it to absorb any moisture.
Your spinach should be good for about a week, and you will notice when it starts to go bad as it tends to go from a vibrant green to a yellow or even brown color.
On the other hand, when storing cooked spinach, be sure to place it in an airtight container or resealable bag before placing it in the fridge. At best, your spinach will last about three to four days in the fridge.
If you want to keep it for longer, you can always freeze your cooked spinach, where it can last for up to a year.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.