How to Dehydrate and Use Baby Spinach Leaves4:00 PM
Last summer, I told you how to harvest baby spinach leaves. Assuming you end up with a surplus of the stuff, or you find some on sale (as did my husband most recently), you can have more spinach than you care to eat freshly at one time.
Sam picked up two big containers of pre-washed, organic spinach last week, and we had salad after salad... after salad. Finally, it occurred to us that drying leaves for later may be a good option.
I pulled out the Ronco Food dehydrator, placed the leaves evenly on each tray so as not to have any overlap, and let them do their thing... I rotated each tray as the the bottom ones dried out.
Then, I checked each leaf for doneness by lightly touching them with a clean finger. (Squishy leaves are put back onto the tray to dry longer.)
I dumped each try into a clean, dry bowl and let them cool. Then, I transferred the leaves into clean freezer bags, trying not to crush the leaves.
We had these leaves for one day, before I was compelled to use them. The first meal, I crushed a handful up very finely and mixed them into my meatball mix. The second meal, I added them to two soups I made from dried mixes.
Other ways I could see using the dried spinach? Dips, breads, omelets, smoothies, and casseroles! The kids don't notice the strong spinach flavor, and -- because they are so easy to crush info a fine powder -- they don't really appear to be obvious to the eye, either.