I don’t know about you, but I could definitely be better about eating more healthy greens.
One of the easiest ways I have found to get some extra greens in at most meals is to add dried spinach flakes into what I’m cooking. I’m not crazy enough to start adding it to vanilla cakes though, so you don’t need to worry about me telling you to put it in everything. Because that would be gross. *shudder*
However, some of my favorite dishes to add spinach in are;
My chicken noodle on the stove casserole (super cheap and easy)
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Pizza (sauce and you could use it as a topping!)
Just to name a few…
The only problem with using so much dried spinach is that if you buy it it comes to about $8-15 bucks a container. And it can be moderately hard to find.
I decided not to long ago to see if I could dry spinach at home for less. I found a bag of spinach at my local grocery store for about $1.69, not to shabby! What I made from that bag came out to about 1 quart Ziploc bags of dried crushed spinach. You could also grow your own (I’m giving it a go) and use that!
Here is how I did it.
1. Make sure your spinach is clean, dried off, and ready to roll. Mine came triple pre-washed (or so said the bag) so I just went with it.
2. Turn your oven on to between 150° and 175°, I turned mine down as low is it could go, just above the “warm” setting since it isn’t marked that low.
3. Get a pan, and some trusty cooling racks (I love mine, and use them for sooooo many things other than cooling food) Lay the cooling rack on top of your pan. The cooling rack on top of the pan allows the air to circulate more underneath the spinach and drying it all around. Plus, you aren’t scraping your spinach off the pan when it’s done.
4. Lay out your spinach leaves. Try not to overlap your leaves since they won’t dry as well.
5. Once your oven is heated and your spinach is laid out, place them in the oven. I placed two pans full in my tiny oven at once and it worked just fine.
6. Leave you spinach in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. However I realize that humidity and oven temps, and spinach thicknesses, and whatever other variables you can think of may vary. So check on your spinach to see what works best for you. I left mine in about 30 minutes on accident and they were fine, just SUPER crunchy.
7. Carefully take your spinach out of the oven. Let rest just a couple of minutes before you start plucking your spinach off.
8. Mine cooling racks were still a little warm when I started pulling off my spinach, but as long as I was careful I didn’t burn myself or anything.
9. You can leave your spinach out and roll over all your spinach at once, or you can place it directly into a bag or any air tight container.
10. And there you have it! Repeat the steps as needed to use up your spinach. Mind you, you might have to do this for awhile to finish off all the spinach. I used it as an opportunity to take breaks between my homework. (Ahhh college life.)
Thanks for reading! I hope you learned something new, whether you are a poor college student who is trying to make ends meet while still being healthy (yours truly), or if you are a DIY-er who likes to learn new things.
Lots of love your way,