Start canning spinach by washing and blanching fresh spinach leaves in boiling water. Hot pack the spinach into canning jars, adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt and fill the jars with boiling water, leaving 1-inch headspace. Process in a pressure canner for 70-90 minutes.
Pressure Canning Spinach Step-by-Step
Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, mustard greens, Swiss chard, kale, and collard greens, are low-acid foods and must be pressure canned. Water bath canning cannot preserve spinach safely as the temperature of boiling water is not high enough to kill Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to pressure-canning spinach:
- Select fresh, tender, and crisp spinach. Discard any discolored or wilted greens. The leaves should be firm and tender. About 28 pounds of spinach are required per canner load of seven quarts, while 18 pounds of spinach are required per canner load of nine pints.
- Prepare the pressure canner and canning jars. Wash the canning jars and canning lids. Place the jars in hot, boiling water for 10 mins. Rinse the pressure canner and fill it with 2-4 inches of hot water per the manufacturer’s instructions. Place it on a stove over low heat.
- Wash the spinach. Wash and rinse the spinach leaves in warm or cold water. Drain the water and rinse until the water is clean and free of dirt.
- Cut the ends and remove any tough pieces. Remove any tough parts from the greens.
- Blanch the spinach. Put one pound of greens in a blancher basket or cheesecloth bag and steam for 5 minutes until the leaves are wilted. Blanching will help prevent enzymes and bacteria from degrading the flavor and quality after canning.
- Pack the leafy greens in hot jars. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to pint jars. Fill the jars with the spinach and pour fresh boiling water in the jars, allowing 1-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles with an air bubble remover tool.
- Wipe the rims and place the lids and rings. Use a damp cloth to wipe the jar rims before placing the lids and rings on every canning jar to seal them.
- Place the jars in the pressure canner. Place jars on the canning rack using jar tongs. Once all the canning jars are in the pressure canner, place the lid on your canner.
- Let the pressure canner vent steam for 10 mins. Raise the heat and let the canner vent steam for 10 minutes to remove the airspace in the canner.
- Load the weight. After 10 minutes, load the weight and close any valves to allow the pressure to rise.
- Process the canning jars. Once the pressure is correct for your canner type and altitude, set your timer for 70 – 90 minutes, depending on the jar size. Adjust heat to maintain the needed pressure throughout the canning process.
Processing time for hot-pack spinach in a dial-gauge pressure canner:
|Altitude (ft)||0 – 2,000||2,001 – 4,000||4,001 – 6,000||6,001 – 8,000|
|Pints (70 minutes)||11 lbs||12 lbs||13 lbs||14 lbs|
|Quarts (90 minutes)||11 lbs||12 lbs||13 lbs||14 lbs|
Processing time for hot-pack spinach in a weighted-gauge pressure canner:
|Altitude (ft)||0 – 1,000||1,001 +|
|Pints (70 minutes)||10 lbs||15 lbs|
|Quarts (90 minutes)||10 lbs||15 lbs|
- Remove the heat and let the pressure canner cool. Once the processing time is up, remove the heat and let the pressure canner cool. Allow the pressure to reach zero naturally before opening your canner. Let the canning jars cool undisturbed.
- Remove the canning jars. Using a jar lifter, remove the jars from the water and allow them to cool on a kitchen towel or cutting board overnight. Check the seal by pressing in the middle gently.
- Store your canned spinach in airtight containers and use it in various meals.
Benefits of Pressure Canning Spinach
Just like fresh spinach, home-canned spinach is healthy. Although fresh spinach is the best way to enjoy all the healthy benefits of this leafy green, DIY canned spinach is also good for you.
Here are the key benefits of pressure canning spinach:
- Canned spinach is a great source of calcium and fiber.
- Canned spinach is convenient and can save meal prep time in the kitchen.
- Canned spinach is highly versatile and can be added to soups, casseroles, and sandwiches.
- Canned spinach offers nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K, folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, and phytonutrients like quercetin, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
- Canning spinach extends its shelf life, so it can be a great alternative to fresh spinach.
- You can use canned spinach in different recipes or as a side dish.
How Long Does it Take to Pressure Can Spinach?
It takes 70-90 minutes to pressure can spinach at 10 pounds of pressure in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.
What is the Difference Between Pressure Canning and Water Bath Canning?
The major difference between water bath canning and pressure canning is the temperature achieved by each method. Pressure canning reaches a much higher temperature than boiling-water bath canning.
Water bath canners reach 212°F, which is insufficient to kill harmful bacteria in low-acid foods. Per the USDA, low-acid foods such as spinach, seafood, red meat, and poultry should be pressure canned as they have an acidity level that is 4.6 or greater.
Can Pressure-Canned Spinach Be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze pressure canned spinach to further prolong its shelf life. To freeze spinach, put it inside heavy-duty freezer bags or plastic airtight containers and store it in the freezer until ready to use.
Can Frozen Spinach be Pressure Canned?
Yes, it is possible to pressure can spinach out of the freezer. Simply defrost the spinach, warm it up, and perform a hot pack. Follow the same processing instructions you would follow for fresh spinach.
How to Store Pressure-Canned Spinach
Store unopened cans of spinach in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Keep jars of canned spinach at least six inches off the ground to prevent lid corrosion. Once opened, store jars of pressure-canned spinach in the refrigerator, and use it within three days.
How Long Does Pressure-Canned Spinach Last?
Properly stored pressure-canned spinach lasts 2 to 3 years. Always ensure no visible mold growth, bulging lids, or off-putting smells before consuming canned spinach.