Fresh spinach is a nutritional powerhouse, but don't let it linger in the fridge.
The best way to use your leafy greens is during the first 4 days after purchase. After that, the antioxidant and folate levels of spinach plummet, turning it into a wimpier green.
Spinach on Ice
Even at the coldest refrigerator temperatures, researchers found that after 4 days, folate
levels in a bag of fresh spinach dropped big time, and the loss escalated with each passing day. Colder temps were better for holding onto carotenoids
. (Besides folate, learn what else is packed into those dark-green leaves.)
The Power of Fresh
Buying local spinach (at a farmers market or co-op store) may deliver the most nutrients to your table. Grocery-store fresh is a good second choice. Can't plan ahead? Then grab some frozen spinach. Spinach that's frozen and packaged soon after harvesting retains much of its nutritional value.