I’ve had lots of people ask if they can use frozen spinach instead of fresh in their smoothies.  So I checked out what is being said about fresh vs frozen and thought I’d let you know my findings.

The short answer is yes, you can use frozen spinach in your smoothies, but read on to learn more.

Both raw and fresh spinach contain roughly the same amount of nutrients.

However, Talia Fuhrman at the Vegetarian Times says …

Did you know that raw spinach contains oxalic acid, an organic substance that can interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients like calcium and iron?

Oxalic acid binds with calcium, making it unavailable for use by our bodies. It also attaches to quite a few other vital nutrients, and long-term consumption of foods high in oxalic acid can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

The good news is that oxalic acid is broken down upon heating, so there is no loss of nutrients in steamed or sautéed spinach.

Some nutrients are more easily absorbed from raw spinach like folate, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, and potassium.  Whereas you’ll absorb more vitamins A and E, protein, fiber, zinc, thiamin, calcium, and iron from steamed or sautéed spinach.

And so Talia reminds us that …

As with other vegetables, there are pros and cons to both raw and cooked forms.

Eating a wide variety of plant foods is important for good health, and eating plant foods in both raw and cooked form will provide you with the richest array of nutrients.

Note: frozen spinach has been cooked briefly before freezing, therefore counts as ‘cooked’.

Another thing to note is that cooked spinach contains slightly more iron than raw. 

However, to get the benefit of that extra iron with cooked spinach, the Vitamin C , which is destroyed in the cooking, needs to be added back in to facilitate the absorption of iron. 

Therefore a green smoothie containing citrus or berries and frozen spinach is a good way to go if you need extra iron.

The really interesting thing is that raw spinach contains Vitamin C and folate (iron) so there is a natural uptake combo there already.

And just so you know, a 100-gram serving is roughly 3 1/3 cups raw or 1/2 cup cooked.

We have our berry favorite, berry good for you, green smoothie recipe for you on the Next Page …