By Fred Decker

Spinach is one of the more delicate culinary greens, suitable for eating raw even when fully mature. It can be used cooked or uncooked in a wide range of recipes from the world's major cuisines, from a French omelet to an Indian curry. Like other greens, spinach tends to shrink dramatically when it is cooked. This can make it difficult to estimate how much to buy for a given recipe. The crucial detail is how the spinach is to be measured.

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Measuring spinach differs depending on whether it is raw or cooked.

Step 1

Follow the recipe. Some recipes call for raw spinach in cups or pounds, others call for cooked spinach in cups. Use the appropriate measurement.

Step 2

Strip the stems from mature spinach, and measure it in volume by packing the leaves tightly into a measuring cup. It is not usually necessary to remove the stems from baby spinach.

Step 3

Purchase spinach in a bag of known weight, then estimate the portions by eye as you remove them from the bag. Alternatively, weigh the spinach on a kitchen scale for accuracy and better portion control.

Step 4

Measure cooked spinach or thawed frozen spinach by squeezing out any excess water, then tightly packing the spinach into a measuring cup. If the recipe calls for a given weight of cooked spinach, follow the same procedure and then weigh it on your kitchen scale.

Step 5

Use the rule of thumb that one pound of raw spinach equals one cup of cooked, which in turn equals two portions as a side dish. If you are working without a recipe or using fresh spinach to generate a given volume of cooked spinach for a recipe, this will usually be suitable.