Ya’ll know we eat a lot of spinach around here. We go through at least a pound each week and when it’s fresh and blended with some bananas, milk and other fruit, it’s SO delicious!
The downside of fresh spinach is having to wash and dry it. Call me lazy, but I really don’t like doing that part, lol. In fact, I don’t like doing that for lettuce either. And you know why? Wet leaves oog me out. I don’t want wet leaves in my smoothies and I don’t want wet leaves in my salads.
Ever heard of wilted lettuce? That oogs me out too.
Setting the leaves to air dry on the counter won’t work when I’m chopping lettuce for lunch or dinner… today… right now.
My step-mom has a salad spinner. Or at least I saw the box for one in her garage – and that seemed like the perfect solution to my wet-leaves debacle. But does my kitchen really need another small appliance?
My husband would say no, and considering that storage space is running low, I’m inclined to agree. Plus I don’t want to pay for one. My eating-from-the-pantry manta has spilled over into shopping-from-the-house.
So on to the next best thing – a do-it-yourself salad spinner that requires only three items that I’m pretty sure are in everyone’s house: a kitchen towel, a paper towel (or another kitchen towel if you’re paper-towel free) and arm strength.
(Even mild arm strength will suffice – no need to be all buff to pull this off.)
Here’s a tutorial for your own salad spinner:
- Lay the kitchen towel on a flat surface.
- Place the paper towels (or a second kitchen towel) on top.
- Lay your washed leaves on top of the paper/cloth towel.
- Grab the sides of the bottom towel and bunch at the top, like a stork cradles a baby.
- Start swinging your arm in large circles, from your shoulder (not your elbow). Centrifugal force will keep the spinach in the towel (kinda like the science experiment with water in a bucket, remember?).
- Swing your arms a few times in each direction for 10-20 seconds. If you can go longer, consider yourself buff!
A few options and words of caution.
- You could swing your towel above your head, a la lasso cowboy-style, but I’ve found that arms circle tend to fare better since the towel doesn’t get wrapped around your hand after two swings.
- Be sure to do this in a place you don’t care to keep clean – garage, outside, etc. There’s a good chance excess water (which will be tainted both in color and smell of spinach or lettuce) will be thrown from the towel and land on whatever you are near. Cleaning spinach-tainted water from your kitchen cabinets is not much fun (trust me on that one).
- You may need to toss the leaves in the towel and repeat if you put a lot in there to begin with, or if they’re very wet, or if your arm got tired the first round.
- You may get wet.
That’s it! Enjoy your new salad spinner and now dry spinach/lettuce leaves!