I recently asked my pretty amazing and one-of-a-kind Confident Kitchen newsletter subscribers what they wanted to learn more about on this blog.If you’re wondering whether frozen kale is as healthy as the fresh stuff, it totally is.I buy my frozen kale at Trader Joe’s, but I know they sell it at Whole Foods and other large chain grocery stores. .
How to Freeze Kale - A Step-By-Step Guide
Freezing vegetables is one of the easiest ways to reduce food waste, stretch your grocery bill, and save time.If you follow me on Instagram, you know we’ve been dealing with quite a few toddler sleep issues the past several weeks.I’ve been sharing a collection of tips, tricks, and suggestions from other mothers who have (wonderfully) offered their advice, which you can view in my highlights.Frozen veggies are one of my best secrets to eating healthy when you’re pressed for time, and when I have any excess kale, potatoes, broccoli, or other produce that isn’t going to get eaten before it goes bad.But technically, any bunch of kale that you buy from the farmer’s market, CSA, or grocery store can be frozen.If you buy too much fresh kale or you want to eat it slowly (or use it in smoothies, which is what I normally do), you can simply freeze for later use.Freezer-safe Ziploc bags or containers Instructions Remove the kale leaves from the stem.If you don’t like the thicker, coarse kale stems, you can certainly remove them (but there’s no harm in keeping them!).Place your rinsed kale in a large pot or covered pan on the stovetop.Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan and submerge the kale about ½”.Firmly close the top of the pot or pan, turn on the burner, and bring to a simmer.If you have a salad spinner, you can pass them through it first to remove excess water, but you’ll still need to lay them out to make sure they are completely dry before you start the freezing process.Once the leaves are dry, lightly grease or spray a muffin tin, then divide your kale into 12 portions and gently press each portion into a compartment of the muffin tin (see note for instructions on using a cookie sheet instead).Transfer your frozen kale pucks from the muffin tin to a freezer-safe plastic bag or another airtight container.If you don’t have a cookie sheet that fits inside your freezer, you may need to freeze your kale in a couple of batches on dinner plates or another smaller flat surface.Recommended Products As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.All-Clad Stainless Steel Saute Pan with Lid Cookware, 5-Quart, Silver Did you make this?To defrost frozen greens, simply take the Ziploc bag they’re stored in out of the freezer and place it on the counter or in a bowl of cool water.This recipe combines yogurt, coconut milk, strawberries, bananas, and kale into each bite. .
How to Freeze Kale (+ Frozen Kale Recipes)
Storing kale in the freezer is a great way to purchase in bulk when prices are low .Kale’s curly leaves make it easy for dirt to hide!You can leave the stems on the kale if you’ll be pureeing it or using it in soups and stews later, however that is up to you.For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.Making freezer smoothies is a great way to freeze your kale for a later use.All you have to do is stuff a freezer bag full of your favorite fruits and/or vegetables, label, date, and freeze.This method is perfect when you just want to add small amounts of kale puree to smooth, chunk-free recipes like smoothies, soups or sauces.However, if you’re preparing something where extra moisture would not go unnoticed, be sure to thaw the kale and squeeze it dry.I like to place the kale inside a paper towel and squeeze that over the sink.When prepping the kale, it is a good idea to discard the woody stem s. They’re unpleasant to eat.To prevent freezer burn, remove excess moisture from the kale leaves.You’ll have fewer ice crystals if you kale is completely dry, which means less chance of freezer burn.You’ll have fewer ice crystals if you kale is completely dry, which means less chance of freezer burn.Use the type of storage that works best for you : airtight containers, zip top freezer bags (make sure they’re the freezer variety), or a vacuum sealer with vacuum seal plastic bags.If you have enough frozen already, make a big batch of Kale Cilantro Pesto and freeze that too!It’s a lightened up version of an Olive Garden Classic and crowd favorite, Zuppa Toscana.This Baked White Cheddar Mac n Cheese with Kale and Bacon is a bit sinful.Pasta loaded with rich, velvety cheese gets my taste buds watering during these often colder than fall but not quite winter yet evenings.You can use your frozen kale to make these Mini Crustless Broccoli Quiche.Freezing raspberries is a wonderful way to enjoy summer’s harvest year-round!Frozen grapes make for great snacks on hot days, and they can be thrown into smoothies.Check out the entire Kitchen Tips and Tricks archive for lots of great ideas!Sign up to receive Good Life Eats email updates and never miss another helpful kitchen tip! .
Sauteed Kale With Garlic & Lemon (Healthy Side Dish!)
Sautéed Kale With Garlic and Lemon is still a darling in the kitchen because it’s nutritious and affordable!Garlic butter sautéed kale is the delicious side dish that either stands alone or goes with everything!Our simple recipe is sautéeed fresh kale in oil, butter, and garlic until it is just barely tender.Remove the kale leaves from the fibrous stem and rinse away any dirt or debris under running water.Dry the kale by placing it in a salad spinner or wrap paper towels around it and press the water out.This may be one of the easiest side dishes to make, and it’s ready in 3 simple steps!Cook kale in oil until it’s tender, then sauté the garlic in butter in the same pan.PRO TIP: Bacon bits are a perfect garnish for garlic butter sautéed kale!Reheat it by popping it in the microwave and squeezing a little lemon juice and salt on it before serving.Infused with garlic and lemon it is a delicious and healthy side dish that goes with so many entrees!¼ teaspoon salt or to taste Instructions Preheat oil in a skillet over medium heat. .
The Most Awesome Sauteed Kale
It will convert anyone from a kale-hater to a kale-lover, even my teenager… Learn to choose and prepare kale to remove the bite and keep the hearty flavor and all the nutrition!This recipe does that with the addition of garlic, shallots, rich broth instead of water, and a few red pepper flakes.I have always known it was good for me but could never get my taste buds and my brain to agree on a plan for incorporating more leafy greens into my diet.I always add just a bit of stock (or water if you are in a pinch) and cover the pan to make sure the stems are tender.My kids actually love this kale recipe, but one stem that doesn’t chew like it is supposed to and all bets are off.We take it home, wash it and trim it, then blanch it in boiling water, then pile it into freezer bags.I have heard over and over again that this recipe changed people’s mind about eating sauteed kale as part of their regular dinner rotation.They are awesome to make ahead and freeze, then pop into the oven for a quick dinner or lunch.You’ll just need to thaw it in the refrigerator then reheat it in a saute pan when you are ready to eat it.The long answer is – I actually prefer to blanch my kale and freeze it without the seasoning or oils that you use to saute.I have been known to whack a bunch of frozen kale on the counter and throw the block into the slow cooker to add greens to soups.Use a slotted spoon to remove it and transfer it directly to a big bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.kosher salt and black pepper to taste Instructions Heat coconut oil in a large saute pan.Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute, stirring often to prevent burning.Nutrition Facts The Most Awesome Sauteed Kale Amount Per Serving Calories 87 Calories from Fat 72 % Daily Value* Fat 8g 12% Saturated Fat 6g 30% Cholesterol 1mg 0% Sodium 55mg 2% Potassium 191mg 5% Carbohydrates 4g 1% Sugar 1g 1% Protein 2g 4% Vitamin A 3245IU 65% Vitamin C 39mg 47% Calcium 49mg 5% Iron 0.5mg 3% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. .
Reduce Food Waste! How to Freeze Kale
You can freeze kale (and bagged spinach), so you can keep it on hand without it getting all gross and stinky in the back of your refrigerator.And since you’ll need to prep your kale before freezing it, it’s a great way to consolidate your kitchen work and make cooking faster and easier later.Once the kale is prepped and frozen, it’s ready to toss into any number of recipes later without any further work.Frozen kale will slowly dry out in the freezer over time, causing the flavor and texture quality to decline.Make sure you fully wash and chop your kale before freezing, so it’s ready to go straight into your recipe from the freezer.I buy bags of pre-chopped kale, but I always give it another wash and pick out any larger pieces of stem.If you’re buying a bunch of kale, remove the stems, chop it to your desired size, then give it a good rinse.Avoid packing or squishing the kale too tightly in the container so you can easily grab a handful or two at a time later, instead of having a large solid block of greens that you can’t break apart.So I hope this simple tutorial inspires you to freeze some of your next batch of kale, and saves you some dollars! .
Freeze Kale the Right Way
When preserving, it never hurts to have a little knowledge to make sure you’re keeping your product and your family in good shape.So we’ll talk a little about food safety, quality and nutrition so you’re going to be well-armed and avoid any pitfalls along the way.You can just jump ahead to the printable if you want but if you at least scan through the information you’ll know the whys and that’s knowledge you can use anytime you want to freeze just about any vegetable.It can be a difficult temperature to maintain with a refrigerator/freezer combination, especially if the door is opened often; keep a closer eye on those types of freezers and the food in them.Freezing won’t destroy bacteria or organisms like Clostridium botulinum or E coli or any other; for the most part, it just holds them in a kind of suspended animation.What goes in the freezer comes out, the bad with the good, and once your kale warms up as it thaws, so do all bacteria and other organisms, to do what they do best: multiply.While it might seem as if there’s little danger of thawing vegetables outside of the refrigerator, especially if the package feels cold, the outside surfaces can warm faster and bacteria can begin to reproduce there.Factor in the moist environment and before you know it there can be a veritable invisible stew of bacteria laced throughout your kale.While loose-leaf kale may sustain some damage in places, usually at the stems if wrapped in wire or rubber band (it’s a good idea to remove those from any vegetable as soon as you get it home whether you’re freezing or not) and stems can be trimmed off, bagged kale has dangers of its own.The high moisture content in those bags will ensure any bacteria will have multiplied and spread throughout the kale.Make sure your work surfaces, any cutting boards, knives, and your hands are well washed and clean.There’s really no need to go through heroics and lots of products to clean your counters but do wash with a clean rag (sponges are one of the worst offenders as far as carrying bacteria and it’s a health code violation to use them in restaurants) and soapy water and thoroughly dry.Wash your kale in a colander, not directly in the sink, by thoroughly rinsing under a strong steady stream.Generally, soaking in a solution of vinegar (about 3 tablespoons to a gallon of water) will take care of them.All vegetables and many other plants (and animal products) have proteins present called enzymes.That is why kale (and all kinds of vegetables, fruit, and other food) that isn’t treated, with enough time, will not be so attractive when it comes out of the freezer.Blanching can be done by steaming, boiling, or in the microwave and has the added benefit of destroying some of the micro-organisms that might be present on your kale.Blanching is essential to preserve the quality of kale or any vegetable frozen for more than a brief period of time in the freezer.Once the kale is blanched it should be drained, preferably spun, and or rolled in a clean kitchen towel to remove most of the moisture.While boiling or steaming kale for six to eight minutes will reduce most of the soluble (and about 1/3 of the total) amount of oxalic acid, the simple blanching to freeze will remove some of it.Drain your kale well after blanching, spin if you can, and if necessary, spread over a clean towel and roll it up to remove excess moisture.Wrap well (heavy Ziploc type freezer bags work well) and freeze quickly to minimize cell damage.Placing the bags on a metal sheet tray that has been in your freezer for 30 minutes is ideal.There are pots called Blanchers that come with a wire mesh basket and cover, and if you regularly prepare items for the freezer it can be nice to have.As soon as the kale is transferred pick up the strainer, still running the cold water over it and empty the pot underneath, replace the strainer in the pot in the sink and continue running the cold water over and into it.Category: Preserving Ingredients Scale 1x 2x 3x This is a preferred method for many home cooks.I’ll be sharing this week both at Fiesta Friday #324, coshosted by Diann @ Of Goats and Greens and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons and at the Weekend Potluck. .
How to Store Kale in the Fridge or Freezer
Turns out, kale isn't a fad after all—the leafy green has staying power.Kale is one of the only greens that you can wash and prep days in advance—it's so hardy that it rarely wilt.You can stem, slice or tear the leaves, rinse them, dry them well in a salad spinner or with kitchen towels, and store the leaves, wrapped in a paper towel in a zip-top plastic bag, for up to 3 days.When the water boils, toss in the kale leaves and cook until they brighten in color, 1 to 2 minutes. .
How to Freeze Kale (and Greens) for Smoothies, Muffins, and More!
Learning how to freeze kale and greens for smoothies, muffins, soups, and more can be a total game changer.Whether it’s homegrown or from the store, freezing kale is one of my very favorite food storage hacks.Green smoothies are a nutritious and easy family meal option for all ages.Greens can go bad quickly in the fridge and they can often make a smoothie actually taste like a salad.This maintains the nutrition, prevents food waste, and helps you keep a stash of greens on hand for whenever the smoothie urge strikes.I prefer kale, either curly or the flat kind, or spinach, baby or full size.You simply need to wash, dry, remove from the stems, and place into a freezer bag.Yes, full size or baby spinach freeze really nicely this way and can be used similarly.Crush the frozen greens for a more compact bag in the freezer and for easier measuring.You can experiment with adding more to a smoothie, but taste it before you give it to the kids to make sure it’s sweet enough. .
Kale Smoothie (that tastes AMAZING!)
This Kale Smoothie recipe is one of my favorite ways to incorporate more dark leafy greens into my day.Kale is low in calories and high in nutrients, causing some people to deem it a “superfood.” Here are a few reasons I try to eat more of it:.Antioxidants may help to lower inflammation and help protect against heart disease and cancer, by counteracting oxidative damage caused by free radicals in the body.Antioxidants may help to lower inflammation and help protect against heart disease and cancer, by counteracting oxidative damage caused by free radicals in the body.Kale is also high in fiber, which is why some people don’t love chewing it in a salad.Be sure to remove the tough center stem from kale leaves before adding them to your smoothie.Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, in the same family as broccoli and cauliflower, and contains a compound called glucosinolates.These contain another compound called thiocyanates which may hinder thyroid function, and this has caused some alarm in regards to eating raw kale.According to Cooking Light’s Food & Nutrition Director, “The benefit of eating these vegetables usually outweighs any potential negatives.”.If you’d like to save yourself some effort in the morning, try assembling a few make-ahead smoothie bags when you have 10 minutes to spare.When you’re ready to make your smoothie, simply dump the contents of the bag into the blender with the orange juice and water and blend until smooth!The key to this smoothie is using a tropical mix of fruits, including mango, banana, and orange juice for a nice sweet and tart balance of flavors.I use unpasteurized cold-pressed orange juice in my smoothies, which I buy at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.1/4 avocado Instructions Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth.Note: If you do not have a powerful blender, I recommend blending the liquid and kale leaves first to help them break down before you add the frozen fruit.Kale Smoothie Nutrition (for the whole batch): Calories: 293, Fat: 9g, Carbohyrdates: 56g, Fiber: 8g, Protein: 4g. .