Lacinato kale in my front yard garden just waiting to be preserved for winter eating!In this post I’ll show you how insanely easy it is to freeze kale for use in delicious recipes all winter long.But, when I take an objective look at kale, it wins a place at the top of my “most worth it to grow” vegetable list.I’m often harvesting from those same kale plants through the heat of summer, into the cooler temperatures of fall, and right into the freezing days and nights of winter.Kale leaves are at their most tender and yummy when they’re new, so there’s not a lot of benefit to letting them sit in the garden for weeks on end.In the rest of this post I’ll walk you through the extremely easy process I use to freeze piles of kale every summer.If you’d like the leaves to be loose and easily broken apart, spread them on a cookie sheet and pre-freeze them in the freezer for 60 minutes.I don’t find this to be a necessary step because even when you freeze the kale in a block it’s pretty easy to break off a chunk.A chest freezer stays at a constant temperature of zero degrees F. This is better for long lasting frozen food quality.Kale is difficult to remove from these jars, so I’ve defaulted to using freezer bags instead.I try to care for my bags so they last several seasons in a row and then they’re often downgraded to hold other random household objects.See all of my recommended garden tools, books, seeds, and easy preserving supplies in my Amazon storefront.I find that a quart-sized amount of frozen kale is one or two servings depending on how I’m using it in a recipe.I recommend keeping a record of how much food you’re preserving each year so you can evaluate whether you’re putting away too much, not enough, or exactly how much you need.I love to use frozen kale in smoothies, soups, stews, and stir-fries throughout the dark winter months.Here are some of my favorite recipes I’ve discovered over the years that are a great complement to frozen kale.If you love the idea of having a stash of kale to use in your favorite dishes all winter long, make a plan to plant more than you can eat fresh this season.Then, when the plants are pumping out fresh leaves during harvest season, have a blast gathering piles of kale and using this simple method to freeze it!And don’t forget to check out my free mini-course: Get Started Stocking Your Pantry for Winter.I’ll show you how simple it can be to fill your pantry with lots of healthy food that will save you trips to the grocery store this winter! .
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. .
Can I freeze kale without blanching?
Can I freeze kale without blanching?Blanching the kale stops the enzymes in the leaves from working, which prevents the leaves from turning bitter.You can use a freezer safe plastic food storage container or freezer safe plastic zipper bag. .
How to Freeze Kale - A Step-By-Step Guide
How to Freeze Kale.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.Place your rinsed kale in a large pot or covered pan on the stovetop.Once the kale is tender, but still bright green, drain excess water from the kale in a colander in the sink (discard the boiling water down the drain).Leave the kale leaves in the ice water for about 2 minutes, until they feel cool to the touch.Use a pair of tongs to transfer the cooled kale leaves to a dry paper towel or kitchen towel to dry completely.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.Freeze kale for roughly 2 hours until firm, then remove from the freezer.Make sure the cookie sheet fits in your freezer!Please leave me a comment below, or share a photo on Instagram and let me know what you think!It is much easier to remove dirt from fresh kale than frozen kale, so you might as well do the work upfront.How do you defrost frozen kale?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.However, in some recipes you can keep the kale frozen, such as in kale smoothies .But if you’re really in a pinch, you could use defrosted frozen kale for pesto.Freezing leafy greens — whether they be kale, spinach, or collard greens — save you time, money, and energy.Plus, it helps cut down on food waste (which is my personal mission in the kitchen).So the next time you purchase too much at the store, don’t let it go to waste. .
How to Freeze Kale (4 Easy Methods!)
Can you freeze kale?What to Do Before Freezing Kale.Before you can freeze kale with one of the following methods, you first need to wash it thoroughly and dry it (you can pat it dry between two clean kitchen towels).Make Freezer Smoothies.Making freezer smoothies is a great way to freeze your kale for a later use.What is a freezer smoothie?It is basically a pre-assembled baggie that contains all of the necessary ingredients for your favorite smoothie recipe.Related: For more detailed freezer smoothie preparation instructions visit this post full of freezer smoothie how-to tips and smoothie recipe ideas.You can check out all of my smoothies in the smoothie recipe category.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.If the recipe you are preparing won’t be affected by any extra water the frozen kale might contribute, just add the kale directly to the recipe according to the recipe’s instructions.Freeze Kale As Is.If you know you want to add kale to various smoothies, but don’t want to fuss with making freezer smoothies or doing any other prep work, you can transfer the kale directly to a freezer bag.When you need a handful or two of kale to add to a smoothie, just pull it out as is — like for this Green Smoothie Bowl.What to Make with Frozen Kale.Frozen Kale is perfect to use in smoothie recipes like this Berry Mango Kale Smoothie.Check out How to Make Freezer Smoothies.Looking for more kitchen tutorials?Love this tutorial on how to freeze kale?Freeze as is 1.Nutrition Information Yield 4 Serving Size 1.Did you make this recipe? .
How to Freeze Kale and Other Leafy Greens
We’ll show you how to freeze kale and other leafy greens so you can enjoy their freshness and nutrition all year round!If you’d like to know how to freeze kale, how to freeze spinach, how to freeze Swiss chard, how to freeze collard greens or any other leafy green, we’ve got you covered!How to Blanch Kale and Other Leafy Greens.Cut off particularly large, woody stems as they don’t freeze well.Kale: Blanch for 2 minutes.As a general rule most greens will need to be blanched for 2 minutes except for collard greens, which are more fibrous, and baby spinach leaves, which are more tender.Immediately after the allotted blanching time, drain the greens and plunge them into the ice water.How to Freeze Kale and Other Leafy Greens.After you’ve blanched and cooled the greens in the ice water and drained them, give them a thorough squeeze to get as much water out of them as you can.Do You Have to Blanch Kale to Freeze It?If you want to store your frozen leafy greens for several months they need to be blanched first.While you can freeze kale and other leafy greens raw they will only keep for a month to month and a half before the texture, color and flavor all start to deteriorate.How Long Do Frozen Leafy Greens Last?Cut off particularly large, woody stems as they don’t freeze well.Let them cool for as long as the blanching time.Squeeze as much water out of the greens as you can.How to Freeze Kale and Other Leafy Greens Kimberly Killebrew Freezing kale and other leafy greens is super simple and will save you money and time, will cut back on food waste, and will enable you to enjoy those fresh nutritious greens all year round!Immediately after the allotted blanching time, drain the greens and plunge them into the ice water. .
How to Freeze Kale (and Greens) for Smoothies, Muffins, and More!
How to Freeze Kale.Greens for Smoothies.The classic options for green smoothies are kale and spinach, which are my go-tos as well.Remove frozen kale from the freezer.Which greens are best for smoothies?Can you freeze fresh greens without blanching?(Don’t plan to eat thawed frozen greens like you would fresh greens though—they won’t work in a salad!).TIP: Find my full post on how to freeze spinach here.Making Green Smoothies Taste Better.Here are a few tips to keep in mind when using frozen greens in smoothies.Crush the frozen greens for a more compact bag in the freezer and for easier measuring. .
Can You Freeze Collard Greens? Yes, But You Have to Follow
When you have a newly bought batch of fresh collard greens, it may seem intimidating to start boiling all of them before freezing, especially if you have a smaller kitchen.This allows the collard greens to lose their toughness and become much more palatable, turning them back into a delicious source of Vitamin C and other nutrients.Collard greens are traditionally frozen after cooking, usually in small bags that are ready to use and be added into any dish where you may want to use them.Freezing collard greens became popular owing to the amount of work that needs to go into cooking them.The boiling, steaming, or cooking process to make collard greens soft and edible can take several hours, and doing small batches at a time can be extremely time-consuming.Almost all collard greens are boiled in the modern world and then frozen to extend their shelf life from a few days to several months.Many dishes that call for collard greens, instantly become a lot healthier and will allow you to enjoy the meal without having to feel guilty about eating “just a tad more.”.However, some believe this same effect can be reached when the frozen collard greens are prepared the same way after thawing them.This belief arose from the natural added flavor and color that salt adds to any dish.An important step that you should always include, even with fresh collard greens, is wiping them down with a paper towel.This may seem odd, but reducing the amount of moisture that is on top of the leaves will save them for the long run, allowing the collard greens to comfortably stay fresh without most of the taste being lost to the frozen water.Not only can these cause a massive amount of damage to the tissue of the vegetables, they negatively affect the taste.This is usually why you can buy some vegetables as flash-frozen, which is the process of freezing things so fast that normal ice crystals don’t take shape.Boiling, steaming, frying, or broiling are all ways that you can cook the greens, delivering you a great dish.Depending heavily on the weather conditions for your area, you can leave cooked collard greens out overnight.However, you should leave collard greens that have been cooked for a few minutes in ice water to cool down before freezing.Be sure that the collard greens you are eating have not been allowed to be the perfect breeding ground for unwanted problems.Becoming popular around the world in most dishes, collard greens can safely be kept in your fridge for almost a year and will be a welcome addition to your daily meals. .