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.During the height of the summer harvest season, kale can get a little lonely in our gardens.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 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! .
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. .
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! .
Can You Freeze Kale?
Kale is one of the heartiest greens around and might seem like it lasts forever in the fridge, but it really only stays fresh for about a week.Blanching kale before freezing prevents the leaves from turning bitter, helps maintain their color and extends storage life.The stems can also just go in an airtight freezer bag, and they'll make a great addition to those soups and stews as well.Transfer the frozen kale bundles to an airtight freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, then seal, label and freeze.Whichever method you use, the key is to always squeeze out as much air as possible and try to press the leaves flat, so the bag can be easily slipped in the freezer.And be sure to label the bag with the date and what's inside to make sure all that kale—and the energy you put into freezing it—doesn't go to waste. .
8 Frost Resistant Vegetables
These 8 frost resistant vegetables are perfect for your fall garden or for an early spring planting.Frosts will actually increase the sugar content, effectively eliminating the bitter taste so often experienced in summer sprouts.In fact, you will find they do best in cool fall weather and are rather disappointing in a summer garden.A very hardy vegetable, kale not only tolerates the cold, but it has no problems with insects like cabbage can have.It can also be an early spring crop if you grow under a row cover or cold frame to protect it from extremes.Late season seedlings can be mulched heavily for the winter when temperatures reach freezing for a nice spring crop.The top leaves will die back if temperatures drop below 10 degrees or so, but the root itself will still be good to eat. .
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!Every year I grow extra leafy greens plants so that I have plenty to freeze to last through the winter months.In years past before I had a garden I would stock up on organic greens at the store when they were on sale for the same reason.Freezing leafy greens saves you money, saves you time, cuts down on food waste and enables you to enjoy those nutritious greens all year round.The only difference will be how long to blanch them as some greens are thicker and more fibrous and some are very tender.Start by selecting fresh, crisp, healthy greens with good color and no blemishes.Begin counting the blanching time as soon as you place the greens in the boiling water and cover the pot with a lid.Immediately after the allotted blanching time, drain the greens and plunge them into the ice water.Place the prepared greens in freezing containers or in ziplock bags.A good amount of research has been done comparing the nutrient levels in frozen versus fresh vegetables and the conclusion is that many of the minerals and vitamins are not easily destroyed by either the blanching or the freezing process.Blanching is an important step when it comes to freezing any vegetable for several reasons: Blanching stops the enzymes that lead to spoilage, it enables the vegetables to retain their original texture, their vibrant colors, flavors and their nutrients.Failing to blanch your veggies will result in poor textures, faded, dull colors and off flavors.Place the greens in the boiling water, cover with the lid, and start counting immediately.Place the prepared greens in freezing containers or ziplock bags.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!large bowl of ice water Instructions Select fresh, crisp, healthy greens with good color and no blemishes.Immediately after the allotted blanching time, drain the greens and plunge them into the ice water.Place the prepared greens in freezing containers or in ziplock bags. .
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? .
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 You Freeze Kale?
Not everyone wants to deal with washing and chopping kale after a long day at work.One solution would be to wash and chop bulk amounts ahead of time, but the kale would spoil before you could use all of it.If you thaw out vegetables that have been frozen raw, you’ll find they are slimy and really unappetizing.Set aside a couple of hours for this; eventually you’ll get so much better that freezing kale won’t take you that long.When you’re starting out, though, leave yourself a buffer zone and don’t attempt blanching before any big appointments, lest you run late.Cut out the stiff central stem and slice up the leaves and set aside.When the two minutes are up, remove the basket insert that’s holding the kale and place it in the ice water.Technically, frozen kale will be good for however long you keep it in the freezer.Freezing kale is a great way to maximize an otherwise delicate vegetable with a short shelf life.Now that you know how can you freeze kale properly, there is no reason why you shouldn’t buy in bulk. .