Can you freeze kale? That’s the question that probably led you to this page. It’s one of the healthiest vegetables around, and it’s so versatile. I love to use it in salads and smoothies. If you’re anything like me, you probably bought too much kale at the farmers’ market, maybe even grew it yourself? Now you’re wondering if kale can be safely popped into the freezer.
The simple answer to this question is yes – you can freeze kale. In this blog post, we will talk about this all-time favorite veggie of ours and give you tips on how to freeze it.
So a bit about kale
If you like kale, you probably already know this, but let’s talk a bit more about this lovely leafy veggie. Kale is one of those superfoods that’s been getting a lot of attention lately. It’s in the Brassicaceae family, which also includes cabbage and Brussels sprouts. It is packed with nutrients and a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber and antioxidants.
Kale can be eaten raw, put in smoothies, or cooked. It is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat! It can help maintain good eye health because it contains lutein, an antioxidant combination that may decrease the chance of age-related macular degeneration. The minerals inside this green powerhouse promote digestive system function. Kales’ list goes on: they’re rich sources of antioxidants that fight off cancerous cells while keeping heart rhythm steady. Studies have shown that kale can help to lower cholesterol levels and improve cognitive function. With all these health benefits, it’s no wonder kale is so popular.
Some recipes for your frozen kale
There are many ways to enjoy kale, so get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different recipes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Kale chips
- Kale and white bean soup
- Kale pesto
- Massaged kale salad
- Green smoothie with kale
- Stir fry with kale and other veggies
If you find that the kale is going to be used within a week or so, just put the leaves in water and pop it into your fridge. They will remain crunchy for much longer this way!
Steps To Freeze Kale:
1. Remove stem:
Bunch up the kale and remove the stem. This is not a crucial step, though. If you prefer to use the stems later, you can freeze them as well. If you do, however, decide to remove the stems, you can take a zero-waste approach and use up the stem in various ways:
- Whip them into a pesto with some rocket leaves, basil, and cashew
- Add them to your smoothie
- Saute them in a wok with other veggies for a tasty stir-fry
- Add them to a mixed vegetable soup
2. Cut up the kale into smaller pieces:
After you have removed the stem, cut the kale leaves into smaller pieces. This will make it easier to use them later on. You can either tear them by hand or chop them up with a knife.
3. Boil a large pot of water:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. You will need enough water to cover the kale leaves.
4. Place the kale in the boiling water to blanch it
Give the kale a quick stir to ensure all of it is in the water.
5. Blanch the kale for 2-4 minutes
If you are blanching the stems of the kale, let the water boil for four minutes. However, if you removed the stems at the first step, two or three minutes will be plenty.
Note: When people ask if they can freeze kale, they also want to know if they can quickly do this without having to blanch. Yes – you can indeed! However, I recommend you thoroughly wash the greens to get rid of any dirt and tiny garden creatures. Also, unless you are planning to use the kale for a smoothie or soup, where the stem would be thoroughly processed, I suggest you remove the stems at Step 1 of the prep. To freeze your kale without blanching, proceed to Step 8.
6. Strain the kale:
Once the kale has finished blanching, remove it from the pot with a colander or slotted spoon.
7. Move the kale into cold water to stop the cooking process:
Immediately after removing the kale from the boiling water, run cold water over it. Alternatively, you can fill a basin with cold water or iced water and drop the kale into the basin. This will stop the cooking process and prevent the kale from becoming overcooked.
8. Strain the kale again:
Use a colander to strain the kale once it’s fully cool and allow it to air dry for a bit. Or even better yet, dry them using a spinner since water on these leafy veggies can result in freezer burns.
9. Put into freezer bags:
Now that the kale is cooked, it’s time to transfer it into freezer bags. You may save time in the future by freezing the kale in smaller amounts in separate bags. Instead of thawing all of your frozen food at once, you’ll only need to thaw one bag instead of the whole amount.
If you are a visual person, check out the video below to see how this is done:
And that’s it! You no longer have to wonder can you freeze kale – go ahead and do it!
FAQs on freezing kale.
Q: Is frozen kale good for smoothies?
A: Yes, frozen kale is actually a great addition to smoothies. It can make your smoothie more filling and add tonnes of extra nutrients.
Q: Can you freeze kale without blanching?
A: Yes, but only if you have enough space in your freezer. Since my freezer is always packed with seasonal veggies and fruits, I usually blanch my kale stalks before freezing them. This way, I can stack them in the freezer without taking up too much space. If you’re going to freeze the kale without blanching it, ensure that you use it within two months.
Q: Does kale lose nutrition when frozen?
A: No, kale actually retains most of its nutrients when frozen. In fact, some vitamins and minerals are may more bioavailable when the kale is frozen right after its been picked.
Q: How long does frozen kale last?
A: Frozen kale can last for up to a year in the freezer. However, it’s best to consume it within the first six months for the best quality. So, can you freeze kale? Yes! And I hope this post has inspired you to do so.