With the number of times I used to ask myself how to freeze kale, I finally decided to just do it at home. If you happen to love leafy greens, then you know how easily they can turn bad. Instead of giving up on buying your favorite kale, why not try freezing it?
So, can you freeze kale?
Absolutely! You just need to take into account a few details and follow some steps to be able to keep your kale healthy and flavorful. If you want your kale to remain a superfood, you should store it properly so that it does not lose its nutrient value.
Here are the 6 things to know if you wonder how to freeze kale:
Tip #1: For best results, you should blanch your kale
The recommendation will always be to blanch your kale or leafy greens before you freeze them. While it is not a requirement, it does preserve a lot of the nutrients, colors, and flavors.
Tip #2: Blanching does not mean cooking your kale
Unlike what some may think, the process of blanching is not cooking your kale. Instead, it preserves your vegetable by using boiling water. You should place your kale in the water for about 3 minutes at most. Do not leave the kale in longer, or it will start to cook!
When you choose not to blanch your vegetables before freezing, they can lose their color. They may also wrinkle, the flavors may diminish, the texture will change, and there could be spoilage once you thaw them.
Tip #3: If you are not blanching your kale, try pre-freezing it
Pre-freezing is a process that can help preserve the kale and prevents it from drooping or wrinkling. To do this, you will need to line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out the kale. You will then place this baking sheet in the freezer for about 2-3 hours.
Once the time is up, you can move your kale into an airtight container or freezer bag. Your kale can be stored in any of these for many months at a time. This method is almost as effective as blanching to preserve the quality of your kale.
Tip #4: Before using your kale again, make sure to take time to thaw it
Using the kale after it is frozen should not be too hard. However, you will need to allow about 1-2 hours for the kale to thaw entirely. If you remember to do it, put it in the fridge overnight so it has enough time to safely thaw.
The best way to thaw your kale is by placing it out on a baking sheet again so it can evenly thaw. This will also prevent damage to the leaves and excess moisture from concentrating in some areas.
Tip #5: You can also use your frozen kale in many different foods
If you do not have time to thaw your kale, why not use it as is? There are plenty of ways to use it frozen. Some good ideas include smoothies, pasta sauce, breakfast bowls, stews, soups, pesto, and more!
Tip #6: When you are low on time, you can store your kale in the freezer immediately
Sometimes, life gets busy and we do not have the time to do things by the book. It is understandable and relatable, so why not save your kale before it goes bad? I suggest you go ahead and freeze it, as it will still be an asset in the long run.
First, remove any stems, bruised leaves, and imperfections. You should then wash the kale thoroughly. Use a paper towel to pat your kale dry, or place it in a salad spinner if you have one.
After your kale is dry and clean, place it on the container of your choice. I suggest you choose freezer bags, as these are easy to store, and will preserve your vegetables equally well.
This method may not allow for all leaves to remain separated, but you can still thaw your kale to use in all sorts of dishes. If having separated leaves is super important to you, but there is no time for blanching or pre-freezing, then I recommend you use jars and store the kale upright.
Why use kale, anyway?
As I mentioned earlier, kale is a superfood, so it is extremely healthy and nutritious. This vegetable is high in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, making it a great addition to your daily routine.
No matter whether you are a fan of salads or not, kale is a versatile food. You can blend it into a puree or paste and use it in all sorts of dishes, or you can use it whole in things like quesadillas, eggs, quiche, or lasagna.
Don’t let your kale go to waste and save it in the freezer for later use!