Kale is my favorite vegetable, and I try to eat it almost everyday for its humongous health benefits. And because I love it so much, I often get a little it crazy at the farmer’s market, buying two or three huge bunches of kale from my favorite organic farmer.
But then I get home and wonder how to store all this greenery!
All these leafy greens tend to take over the fridge, and it can be quite a project to use them all up within a few days in all my salads and other kale recipes. However, it is possible to freeze kale when you have an overabundance, and it’s so dang easy to do so! Here’s a quick 6-step tutorial for how to freeze kale so that you have leafy greens every day of the year.
The nature of leafy greens (and all frozen foods) is that it changes the texture a bit, for sure. Frozen kale is not going to be good for salad or on a sandwich, but it will be good in soups, pasta sauce, cooked dishes (like casserole or lasagna) and in soups.
This method for freezing kale uses an important kitchen process called blanching – this means cooking the food in boiling water, and then immediately dropping into an ice bath to stop the cooking. This ensures that your kale stops cooking, and it helps maintain the bright green color and preserve nutrients.
How to Freeze Kale
1. Wash the kale. Make sure you get rid of any little critters and any soil.
2. Tear the kale from the stem, and break into bite-sized chunks.
3. Bring a pot of water to boil: a larger stock pot works best because there is more room to work. Set up a separate large bowl filled with ice water.
4. Drop a few handfuls of kale into boiling water for just a few seconds; remove using tongs or a slotted spoon, and immediately drop into the ice water and swirl to cool completely and quickly. If you have more than a few handfuls of kale, do this in batches to make sure the kale doesn’t cook too long.
5. Remove the kale from the ice bath, and toss with your hands to remove as much water as possible.
6. Divide kale into portion sizes: usually about a baseball size is enough for pasts sauce, soups, and other recipes for two people. If you have small storage containers, you can freeze the kale in that; if not, put the kale into a small plastic baggie. Put it in the freezer, and that’s it!
When you’re ready to use the kale, you can either let it thaw in the fridge for a few hours or overnight, or just toss it into you cooking while it’s still frozen.
Now get thee to a farmer’s market and stock up on your greenery!