Freezing Kale

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Freezing Kale

Since the kale in my garden has been so abundant lately, here is another way of stockpiling it for later use. My first article was on Drying Kale.
This time we are going to look at freezing kale to use later. I like to add kale to soups that I make in the crock pot during the wintertime. It is a great addition to bean soups or vegetable soups. It is a boost of nutrition to those soups.

Here is how I go about freezing it. It is considered a “green” in the Blue Ball Book of Preserving, so those are the directions that I used.

Here is a picture of my freshly picked kale.

Be sure to wash your kale thoroughly.

Once you have your large bunch washed, have a large stock pot full of water that you have brought to a boil. Drop your kale in and blanch it for 2 minutes.

When the time is up, quickly drain your kale in a collander.

And then place it, immediately, in a nice ice cold water bath.

Once you have shocked it with the cold, ice bath (to stop it from further cooking), you can place it on paper towels (I use kitchen towels) to let it dry off slightly.

I use a kitchen shears to cut it into smaller bite size pieces and place them in a freezer container.

I fill my containers with approximately 1 cup of the greens, as this is just the right amount to add to your soups.

Once you have filled your containers, but sure to label and date them.

This is a very easy process and hardly takes any time at all. You can have a very, very large bunch of the greens and minimize them to several small containers. Perfect for soups or adding greens to other things, like quiche, casseroles, etc….

I would love to know any other ideas you have for using kale, fresh or frozen…..

Enjoy! Until next time, Julie

Julie is Merissa’s mom and she’s committed to living a frugal and simple lifestyle. Julie grows her own herbs in her garden and enjoys making things at home. You can now find her home remedies and ideas here at Little House Living.

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  1. I grew up eating kale at my grandparents home. It is eaten a lot in Northern German where my grandparents are from. This is how they kept kale too. To be extra frugal and living in Ontario, Canada, they kept the one liter bags that the milk comes in. They washed the bags out good, put the blanched kale in, squeezed out as much air as possible, sealed with rubber bands and put into the chest freezer. Yummy!

  2. I add Kale to my protein smoothie every morning. It’s a great way to sneak in extra nutrients – plus the kids don’t know 🙂

  3. Just wondering why you’d need to blanch the kale first before freezing? I’ve never frozen kale before, but wouldn’t that decrease the live enzymes in it (that would otherwise be preserved by freezing it raw?)

    1. No it will actually get rid of the bad bacteria so it will last longer. Just put in hot boiling water for and 30-60 seconds then put it is cold water, ten shake off access water put it on a towel to dry then place in bags and freeze. Free extra steps but it will last months longer and be healthier. Just freezing without blanching it make the enzyme break it down and turn colors and be less healthier

  4. I freeze my collards and kale without blanching. I always seem to overcook whenever I blanch. Anyway, they tasting pretty good when added to soups or stews.

  5. Once your product is frozen, add a layer of cold water to the container. It seals out air ,and if moisture moves out during storage it shrinks the water…not the stored items moisture (and nutrients.) If you check and see the ice gone after a few months either add more water or use. Freezers using fans dehydrate 3 times faster than simple” plate” freezers. Manual defrost plate or coil freezers are the best but require defrosting regularly. If freezing in bags with Ziplocks/etc. add a few ice cubes…they will dissapear in a few months but your food will last longer.

  6. I got tired of cutting the kale after blanching, so I cut up all my kale before blanching. I used a very large and wide dutch-oven style pot and placed a colander directly in the water. I could blanch my kale, dunk it in the ice batch, and drain it all in the same colander (having a huge batch, I drained it slightly then dumped it in a big bowl, with the final draining when I was done with the batch). I’m still experimenting with how to freeze it in smaller quantities without using a lot of plastic.

  7. PS: I have to freeze some – I live in Sweden, where the kale only goes on sale at Christmas time (I’ve never seen seeds here). Poor things – most Swedes use it as decoration and don’t know how delicious it it!

  8. My Grandmother used to make a black eye peas and dandelion salad and often substituted kale when dandelions were scarce. Saute the chopped kale quickly in olive oil and add to 2 cups boiling water or broth along with black eye peas (already soaked if dry or use frozen or canned if not) add a 1/2 cup of whole cracked wheat or quinoa and simmer uncovered till the water has been absorbed. Makes a great side dish and can be eaten as a cold salad. You season as you wish.

  9. I am old and lost all my teeth. I really miss green salads, raw onions etc (can’t chew em). I have found I can put gobs of Kale mixed with raw onion slices in a food processor and make sort of a “pesto”, which I put liberally on beef and pork sandwiches. Emmmm, outstanding! Also have a good deli meat slicer to cut meat very thin so I can eat it. I have lots of Kale in my garden, which I will now freeze. Thanks for Info

  10. i have been a big big fan of kale since my first marrage i learned about kale from my x-mother-in-law she was american having german decent i’m american with italine decent which explains why i was never introduced to kale i do alot of reserch in different areas and as much as they who ever they are mention spinch which is a great green but kale has it way over spinach taste wise as well as nutrition i grow it year round now that i live in florida finally found a way to grow it all year florida sun not being very forgiving when it comes to gardens but i have learned alot by paying attention to the great teacher NATURE

  11. Take fresh kale out of the garden. Rinse it, in a pan drop in olive oil (my favorite) minced garlic and chopped onions. Let them soak up the olive oil and somewhat carmelize. In the meantime, cut up the kale into strips. Drop the strips into the pan and maybe a touch more oil. Drop in a lil` Johnny`s seasoning (if you wish) stir occassionally til the kale begins to carmelize as well. I could eat this every day alone or as a side dish and after seeing how abundant the kale can get in my garden it`s kind of addicting! (To me)

  12. I am going to freeze some Kale today. This is the first summer that I have had it and other than salads and stir-fry, I didn’t know what to do with it. Can you freeze Bok Choy the same way?

  13. I do something a little different after I blanch the kale. I law them out one layer flat on kitchen towels to dry off. Once dry I put them one later flat on cookie sheets and in the freezer. As they freeze, I put them in large ziploc bags. What’s nice about the bags is I can crush the frozen kale. This makes easy for putting on things like pizza and also allows me to fit alot more in the bag. I know this way is more tedious and time consuming, but it’s great for versatile uses and versatile amounts used as needed.

  14. I love Kale but we struggle to find it here in South Africa. I really wish I could get some seeds so we grow our own. It really does have such a distinctive taste

  15. I belong to a CSA and in the spring and early summer we get a ton of kale. I like it, but can’t use it all. Thanks for the step by step on how to freeze it. I really hate to waste it , but we can’t eat that much kale each week.

  16. You kale looks gorgeous. I haven’t tried growing this plant yet, but good to know how to freeze them. Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday.

  17. Great way to prepare kale for freezing. I find if I cut out the tough stalk (slice kale of the stalk- down each side of the stalk and cut into bite sized poeces) it’s more tasty. Have you ever tried that before prepping for freezer?