How to Freeze Collard Greens
Collard greens are delicious and great for your health, so it is worth having some in the freezer, but there is a little prep work involved to freeze them fully. This means you do need to blanch them first.
If you don’t follow the blanching method, then the greens are unlikely to survive without becoming a mushy mess in the freezer. It isn’t as difficult and daunting as it sounds, so let’s look at how you can freeze collard greens.
- Pick the Best
Pick out the collard greens you want to freeze. Only pick out undamaged stems with no blemishes to ensure you can successfully freeze them.
Wash them well under cold running water to remove any dirt, grit and bugs that might be making their home in the leaves.
Chop or tear the leaves into manageable sizes. Small leaves should be fine to leave whole, but large leaves will need to be chopped.
- Boil Water
Grab a large pot and boil some water on the cooker. You need enough water to ensure you can cover the greens you have. If you have a large number of collard greens, then you might need to blanch them in batches.
- Prepare for Blanching
While the water is heating up, you need to grab some more equipment. A metal colander is perfect if you have one. If not, then you can use a plastic colander, but the method is slightly different. You also need to ensure you have a bowl of ice water next to the stove. You can either grab some water and pop ice cubes into it or pour a bowl of water and pop it into the fridge until it has cooled.
When the water is boiling, you need to plunge the collard greens into the water. If you have a metal colander, you can put the leaves into it and plunge the whole colander into the water. If not, then pop the leaves in and get ready to pull them out again using tongs. Leave the collard greens in the water for three minutes. As soon as the three minutes is up, you need to take the collard greens out of the water and plunge them into the ice water.
Leave them there for three minutes and then take them out and drain them. Let the collard greens dry as much as possible.
- Bag Up
When they are dry, pop the greens into freezer bags. If you prefer, you can make small portion size balls and then put them in freezer bags. Just be careful not to handle the greens too much.
Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bags. If you have a straw handy, you can seal the bags almost all the way and then put the straw in to suck out all the air. When you are finished, seal the bags tightly.
- Label and Freeze
Label with the date and contents. Pop the bags into the freezer to freeze.
3 Tips for Freezing Collard Greens
Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing collard greens to have the best results:
- Pack into Balls – To save space in your freezer, pack the collard greens into balls before freezing. The size of a tennis ball should work and provide a good portion of your favourite collard greens.
- Airtight is Vital – Make sure you make your bags of collard greens as airtight as possible before popping them into the freezer. You can keep your greens in the freezer for a long time, and any air can cause the flavour of the greens to deteriorate.
- Squeeze Excess Moisture – If you find your greens are retaining too much water, then you can give them a light squeeze as they are draining. These leafy greens tend to absorb moisture, so squeeing can help them freeze well.
How Long Can You Freeze Collard Greens?
If you blanch and then store your collard greens in the freezer, then they will keep well for a super long time! You can freeze them for up to twelve months before the veggies will start to deteriorate.
You Can Freeze Collard Greens for up to 12 Months
How Do You Defrost Collard Greens?
The best way to cook and heat your collard greens once they have been frozen is to not defrost them at all. Pop them into your recipe or cook them up using your favourite method right from frozen.
If you want to thaw the greens out before cooking, you can pop them into a bowl and put them into the fridge to thaw them out overnight.
This is likely to produce a bit of moisture, so don’t forget the bowl, or you could end up with the water leaking into your fridge.
Can You Refreeze Collard Greens?
No, you can’t refreeze collard greens. Their texture and structure will change a little in the freezer, and if you try and refreeze, you may find that the texture becomes too mushy to be edible.
Do Collard Greens Freeze Well?
Collard greens do freeze well, but they do change. They freeze well because they keep their goodness and can be kept for a really long time.
However, the texture of the green will have changed. The veg will be much softer and retain more water than if you cooked them freshly. This doesn’t stop them from being delicious, though, so there is no reason not to freeze up your excess collard greens.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing collard greens or greens in general, then these may help:
Can You Freeze Uncooked Collard Greens?
You can freeze uncooked collard greens, but we would still strongly recommend blanching them beforehand. This does not cook collard greens but helps to secure nutrients, flavour, texture and colour.
Can You Freeze Kale (And Other Greens)?
Kale, like most greens, can be frozen in the same way as collard greens. You need to clean it, blanch it, and store it in an airtight container or bag before freezing.
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