Kale might be the hip vegetable amongst yoga mums and health gurus, but it has always been delicious and packed full of nutrients. But often, you only want a handful with your dinner and find half of the bag going to waste, right? So can you freeze kale and how should you go about freezing kale in the most efficient way? Let’s find out!
The great news, as with most vegetables, is that you can freeze kale and it’s not too difficult. The time-consuming part is blanching and it’s something we would highly recommend doing, especially if you plan on freezing your kale for longer than a couple of months. Blanching will help it to retain it’s colour, flavour, texture and nutrients.
Use the table of contents below to navigate through this article to answer some of the most common questions people have when it comes to freezing kale:
How to Freeze Kale
If you want to freeze kale in the most efficient way then this is the approach you should take:
- Firstly, it’s important that you wash your kale. You want to give it a good rinse under cold water to remove any dirt or bugs.
- Once cleaned, remove the main stem and any woody parts then cut into bite-sized pieces as you normally would.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. While waiting, get a bowl of ice-cold water prepared.
- Once the water is boiling, submerge your kale into it and leave it to boil for 2 minutes. Once blanched, remove immediately and place in the cold water to stop it cooking any further.
- Take your kale and pat it dry. You might even need to give it a gentle squeeze to remove as much of the excess water as possible.
- Now push your kale into an ice cube tray. Depending on the size of your tray, one or two cubes will be the equivalent of a serving for a person.
- Place the ice cube tray in the freezer and allow the cubes to freeze solid for several hours.
- Once frozen, you can remove the tray, pop the cubes out and store in a freezer bag.
How Long Can You Freeze Kale?
If you don’t bother to blanch the kale, then you’ll want to consume it within 2 months. If you have blanched the kale then it’ll be fine to store in the freezer for 6 months. Beyond this time, it’ll remain perfectly safe to eat but there is a risk that the flavour and texture will begin to degrade.
As always, we highly recommend labelling your kale with the date in which it must be consumed so you can easily plan your meals and avoid wasting it.
You Can Freeze Kale for up to 6 Months
How Do You Defrost Kale?
As kale leaves are quite tender and delicate, you don’t actually need to defrost them. Simply place a cube into a pan over a low heat and allow it to thaw out. Once thawed, you can season, add a knob of butter and cook until just cooked.
You can also use these kale ice cubes in smoothies. Just throw them straight into the blender with your other ingredients. The frozen kale will also help to keep your smoothie cool.
Does Kale Freeze Well?
Kale does freeze well, especially if you blanch it beforehand. The only time it doesn’t work well is if you plan on using it in a massaged kale salad where the kale isn’t cooked. There is a chance the texture won’t be quite right.
Besides this, however, kale works great from the freezer. It’s the perfect way to preserve it and avoid wasting it especially if you have an abundance of it. Just make sure you follow our guide to freezing it at the top of this article.
Other Questions about Kale
Below are a few of the other common questions we have come across when it comes to kale – some related to freezing and some not. If you’re still sat there with a question or two about kale then drop a comment at the bottom of this article and we’ll aim to help out as much as possible.
Can You Freeze Kale Without Blanching?
You certainly can – however, it won’t last quite as long. It’ll remain safe to eat but without blanching the texture and flavour can degrade much quicker in the freezer. That’s why we highly recommend blanching beforehand.
Can You Freeze Kale for Smoothies?
Absolutely! We’d recommend using the method above for freezing kale for smoothies. That way, you can grab a cube and throw it into a blender with your other ingredients. You’ll get that hit of kale goodness whilst keeping your smoothie nice and cool.
Can You Freeze Kale Juice?
You can and the best approach to take is to use an ice cube tray. Pour your juice into an ice cube tray, freeze and then once frozen pop the cubes out and store in a bag.