Can You Freeze Kale?

Often, you only want a handful of kale with your dinner and find half of the bag going to waste, right? Food waste is a global problem so you need to avoid throwing it out. But what can you do with it? How do you store it?

Can You Freeze Kale?

Yes, you can freeze kale for up to 6 months. To freeze kale, you’ll need to trim it, blanch it and then pack it into an ice cube tray before placing the kale cubes into the freezer.

Can You Refreeze Kale? No

Does Kale Freeze Well? Yes

How to Freeze Kale

If you want to freeze kale in the most efficient way then this is the approach you should take. This will work for all kale varieties including curly kale, Russian kale and red kale:

  1. Wash
    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.
  2. Trim
    Once cleaned, remove the main stem and any woody parts then cut into bite-sized pieces as you normally would.
  3. Prepare for Blanching
    Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. While waiting, get a bowl of ice-cold water prepared.
  4. Blanch
    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 from cooking any further.
  5. Dry
    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.
  6. Pack Into An Ice Cube Tray
    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.
  7. Freeze
    Place the ice cube tray in the freezer and allow the cubes to freeze solid for several hours.
  8. Bag Up and Refreeze
    Once frozen, you can remove the tray, pop the cubes out and store them in a freezer bag.
Frozen Kale Cubes

Once you’ve mastered this method of freezing kale, you can actually use the same method for other leafy vegetables such as spinach, cavolo nero and beetroot tops.

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.

3 Tips for Freezing Kale

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing kale to have the best results:

Freeze Into Cubes
By freezing into cubes, you can easily grab a portion at a time. If you don’t have an ice cube tray or want larger portions then try a cupcake or muffin tin. 

Mix with Other Greens
If you’re going to pop your cubes into smoothies then why not try mixing your kale with other greens. You could add spinach, broccoli or lettuce.

Yes, blanching takes time but when freezing kale (and other greens) we would strongly recommend taking the time to blanch it as it will help to preserve the texture, colour, flavour and nutrients. 

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 on 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.

Can You Refreeze Kale? 

Unfortunately, refreezing kale isn’t advised as it can play havoc with the texture. You’ll find that the kale becomes soggy and mushy. You also risk negatively impacting the flavour drastically. 

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.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing kale or kale in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Curly Kale?

Whether it’s curly kale, Russian kale or red kale, they can all be frozen. Cut it up, blanch for a few seconds and then pack it into an ice cube tray before freezing it.

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.

Related Foods

Discover How to Freeze Some Related Ingredients and Dishes:

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