Spring greens are the first cabbages of the year and tend to remain in season until early summer. Whether you grow spring greens yourself or buy them from the supermarket, you usually need to use them within a couple of days while they’re fresh.
But how do you preserve them for slightly longer? Can you freeze spring greens?
Yes, you can freeze spring greens. Spring greens can be frozen for around 3 months. Begin by preparing and blanching the spring greens before adding them to bags and placing them in the freezer.
Can You Refreeze Spring Greens? No
Do Spring Greens Freeze Well? Yes
How to Freeze Spring Greens
As the name suggests, spring greens are best enjoyed during the first months of spring! With that in mind, lots of people pick or buy spring greens when they’re in season and store them in the freezer for use throughout the year.
You can freeze spring greens by following the steps listed below.
Begin by washing your spring greens and trimming the leaves from the base. Spring greens don’t have a hard heart like other cabbages, which makes it slightly easier to prepare them.
Bring a pot of water to the boil and add your spring greens. Blanch them for 1-2 minutes and then transfer them to an ice bath.
Set your spring greens out at room temperature once they’ve been blanched and allow them to dry. You can also dab them dry with paper towels to speed up the drying process slightly.
- Place in bags
Add your spring leaves to freezer-safe bags. It’s up to you how many greens you include in each bag, but don’t overfill the bags. Also, before sealing them, push as much air out of the bags as you can to protect your greens from freezer burn.
- Label and freeze
Write today’s date, as well as the greens’ use-by date on the front of the freezer-safe bags, before transferring to the freezer. Remember, you can freeze spring greens for around two months.
3 Tips for Freezing Spring Greens
Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing spring greens to have the best results:
Select your Spring Greens Carefully
When picking or buying your spring greens, you need to make sure you’re picking the best leaves. Spring greens should be fresh and firm. If the leaves are wilted, they shouldn’t be frozen and should be discarded.
Blanching is Important
You need to take the time to blanch your spring greens before freezing them. Blanching stops or at least slows the enzyme action of the greens, preventing colour, nutrient, and taste loss. If you forego blanching, your spring greens will be less than appetising when you come to enjoy them.
Spring greens only last a few days in the fridge once picked. Therefore, if you’re planning to freeze them, you should do so when they’re nice and fresh, ideally on the day you pick or buy them.
How Long Can You Freeze Spring Greens?
You can freeze spring greens for around two months.
Once picked or bought, spring greens should be refrigerated and used within a couple of days or blanched and frozen for up to two months. The longer you leave the spring greens at room temperature (or in the fridge), the less suitable they become for freezing.
You Can Freeze Spring Greens for up to 2 Months
How Do You Defrost Spring Greens?
Spring greens can be used straight from frozen. Whether you’re adding them to soups or cooking them as an accompaniment to your main meal, you don’t need to defrost them before cooking them.
However, if you want to defrost spring greens, you can do so by transferring them from the freezer to the fridge, leaving them for a few hours while they thaw.
Can You Refreeze Spring Greens?
Because of the ice crystals that form during the freezing process, refreezing spring greens is a bad idea.
You will find that freezing them more than once is likely to cause them to go soggy and will essentially render them useless! For best results, you should only freeze spring greens once before cooking them from frozen.
Do Spring Greens Freeze Well?
Like many other vegetables, spring greens freeze well. It’s vitally important to prepare and blanch them before freezing, as this helps them retain their taste and texture.
Providing you follow the steps introduced above, it’s perfectly safe to freeze spring greens for a couple of months, and doing so is a great way of buying and preserving this delicious veggie while it’s still in season.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing spring greens or cabbage in general, then these may help:
What Happens If You Freeze Spring Greens Without Blanching?
Nothing bad will happen to you if you avoid blanching spring greens and they will remain perfectly safe to eat. However, you will notice a dramatic change in the texture when you come to eat them.
Blanching may take a few extra minutes and a few pots and pans but it’s well worth the effort in the long run, especially if you’re freezing lots of greens in one hit.
Can You Freeze Greens for Smoothies?
The method for freezing greens for smoothies remains roughly the same. Once blanched, you can roll the greens into a small ball or cube which is the equivalent of one smoothie portion.
When you want to add a hit of green goodness to a smoothie, simply grab a cube and pop it straight into your smoothie.
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