Once you open a bag of kale, or pluck a bushel from your garden, the decomposition clock begins. The putrid smell, the wilted and mushy leaves, and the change of color are all signs of kale that has gone bad. And this is something obviously you don’t want. You want to get the most of your money and time, but is it possible to make kale last longer than a week?
Yes! To make kale last longer, you can freeze it. This can extend the use of the kale between eight and twelve months. Kale must be prepared properly before freezer storage though.
Let’s go through the steps of how to properly store kale in the freezer.
The Eight Simple Steps to Freezing Kale
- Whether you purchased the kale from the supermarket or got it from your garden, you may want to wash it first before using it. For kale that has already been pre-washed (it should state this on the container), you don’t have to wash it.
- Get your knife out and cut the kale to the desired length you want. Note here that for bigger leaves of kale, the stems do not freeze well so you may want to cut those off as well.
- Once you are done chop chopping away, you will need to bring a large pot of water to a boil. There needs to be about a gallon of water for four cups of kale.
Now, before we even blanche, let’s discuss, what blanching is anyways (just in case you didn’t know or to refresh your memory). It is a technique that is not used with kale but other vegetables like lettuce.
Blanching is a very important step, and without it, you could cause your kale to rot and decay faster. Blanching is cooking something in hot conditions such as steaming and boiling, and then quickly placing it in cold condition – whether that is running cold water on it or placing it in icy water.
This process does one major thing – it prevents enzymes that cause spoilage from forming and spreading. This is extremely important when it comes to freezing the kale because we want to delay the spoilage process as long as possible.
Be sure to only blanche around 2 to 3 minutes, anytime under or above this range can prevent the optimal retention.
- When the water has reached a boil, pour the kale into the pot and set your timer for two minutes.
- During this time, you can get a large bowl (especially if you have a large amount of kale), and fill it with ice water.
- When the timer goes off, drain the kale with a strainer, and place the kale in the ice water for about two minutes as well. As a general rule, you will need a pound of ice per pound of kale.
- Once the two minutes are up, drain the kale again and squeeze as much water as you can out of them.
- Place the drained kale in either freezing containers or Ziplock bags (which you can label with the date) . Try to remove any air you see in the bag.
Now, you have the steps and tips you need to successfully freeze your kale. Say adíos to rotting kale for good!