Can you freeze kale? Preparing fresh kale is easy but can be time-consuming. What About Freezing Kale? Not everyone wants to bother washing and chopping kale after a long day at work.
One solution would be to wash and shred large quantities ahead of time, but the kale would spoil before you could use all of it. However, if you freeze the prepared kale, you can quickly add the kale to meals without a lot of extra prep.
Kale freezes beautifully like few other vegetables—but you have to deactivate enzymes in kale before you put it in the freezer. Most vegetables have these enzymes that cause the vegetable to continue aging and rotting even when frozen.
If you thaw vegetables that have been frozen raw, you’ll find that they’re slimy and really unappetizing. Below is a guide on how to freeze kale:
How to freeze kale?
Blanching or rapid cooking the vegetables for a few minutes before freezing deactivates the enzyme that accelerates spoilage in leafy green vegetables.
However, overcooking the kale will turn it into a mushy mass that doesn’t freeze as well. So it is crucial that you do the blanching properly.
Fortunately, blanching is easy to master. Have everything ready before you start blanching and be sure to use a timer. Give yourself a few hours for this; eventually you’ll feel so much better that freezing the kale won’t take as long.
Preparation of the kale
When you’re starting out, however, allow yourself a buffer zone and try not to blanch before big deadlines lest you be late.
Wash the kale well; immerse it in water and ensure that dirt and bugs are washed off. Dry the kale completely—this is important because you don’t want any excess water to freeze as chunks of ice on top of the kale. Cut out the stiff central stem, slice the leaves and set aside.
Read Also: Can you freeze basil?
Blanch the kale
Bring the water in the stock pot to a boil and add the insert. The bottom of the insert should be below the waterline. Submerge as much kale as possible in the liner – all kale should be submerged.
Start the timer and set it for two minutes. When the two minutes is up, remove the basket liner holding the kale and place it in the ice water. Again, all of the kale should be submerged. Remember that overcooking the kale will result in mushy kale, so don’t estimate the time. Use a timer.
Freezing the kale
Repeat until you’ve blanched all of the kale. Dry all kale and spread out in chunks on a large tray. Place the tray in the freezer for about half an hour.
What you do is freeze the kale just enough so that the pieces don’t break into a pile when the kale is stored. Place the semi-frozen kale in a freezer bag.
How do you thaw frozen kale?
Thawing frozen kale is easy, just grab what you need when you start preparing your meal to give the kale some time to melt. Then add the kale to soups or stir fry as needed. You may not want to eat the thawed kale without further cooking, as the texture might seem a bit odd. But in cooked dishes it will taste wonderful.
Technically, frozen kale is good no matter how long you keep it in the freezer. However, after a few months or so, freezer burn can take its toll. Try to use the frozen kale within these months. Watch the quality change over time; You might find that you can store the kale longer in future batches without a change in quality.
Freezing kale is a great way to maximize an otherwise delicate vegetable with a short shelf life. Now that you know how to properly freeze kale, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t buy in bulk. Just pop the veggies in the freezer and you can enjoy these nutritious veggies anytime.