Can You Freeze Kale?

Freezing kale opens the door to quick green smoothies and tasty side dishes. Learn how to preserve this nutrient-packed green.

Colorful Kale Varieties Attractive in Winter

Colorful Kale Varieties Attractive in Winter

Photo by: DK - The Complete Gardener's Guide © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - The Complete Gardener's Guide , 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Can you freeze kale? The answer is a resounding yes. Preserving this iron-rich super food is one of the simpler projects you’ll undertake in your kitchen. Kale is a cinch to grow in vegetable or flower beds, so you can also easily raise your own for freezing. Stop asking yourself, “Can I freeze kale?”—and get started.

Grow your own kale, or purchase locally grown bunches at a farmers’ market. Wash kale to remove dirt and debris. It’s a good idea to separate leaves, since dirt tends to collect between the bases of leaves. Kale may have aphids, caterpillars, beetles, or other critters hiding beneath or between leaves. Dunking leaves in water should dislodge any hitchhikers, but you can also soak leaves in a vinegar solution. Use 1 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water, and soak leaves for 20 to 30 minutes.

After soaking, rinse leaves. Kale stems can be fibrous, similar to a broccoli stem. You can freeze stems, which make a nice addition to soups and stir fries, but plan to do so separately from the leaves. To remove leaf blades from stems, fold leaves in half and tear or cut the central stem away. Roughly tear or chop leaves.

Freeze Vegetables From Your Garden

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Fresh Broccoli Beats Store-Bought Every Time

Want to enjoy fresh-from-the-garden broccoli all year long? It's a snap to freeze this fiber-rich veggie to use in stir fries, soup and more. Learn the process for how to freeze broccoli in this article by Julie A. Martens.

©2013, Image courtesy of Ben Rollins

Overwhelmed with Cucumbers?

Cucumber vines can be prolific producers of the treasured summertime veggie. Don't think it's possible to freeze cucumbers? Well, the secret lies in the preparation. Learn how to freeze cucumbers for summer-fresh fare in any season.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Never Have Too Many Cherry Tomatoes

While frozen cherry tomatoes are no longer fit to be used in tossed salads, you can blend them with herbs or use in soups and stew. In this article, Julie A. Martens offers several great uses for frozen cherry tomatoes and describes the best way to preserve them.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Freeze Spinach for Soups and More

While you won't want to serve frozen spinach in fresh salads, the leaves will work nicely in soup, casseroles and stir fries. You'll just want to freeze young leaves. Avoid the older or yellowing leaves as they'll produce a nasty taste and rubbery texture. Ever tried making frozen spinach cubes? Get more tips on how to freeze spinach in this article on how to freeze spinach.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Can You Freeze Kale?

Yes, you can freeze kale. Frozen kale works well in smoothies and blends well into quiches, crock pot stews and soups. Find more uses for frozen kale and how to best preserve this nutrient-packed green.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Put Your Onions in the Deep Freeze

Too many onions to eat right away? Not a problem. They freeze easily, and can be used in a variety of ways. Learn how to prep onions for safe storage in the deep freeze, how to keep the onion odor low and when to use frozen onions in your dishes.  

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Freeze Asparagus for Great Flavor

While frozen asparagus spears won't be as crisp as garden-fresh stems, they can still be used in many dishes. Here are the steps to preserving this nutrient-dense vegetable and some ideas on how to use frozen asparagus to add flavor to your meals.

©2013, Image courtesy of Ben Rollins

Can You Freeze Garlic Cloves?

You definitely can freeze garlic. In fact, you can freeze garlic in many ways. While frozen garlic lacks the crunchy texture of fresh, the flavor remains strong—and definitely won't have the chemical taste that sometimes accompanies jarred garlic. Learn several ways to freeze garlic and how to use it to add flavor to food.

©2010, How to Grow Practically Everything, Dorling Kindersley Limited

How Do You Freeze Eggplant?

Eggplant doesn't keep very long, and you won't be able to can it without pulverizing it beyond recognition. So, how do you preserve your delicious eggplant? Forget your canner and learn how to freeze eggplant. Here are several freezing methods you can try.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Enjoy a Summertime Favorite All Year

Learn how to freeze corn and you'll be able to enjoy this summertime treat all year—even with your holiday turkey. Freezing corn is simple, and it's a great way to introduce kids to food preservation. Learn the steps to freezing corn in this article by Julie A. Martens.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts bring more than taste to the table. This cabbage cousin boasts vitamins and is high in protein, so you'll want to make your locally-grown Brussels sprouts last. Learn the two ways to freeze Brussels sprouts and ways to include this frozen super veggie on your table.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Steps to Freezing Cabbage

Want to enjoy the nutrition offered by cabbage all year? This unsung hero of the vegatable garden adapts well to the freezing process. Start with dense, solid heads that feel weighty for their size. Learn more about the steps to freezing cabbage in this article from Julie A. Martens.

©2010, DK - How to Grow Practically Everything , Dorling Kindersley Limited

Freeze Celery for Soups

Celery is mostly water, and the freezing process ruptures cell walls, resulting in a limp, mushy product. But frozen celery works fabulously in casseroles, sauces, stock, and other hot concoctions. You can also use it as an aromatic with soups, broths for cooking rice, or roasts, tossing after cooking. Learn the steps to freezing celery in this article.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Overstocked on Mushrooms?

Mushrooms might last about a week in the refrigerator, which might not be enough time to enjoy the bounty you may have grown or foraged. Consider freezing mushrooms. Learn which method of freezing mushrooms works best, and get some ideas for how to use them in recipes.

©2010, How to Grow Practically Everything, Dorling Kindersley Limited

You can freeze kale without blanching, but plan to use it within four to six weeks. Unblanched kale may develop a bitter flavor because you haven’t stopped the action of the naturally-occurring ripening enzymes in the leaves. Unblanched kale leaves work well in stews and homemade soups, where any bitterness is likely to be overpowered by other flavors. But for serving kale as a stand-alone side dish, sample frozen unblanched leaves before freezing a large batch.

For frozen kale that lasts eight to 12 months, blanch leaves and stems. Blanch leaves for 2.5 minutes, covering the boiling water pot with a lid to steam-heat floating leaves. Blanch stems for 3 minutes. Place leaves and stems in ice water for the same amount of time. Use a strainer to fish leaves from both boiling and ice water.

Dry leaves by placing them on a towel. Fill the towel with leaves, then roll it up and squeeze to remove excess water. Quick-freeze small clumps of kale individually on a cookie sheet. After they’re frozen, place clumps into freezer bags in bulk. Remove as much air as possible from bags before sealing. When you freeze kale like this, you can grab a handful for a smoothie, or pour out more to create a side dish.

If you don’t want to quick-freeze kale, simply place blanched and dried kale into individual packages prior to freezing. Choose the right size freezer bag to suit your serving-size portion. Always remove as much air as possible before sealing bags. A vacuum sealer system works well with kale. Avoid over-packing bags. Flatten bags before sealing to create kale portions that thaw quickly.

Use frozen kale in smoothies for a healthy kick, or saute with seasoned rice vinegar. For a spicier dish, saute kale in olive oil with garlic. Before serving, top with crushed red pepper. Frozen kale blends well into quiche, crock pot stews, and soups. You can also cream it for a special treat or use it to create nutritious pesto.