How to Freeze Fresh Greens


I was recently gifted a heavenly amount of kale and other produce for Christmas (yes all of that clutter on my table is my booty). The gourds, sweet potato and onions will keep for over a month or two if they are stored in the fridge, but what to do with all the kale? I must say I had to resist the urge to turn the kale  into a Christmas tree, but after some thought I decided to store my nuts for the winter (aka freeze it and use it all winter long).  It was rather simple, however with such an egregious  amount of kale, it took me all evening.

These steps are for a process called blanching. If you just freeze greens they get bitter, but if you dunk them in boiling water for a few minutes, then stop the cooking abruptly you kill of the enzymes that create the bitter flavor.

First step is to remove all leaves from the stalk and rinse them in cold water. Luckily I had to help of the lovely Julia F for this.

Remove the excess stem (I used kitchen scissors, but you can easily use an 8 inch chefs knife) and chop. After awhile you can start an assemble line rhythm and really get things going. If you don’t like the stems, feel free to remove them completely.

Now get the following things ready: a huge pot of boiling water with a lid, a huge bowl of ice water, a strainer you can use to move the kale from the boiling water to the ice water, a salad spinner, a large kitchen towel laid out flat on your counter and a kitchen timer set to two minutes.

pot of boiling water, bowl of ice water, two minutes on the timer

When the water is boiling dump a bunch of the kale in it, put on the lid (the steam helps cook the bits bobbing on top) and let it cook for two minutes. I usually just stir it once.

<!– kale in ice bath

When the time is up quickly lift the kale from the pot of water into the ice bath. You’ll reuse the boiling water for the next batch. The water turns progressively darker green with each batch but I cannot imagine that would hurt anything. I end up adding spices and making it into a veggie stock.

Next transfer your greens to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once the greens feel cool to the touch, transfer to the salad spinner and let the greens dance around in the spinner for a bit before transferring them to the towel to relax for a bit.

Now roll up the towel, and squeeze!

Place into  a good freezer storage bag (I use zip lock) to prevent freezer burn and freeze. it should keep for about 3 months or so in an airtight container.


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