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Can You Freeze Kale?

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By Ross Young

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Often, you only want a handful of kale with your dinner and find half of the bag going to waste, right? Food waste is a global problem so you need to avoid throwing it out. But what can you do with it? How do you store it?

Can You Freeze Kale?

Yes, you can freeze kale for up to 6 months. To freeze kale, you’ll need to trim it, blanch it and then pack it into an ice cube tray before placing the kale cubes into the freezer.

Does Kale Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Kale? No

How to Freeze Kale

If you want to freeze kale in the most efficient way then this is the approach you should take. This will work for all kale varieties including curly kale, Russian kale and red kale:

  1. Wash: Firstly, it’s important that you wash your kale. You want to give it a good rinse under cold water to remove any dirt or bugs.
  2. Trim: Once cleaned, remove the main stem and any woody parts then cut into bite-sized pieces as you normally would.
  3. Prepare for Blanching: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. While waiting, get a bowl of ice-cold water prepared.
  4. Blanch: Once the water is boiling, submerge your kale into it and leave it to boil for 2 minutes. Once blanched, remove immediately and place in the cold water to stop it from cooking any further.
  5. Dry: Take your kale and pat it dry. You might even need to give it a gentle squeeze to remove as much of the excess water as possible.
  6. Pack Into An Ice Cube Tray: Now push your kale into an ice cube tray. Depending on the size of your tray, one or two cubes will be the equivalent of a serving for a person.
  7. Freeze: Place the ice cube tray in the freezer and allow the cubes to freeze solid for several hours.
  8. Bag Up and Refreeze: Once frozen, you can remove the tray, pop the cubes out and store them in a freezer bag.
Frozen Kale Cubes

Once you’ve mastered this method of freezing kale, you can actually use the same method for other leafy vegetables such as spinach, cavolo nero and beetroot tops.

How to Freeze Kale Dishes

Although kale is often served up alongside your main meal as a side dish, it can also be used to form the bulk of a dish. But can you freeze these dishes too?

Can You Freeze Kale Soup?

Kale soup can be frozen in freezer bags. Pour a portion into individual freezer bags, seal (removing as much air as possible) and then place them into the freezer. You’ll need to defrost completely before reheating.

Can You Freeze Kale Juice?

Yes, kale juice can be frozen in good-quality freezer bags or small Tupperware containers. If you only want a small portion of kale juice to drop into smoothies then you could also freeze the juice in an ice cube tray.

Can You Freeze Kale Chips?

No, kale chips are one of the worst things you could freeze. They’re incredibly fragile which makes them prone to breaking. But freezing them will also turn them soggy and limp – the last thing you want from kale chips!

Freeze Kale Chips

How Long Can You Freeze Kale?

If you don’t bother to blanch the kale, then you’ll want to consume it within 2 months. If you have blanched the kale then it’ll be fine to store in the freezer for 6 months.

Beyond this time, it’ll remain perfectly safe to eat but there is a risk that the flavour and texture will begin to degrade.

As always, we highly recommend labelling your kale with the date on which it must be consumed so you can easily plan your meals and avoid wasting them.

How Long Does Kale Last in the Fridge?

Raw kale will last for around 1 week in the fridge. After this, the leaves will begin to wilt and soften making them less enjoyable to eat.

How Do You Defrost Kale?

As kale leaves are quite tender and delicate, you don’t actually need to defrost them. Simply place a cube into a pan over a low heat and allow it to thaw out. Once thawed,  you can season, add a knob of butter and cook until just cooked.

You can also use these kale ice cubes in smoothies. Just throw them straight into the blender with your other ingredients. The frozen kale will also help to keep your smoothie cool.

Can You Refreeze Kale? 

Unfortunately, refreezing kale isn’t advised as it can play havoc with the texture. You’ll find that the kale becomes soggy and mushy. You also risk negatively impacting the flavour drastically. 

Does Kale Freeze Well?

Kale does freeze well, especially if you blanch it beforehand. The only time it doesn’t work well is if you plan on using it in a massaged kale salad where the kale isn’t cooked.

There is a chance the texture won’t be quite right.

Besides this, however, kale works great from the freezer. It’s the perfect way to preserve it and avoid wasting it especially if you have an abundance of it. Just make sure you follow our guide to freezing it at the top of this article.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing kale or kale in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Curly Kale?

Whether it’s curly kale, Russian kale or red kale, they can all be frozen. Cut it up, blanch for a few seconds and then pack it into an ice cube tray before freezing it.

Can You Freeze Kale Without Blanching It?

You certainly can – however, it won’t last quite as long. It’ll remain safe to eat but without blanching the texture and flavour can degrade much quicker in the freezer. That’s why we highly recommend blanching beforehand.

Can You Freeze Cavolo Nero?

Yes, cavolo nero can be frozen for around 6 months once it has been blanched and cooled. It can be packed into a large ice cube tray or muffin tray.

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