Freezing Kale - Best Method

john90808(z10 So Cal)June 17, 2006

I have some Kale that I would like to freeze. What is the best method? I am thinking of cutting it up, blanching it briefly in boiling water, shocking it in an ice bath and then drying it in my salad spinner and finally, packing it in food saver bags in 2-4 serving quantities.

Pro or cons with this? Can anyone suggest another method?

Thanks all!!

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I have to ask ..... why? Do you have a glut? A small quantity will keep 2 or 3 weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 1:19PM
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john90808(z10 So Cal)

I grow Kale and other brassicas in the winter and early spring here in my area. Now that we are approaching summer and the temps are in the 90s, I want to simply harvest out my remaining Kale before it bolts. I also want to clear the spot in my garden for some okra.

Normally we eat our Kale by cutting it fresh as needed. But if I harvest out all of my plants, then I will have more than I can eat up (fresh) in the next couple of weeks even if I store some in the fridge. So yes, I have a bit of a glut. That is why I want to freeze some for later use.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 2:20PM
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That's exactly how I do spinach and chard (well, I skip the salad spinner and just drain it). Blanch 2 min.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 10:57PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

To cook most fresh greens, I braise them in a covered pot with some oil and only the rinse water which clings to them. They don't come out soggy as they would if submerged in boiling water.

So, when I freeze greens, I leave the clinging rinse water. They are all set for braising.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 11:39PM
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john90808(z10 So Cal)

jimster, I usually cook my greens by steaming them briefly, not boiling them so they remain crunchy and keep some texture. The occasional sauté in duck fat with some shallot and sherry vinegar is pretty darn good as well!! :)

The reason I thought to spin them in the salad spinner was to remove excess moisture that could lead to freezer burn. My food saver tends to suck out excess moisture along with the air when is seals but it helps to have as much moisture already removed before sealing the food saver bags.

Do you use a regular freezer bag? Has anyone had problems with freezer burn or other freezer related maladies with their greens?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 10:37AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

I didn't mean to impugn your abilities in the kitchen, John, by implying that you cook soggy greens. Sounds like you know what you are doing there. I was merely saying that I have found braising to be a good method of preparation for many greens and leaving the clinging rinse water works well for that. So far as I can see, the method you outline in your original post will work well for your purposes.

Now, about freezer burn. Freezer burn is dehydration. It occurs by the process of sublimation. Sublimation is the change of state from solid to gas without passing through the liguid state. In other words, it's like the ice crystals in the food evaporate without first thawing. The solution is packaging which is air tight and impermeable to water vapor. Including some liquid with the frozen product in the form of water, sauce or syrup (depending on what the product is) also helps. Google on "sublimation" and "freezer burn" and you will find lots of info.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 1:51PM
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john90808(z10 So Cal)

Thanks Jim.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 3:18PM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

john the way you describe is exactly the way it should be done...I know lots of people don't freeze those things when they have a long season but here in my area TX you cannot grow greens in the summer so I grow enough early greens to freeze some to last me through the summer unti the fall crop comes in...Try it...It's easy and they are sooooo good...I just drain them and put them into freezer bags and flatten out the bags so that they stack neatly...

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 4:13PM
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I found this via a google search, and am so impressed I joined the community! No one up here knows a think about kale, I'm glad some folks around here do!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 12:23AM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

kale is one of my favotite greens...

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 8:42AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

At the local Jewish hospital in Boston (Beth Israel), you can always tell when they have kale on the cafeteria menu. Because some use smoked ham as a flavoring, the hospital uses smoked soy bacon bits (keep it Kosher!), and that smokey smell goes everywhere!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 6:46PM
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