Here’s everything you need to know to freeze kale into convenient little pucks. These pucks are ideal for tossing into smoothies, soups or stews.
I’m going to start in the garden, but listen, you don’t need to get your kale from the garden to do this. You can freeze kale in small amounts, so if you happen to buy a big bundle at the store and can’t use it all, don’t let it go to waste, just freeze it. Then, the next time you make spaghetti sauce, pizza, soup, stew, casserole or whatever, just toss in a cube. It adds great nutrients and prevents food waste – that’s what I call win-win!
How to Pick Kale
Those of you who have grown kale before know that it just keeps on going and going! Yup, it’s one of those crops that keeps producing the entire garden season – pick leaves today and three days from now you can pick again. As long as you pick it properly, that is.
Pick the most desirable leaves. I leave the large mature ones towards the bottom of the plants and the small ones right in the center. Leaving the center ones helps maintain plant health and ensures it keeps growing. Notice the before and after photos.
How to Freeze Kale
You will find websites that say you don’t have to blanch kale. They say all you have to do is pop it in a bag and freeze. Be cautious when following that advice, especially if you plan to store your kale in the freezer for more than three months. To properly preserve flavor, texture and color you should blanch your kale just like any other veggie.
- ice cubes
- Wash kale.
- Remove large stem and ribs.
- Cut into bite sized pieces.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- Add kale to boiling water. Bring water back to full, rolling boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Start timer only when water has returned to a full boil.
- Use slotted spoon to remove kale from water and place immediately into ice cold water bath. Add ice cubes to cold water bath to quickly cool kale.
- Drain and pat kale pieces dry.
- Press kale into ice cube tray.
- Freeze overnight or a minimum of 3 hours.
- Remove frozen kale cubes from tray and seal in a plastic bag or freezer container.
- Use straw to remove as much air as possible from bag.
- Seal, label and freeze for 6 months. (Frozen kale cubes are safe to freeze much longer, but quality will deteriorate after 6 months.)
- 5 cups raw torn kale fills one ice cube tray
- Blanching time comes from the National Center of Home Food Preservation.
Here are some photos of the process.
And that’s it. You now have convenient kale pucks to ensure you get your healthy dose of dark green veggies every day!
How will you use your cubes? Let me know. And please, take a photo, post it on Instagram and tag #getgettys so I can see it and like it!
Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.