How to Harvest, Preserve & Freeze Kale (perfect for use in smoothies!)

16 Aug

How to preserve and freeze kale | WholeGreenLove.com

It’s that time of year when the garden is starting to overflow with goodness. The tomato plants are tall and we are starting to see some red beauties ripen up. We have already harvested and pulled out the green bean plants (and our fridge is jammed with dilly beans). Our jalapenos are taking off and our bell peppers are growing slow and steady. We have snuck a few carrots to taste test and they will be ready in a week or so. The snap peas didn’t last long with daily Lyla raids. Our broccoli is coming in quite nicely. We’ve enjoyed many, many salads from our spicy greens. Aaaaand we have some decorative gourds growing beautifully, which is funny, because we didn’t plant gourds this year. Huh.

Also, our kale. Looks. Fabulous. The only problem is that there is so much of it that comes ready at once. Our main use of kale in our house is adding it to smoothies, so I wanted to figure out a good way to preserve and freeze our kale so that it was easy to pop in a smoothie concoction. Have you checked out Lyla’s favorite smoothie recipe?

Harvesting kale is simple. When the leaves are about the size of your hand, they are ready (they are even tasty when the leaves are young and tender). Use a scissors to cut the stem or snap the stem with your hand just below the leaf. Be sure to choose bottom leaves to harvest and do not pull out the entire plant. Your kale will keep showing you love with more growth throughout the summer and into fall. It can even withstand some frost. The best time of day to harvest kale (and all greens for that matter) is early in the morning.

How to preserve and freeze kale | WholeGreenLove.com

How to preserve and freeze kale | WholeGreenLove.com

How to preserve and freeze kale | WholeGreenLove.com

I harvested so much kale that I repeated the steps above many times because it sure wasn’t all going to fit in one pot. Go ahead and reuse the water for multiple boiling sessions. I harvested a very large bag of kale and ended up with two ice cube trays of frozen kale. It definitely becomes more compact when it’s been blanched and has wilted.

How to preserve and freeze kale | WholeGreenLove.com

These small servings of kale are perfect to toss in smoothies, soups, stews, and pasta dishes. I actually think that a smoothie blended with blanched, frozen kale turns out better than using fresh – with frozen kale you lose the grittiness.

How do you use kale you’ve preserved from the farmers’ market or your summer garden?



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7 Responses to “How to Harvest, Preserve & Freeze Kale (perfect for use in smoothies!)”

  1. Cindi Trunk January 24, 2014 at 6:58 am #

    Since they’re so compressed, does it just take one cube for one serving of smoothie?

    • Laura January 24, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      Yes, I just use one cube per smoothie. It’s amazing how much kale can fit into a cube once it’s been blanched!

  2. Nidia November 27, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    is it necessary to blanch the kale? cani just blend it with water and freeze it for use in smoothies later?

    • Laura November 29, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

      Might not be necessary, but it does allow you to compress the kale into the small ice cube trays and get a smoother texture with the kale.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Conscious Nutrition for Kids (and Adults) | A More Conscious Life - August 20, 2014

    […] pears, plums, pineapple, mango, melon, etc. Once that is all blended, I throw in some previously blanched and frozen kale (prepared this way, they’ll never even notice it in the final product!). Finally, I add chia […]

  2. How to Harvest, Preserve & Freeze Kale | Heal Yourself DIY - January 23, 2014

    […] Harvesting kale is simple. When the leaves are about the size of your hand, they are ready (they are even tasty when the leaves are young and tender). Use a scissors to cut the stem or snap the stem with your hand just below the leaf. CLICK HERE to read more!  […]

  3. Preservation | Pearltrees - September 4, 2013

    [...] How to Harvest, Preserve & Freeze Kale (perfect for use in smoothies!) | Whole Green Love [...]

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