How To Freeze Kale
Kale is a nutrient-rich, green leafy winter vegetable. It contains a wide range of nutrients, including fibres, calcium, vitamins C and K, iron, and many antioxidants. These help to prevent various health problems.
Frozen Kale can be used as ingredients to multiple dishes, and there are many ways to freeze Kale. Previously Kale was preserved with salt and left to ferment when freezing Kale was not an option. The flavours and nutritional content can vary between types. Younger leaves and summer leaves tend to be less bitter and fibrous.
Kale is beneficial for health. It contains substances like glucosinolates which help in the prevention of cancer. Compounds like bile acid sequestrants lower blood cholesterol levels and the various vitamins are healthy for the heart.
Kale also helps in diabetes treatment and promotes digestion, vision, and immunity. It is known antioxidants benefit and anti-inflammatory properties. It is beneficial for skin and hair. Check out more kale benefits.
Steps For Freezing Kale
There are different types of Kale of which Curly Kale the most common variety. It has a typical flavour of pepper. Lacinato kale also called the Tuscan Kale or Tuscan cabbage, or Dinosaur kale has dark green and narrow leaves. Redbor kale has ruffled leaves ranges from deep red to purple. Russian Kale has flat and fringed leaves and is rare. It is also known as Siberian Kale.
First Way: Without Blanching
Usually, Kale is frozen after blanching. You can freeze Kale even without blanching, but it will add a bitter flavour. Unblanched kale leaves can be used in stews and soups. Make sure you don’t keep it for a long time and use this frozen Kale within one to two months. You must freeze Kale following the various steps given below. This process does not require plucking of the leaves or separating them from the stems. Here you can preserve big chunks of kale.
- For the Kale to last to 8-12 months as frozen, you should first blanch the leaves and stems.
- You must blanch the leaves for 2.5 minutes and cover the pot of boiling water with a lid to stem-heat floating leaves.
- Follow the same process for blanching the stems but continue doing this for 3 minutes.
- You might not follow this step of boiling at your wish. But you must wash the kale leaves and stems properly before jumping on to the next step.
- Put these leaves and stems in ice water for a while.
- Take these leaves out from the ice water using a strainer.
- Use a towel or a dry cloth to dry these. The process of drying is vital.
- Roll the towel up that contains these leaves and squeeze out the excess water.
- You can put a small quantity of this dried-up Kale in cookie sheets.
- Freeze them.
- After this, put this frozen Kale in bulk and put it in a freezer bag.
- Make sure you remove the air before sealing the freezer bag.
- Flatten bags before sealing to create kale portions for quick thawing.
- Freeze the Kale and use it in your recipes later.
Second Way: Separating Leaves
There is an alternative way to freezing Kale. You have to separate the leaves from the stem here. For this process of freezing kale, you’ll require many tools and must follow various steps.
- A bunch of fresh Kale of curly variety
- A cutting board
- A large knife, which is typically used by chefs
- Saucepan with a lid
- Colander, to strain out the water
- A large mixing bowl
- Greased muffin tin or cookie sheets (must fit inside the freezer)
- Freezer bags
- Remove the kale leaves from the stem. Use your fingers to pinch the stem firmly at the base of the leaves. Quickly detach the leaves from the stem hereafter. Thus, the leaves will be separated.
- Chop the kale into small pieces using a chef’s knife. You can also remove the thick stem part.
- Use a colander to rinse the kale leaves thoroughly. Make sure it is dirt-free after removing the excess water.
- Place your rinsed Kale in a saucepan on the stove. Put an adequate quantity of water to fill the bottom of the pan. Then submerge the Kale about half inches. Turn on the burner after placing the lid of the saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Steam your kale until it’s tender for about two to three minutes. Make sure they are not entirely soft, or else it will wilt.
- In the meantime, take ice water in a large bowl with equal proportions of ice and water. You will need a sufficient amount of ice because it will melt when you add the hot Kale in it. You’ll need that right after the Kale is cooked in the saucepan.
- Take out this Kale from saucepan when it is still bright green and tender. Drain out the excess water in the colander as you did previously.
- Quickly place your Kale in the ice water. This will halt the process of cooking and will retain the properties and nutrients of the Kale. About the next two minutes in the ice water leave the kale leaves, until they are cold enough when you touch.
- Take a pair of tongs to place these cooked kale leaves in a dry towel. This will help them dry out completely. You can remove the excess water using a salad spinner. Make sure these leaves are thoroughly dried before the process of freezing.
- Grease or spray a muffin tin and then divide the kale leaves into twelve or suitable portions, once these are dried. Gently press each of these portions into compartments of the muffin tin. You can also use cookie sheets in place of a muffin tin for your convenience.
- After this, put the entire amount of Kale in the freezer and freeze for about two to three hours. By this time, the Kale will become firm.
- To keep these kale leaves, you will need airtight containers or freezer bags. Once your Kale is entirely frozen, put this in the freezer bags or boxes to preserve well. Get as much as air out of the container or the freezer bag before you store.
- You can use this Kale for six months once appropriately preserved.
Kale has various properties that are beneficial for health, skin, and hair. You can add kale to your everyday diet plan, make smoothies and shakes out of kale. You can put kale in salads and soups and also use kale as pizza toppings or in your roasted chicken recipes.
Frozen kale can be used for a long time if you can adequately maintain the process of freezing kale. Always make sure the container in which you are preserving this kale must be airtight and nicely sealed. You can blanch the kale leaves if you have enough time or according to your convenience.