How to Freeze Kale – 2 Easy Ways

Learn the easy ways to freeze kale in two easy ways to use for recipes, smoothies, and more. Enjoy the health benefits of kale all year round. Follow my tips below on freezing kale and how to use it in recipes.

Fresh kale in the garden to learn How to Freeze Kale

This post was updated April 2019

We have officially started harvesting at our little homestead! And oh man, do we have a lot of kale! Apparently, I didn’t realize how much I actually planted. Oops. 

I just picked two small spots and now they have turned into crazy kale making machines! So now that we have it coming out of our ears we are preserving our harvest by freezing it for later.

We are not huge raw kale eaters, but we love putting them in smoothies, soups, and eating Kale chips!

It’s been about 2 weeks since I froze our kale and its about time to freeze some more! With the warm weather and tons of rain we have gotten, our plants of exploded!

We have also froze some strawberries and service berries (aka saskatoon berries, juneberries, etc) and have many more freezings planned.

Kale can be frozen fresh or blanched. Follow the step below and see why you may want to take the extra steps to blanch it.

Health benefits of kale:

  • High in iron, calcium and vitamin A, C, and K.
  • High in antioxidants.
  • Great anti inflammatory food.

Tips for freezing kale:

  • Decide if you are going to freeze it fresh or frozen. 
  • Freeze some fresh if you know you will be using it sooner rather than later, like for smoothies.
  • If blanching, freeze them on parchment paper or silicon baking mats to make them easy to remove from the cookie sheets.
  • Dry blanched kale well using a salad spinner or on towels.

How long can you freeze fresh kale?

If you want to freeze fresh kale, it can keep well for 4-6 weeks. Blanched and stored frozen kale can keep in the freezer for 8-12 months.

Is frozen kale healthy?

Yes! Frozen vegetables in general can actually be healthier that fresh veggies if they are picked and prepared at the peak of freshness when their vitamins are at there peak. 

Fruits and vegetables that have been on a truck for transportation or sitting at the grocery store shelves can start to loose some of their nutrients due to an enzyme they produce called trypsin and chymotrypsin.

Some vitamin C and B vitamins can be lost during the blanching process, but the majority of the nutrients are preserved.

Want more delicious kale recipes? Check these out!

frozen kale on a cookie sheet

How to Freeze Kale – Two Easy Ways

Option 1: Without Blanching:

  1. Wash and dry fresh kale.
  2. Place in freezer ziplock bags.
  3. Use kale within 4-6 weeks or else it may turn bitter.

Option 2: How To Blanch And Freeze Kale

Freezing kale that has been blanched will last up to 12 mo. Perfect timing to freeze your next batch unless you grow more in the fall or course.

Step 1: 

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Rinse your freshly picked kale well and remove the stems by pulling all the green leafs from the stem. (Place stems in separated dish and give to your’s or your neighbor’s chickens)

Step 2:

Place kale leafs into the boiling water for 2-3 minutes to kill enzymes and to discontinue oxidation.

Step 4: 

Next, transfer kale from boiling water into a bowl full of ice water for 2-3 minutes to stop the cooking process and squeeze out the extra water, as best as you can.

Step 5:

Lay kale in between a towel and press to remove any extra moisture. Roll into small balls and place on a cookie sheet.

 pre-cooked kale on a cookie sheet ready for freezing

Step 6: Freeze completely and place into freezer bags for storage. Keep up to 8-12 months.

frozen kale in a ziplock bag for freezer storage

If you want to learn how to freeze more fruits and veggies… you can see these tutorials on how to freeze blueberries and summer squash.

What is your favorite way to use kale?


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