Every year, I get tons of kale. Here is how I easily prepare it for freezing so we can eat it all winter long. Keep reading for how to easily and properly freeze kale.
Every year, the last thing I have in the garden that is still green at this time of year is my kale. I absolutely adore kale. I am the crazy person who actually prefers kale to spinach. It’s denser and heartier to me. (I use kale instead of spinach in my Zuppa Toscana recipe!)
Preserving kale to have on hand toward the end of winter and spring when I don’t have any to run out and cut is vital to me. I love having it on hand to be able to use in soups and other dinner items.
First, you have to gather your kale and wash it. I like to soak mine in a sink full of cool water with about a 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Let it soak a few hours, and then rinse it well to get off any dirt or little creepy crawlies that may be hiding.
Then, you pat or spin it dry. I love to use my salad spinner for this step.
Secondly, you are going to want to make sure to trim out all of the stems before you move forward. Kale stems are much woodier than spinach, and you do not want to eat these. Trust me. So, with a very sharp kitchen knife, trim down the leaves right along the stem to remove. Then toss your stems into your compost pile!
Third, you have to steam your kale to stop the ripening process. View this the same as you would par boiling any veggies that you freeze over the summer. You have to parboil corn and green beans and most other veggies. Steaming the kale kills off the enzymes that cause it to continue to develop and age.
Get out a large pot and fill it 2/3 of the way with water. Toss your steamer basket on top and bring the water to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat down to maintain the steam, but do not let it boil over. Toss in a handful or two of your washed and trimmed kale. Let it steam a few minutes, or until it’s developed a deep green color and has wilted down. Dump your steamed kale into a bowl to cool as you steam the rest of the kale you have to preserve.
Lastly, just take your kale and toss it into freezer bags, Foodsaver bags, or even into silicone muffin cups (to freeze into little kale pucks). Keep it in your freezer until you want to use it in a recipe.
Obviously, you won’t be able to make a fresh kale salad with your preserved kale. It is, however, amazing in soups, skillets, and other pasta dishes. Use it like you would spinach in your recipes. You’ll be so glad you did!