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May 26, 2013 12:52 PM

Kale-- can it be frozen?

I went to the farmers market and got a generous amount of kale. I'm wondering if it would be okay to freeze it? Anyone tried that before?

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  1. I have but like frozen spinach it's best used in cooked dishes or blended dishes. The texture suffers when frozen.

    I often get way too much Kale in my CSA and when I do I freeze it. I use the frozen stuff in lasagna and other baked pasta dishes, in smoothies, hummus and even pesto.

    1. I've frozen spinach & chard with no trouble. Whole leaves raw in ziploc bags, they get brittle when frozen, then I crumble it directly into soups, casseroles or wherever I need a bit of extra vegs. Just try a couple of leaves as an experiment.

      1. Blanch, shock, and drain first.

        1. I've frozen in ziplock bags. Wash and spin dry whole stripped leaves. Stuff into bag. After a few days, open the bag slightly, and crush with hands to "chop" the leaves, and then reseal the bag. Great for soups, stews, casseroles, smoothies. Not so great for kale chips or salads.

          1. Frozen kale is extremely common in Dutch supermarkets. A classic Dutch dish is stampot, similar to colcannon, a mash of kale and potatoes (and whatever you like to add), often served with a smoked sausage somewhat similar to a kielbasa.

            I've often bought it when there, just to sauté with some olive oil and a bit of butter, as well as garlic and other seasonings. Freezing actually makes the kale less bitter, as well as making it far less tough; it means it takes less time to cook and more of its wonderful nutrients are preserved.

            I don't think eating it raw was at all customary in the northern European lands where it is a staple. This seems to be a recent development, using tender young kales in salads. And of course, you can use it in the famous Portuguese soup that uses a kind of kale.

            I find mature kale so hard to cook without turning it brownish and killing all the vitamins that I usually freeze it overnight after buying it at (Jean-Talon) market.