How to Freeze Kale: Step-by-Step Guide

Cleaning the leaves, cutting off the stems, and putting the leaves in an airtight bag are all basic stages in freezing kale. Freezing kale while it is dry is critical for preserving as much structure as possible in the leaves.

Whether you have an abundance of kale in your garden or want to take advantage of a sale at your local supermarket, we’ll show you how to freeze kale for up to a year.

Can You Freeze Kale For Smoothies?

Kale may be frozen for smoothies. It keeps better in the freezer than lettuce and spinach because of its tougher nature within the leafy green family.

Kale becomes more brittle in the freezer, and there are actions you can do to guarantee it gets out of the freezer in useable condition.

How to Freeze Kale

Kale may be frozen easily, but you must plan ahead of time. Otherwise, your kale may become even more brittle in the freezer and mushy upon defrosting.

To begin, thoroughly clean your kale. This may be accomplished by running the leaves under running water. We suggest, though, soaking your kale in a basin of water beforehand. Then, run your hands over the leaves to remove any loose dirt, being care to get into every crack.

After that, cut around the stem and discard it; the stem holds much more water than the kale leaves. If you place it in the freezer, the water will expand as it freezes. As a result, the structure of the stem will be harmed.

The next step is critical: thoroughly drain your kale. In fact, before allowing it to air dry, we suggest patting it with paper towels.

After that, place your kale in freezer bags. You may approach this procedure in two ways:

  1. Divvy the kale up into pre-portioned bags.
  2. Before placing the kale in a bigger bag, flash freeze it.

Because the first way is self-explanatory, let us concentrate on the second. If you’re not sure how much kale you’ll need at one time, or if you’d rather not waste a bunch of half-empty freezer bags, you may put all of your kale in a single bag.

In that scenario, place the kale on a baking sheet, ensuring sure the leaves do not touch, and place it in the freezer for two to three hours. Any bothersome droplets of water will freeze to the leaves, enabling you to store the kale in the same bag without fear of it sticking together when you take it out in batches.

Other things to bear in mind while freezing kale are as follows:

  • Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible.
  • Avoid putting the kale in the freezer bag too firmly.
  • Items should not be placed on top of the kale since it turns brittle in the freezer.

Finally, label the kale bag so you can remember when you froze it.

A Note on Blanching

Many veggies must be blanched before being frozen. This helps them keep their texture, color, and taste.

However, since kale has such a strong structure for a leafy green, blanching it isn’t essential. However, unblanched kale may occasionally grow bitter, particularly if stored in the freezer for more than a year.

To blanch your kale before freezing it, put the leaves (and stems, if desired) in a saucepan of boiling water for 2.5 3 minutes. Then swiftly immerse the leaves in cold water for the same length of time.

Dry the leaves as much as possible before placing them on a baking dish and flash freezing them. After that, place all of the blanched kale in a freezer bag, press out the air, and store in the freezer.

How Long Does Kale Last in the Freezer?

Kale will keep in your freezer for around a year. However, for the best flavor and texture, consume it within a few months.

The longer you leave your kale in the freezer, the drier it will get. Squeezing as much air out of the freezer bags as possible before storing them is the best strategy to slow down the drying process.

Another thing to keep an eye out for is freezer burn, which may lead to kale drying out. It happens when oxygen gets to the surface of the kale leaves. It then sucks moisture out, generating the crystal coating that is characteristic of freezer burn.

When you’re ready to eat your frozen kale, there’s no need to open the fridgeyou don’t have to defrost frozen kale. Continue reading because we’ll show you some fantastic ways to utilize your frozen kale soon.

How to Tell if Frozen Kale is Bad

It might be difficult to tell if your frozen kale is rotten since it normally comes out of the freezer with a drier, more crumbly feel than when you put it in.

However, if your kale has a slimy coating on it, it is a strong sign that it is rotten. It may also change color, generally from a deep green to a green-yellow or even brown.

Finally, take a deep breath of your kale. If it smells as horrible as the kale that went bad in your fridge before you realized you could freeze it, toss it.

It should go without saying, but just in case, freezing your kale will not increase its quality. So, if you freeze kale leaves that are on the point of going bad, you can anticipate them to come out in a similar condition.

Frozen Kale Recipe Ideas

Frozen kale is not the sort of item you want in your salad or to make kale chips with.

Although kale leaves freeze quite well in comparison to other leafy greens, the water in kale increases when frozen, causing its rigid leaf structure to break down. As a consequence, thawing frozen kale leaves results in a mound of wet, dead leaves.

As a result, we advocate using frozen kale in hot dishes or smoothies. There’s no need to defrost the kale ahead of time; it heats up rapidly.

Here are several recipes that call for frozen kale:

  • Pasta sauce
  • Soup and stews
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Pizza topping

Frozen kale may also be used in casseroles and other hot meals that call for spinach.

If you’re worried that frozen kale may lose its nutritious worth, don’t be. Freezing foods of all sorts, when done appropriately, helps retain their nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions on Freezing Kale

We have answers to any remaining queries regarding freezing kale. Continue reading for answers to frequently asked questions regarding frozen kale.

Can you freeze kale without washing it?

Kale may technically be frozen without being washed. However, we do not endorse it. Kale will be brittle when it comes out of the freezer. As it thaws, it will become mushy, making it difficult to remove dirt. For these reasons, it is important to wash your kale before freezing it.

Can kale be frozen without blanching?

Kale may be frozen without being blanched. In fact, many individuals prefer not to blanch kale since it has a stronger texture for a leafy green. If you want to freeze your kale for more than a year, blanching it will help eliminate a harsh taste that may develop with time.

Can I cook frozen kale?

One of the finest ways to utilize frozen kale is to cook it. It is not necessary to defrost frozen kale before cooking. Instead, mix the greens into spaghetti sauces, lasagna, soups, stews, and other dishes. If you don’t want to prepare frozen kale, ingesting it in smoothies is a great alternative.

Can kale go bad in the freezer?

Kale will keep in the freezer for approximately a year. However, for optimal taste preservation, we suggest eating it within a few months, particularly if you don’t blanch it. If you keep your kale in the freezer for more than a year, it may become exceptionally brittle and may taste bitter or otherwise unpleasant.

Is it better to freeze or can kale?

Kale canning and freezing are also wonderful ways to utilize up surplus greens. As a result, the superior choice is typically determined by available space. If you have more freezer space than shelf space, you should freeze your kale.


The only thing left to do now that you know how to freeze kale is to go to your garden or grocery store and stock up on this lush green. Although frozen kale isn’t perfect for salads, it may be used in smoothies and hot dishes.

You may expect to keep excellent kale for up to a year from the day you placed it in your freezer if you follow the freezing preparation steps outlined below.


How do you prepare kale for freezing?

Because leafy kale attracts dirt, it should be thoroughly rinsed before freezing. Because the leaves and stems cook at different speeds, they must be separated before freezing. Before freezing, coarsely slice the leaves and cut the stems into 1-inch pieces, then thoroughly wash and dry both.

Can I freeze kale without blanching it first?

Kale may be frozen without blanching if consumed within 4 weeks. Blanching greens before freezing inhibits the natural ripening enzymes found in the leaves. This will keep the leaves fresh and prevent them from becoming bitter. Kale that has been blanched may be frozen for up to a year.

What is the best way to preserve kale?

Wipe away any excess moisture before wrapping the kale leaves in a paper towel and placing them in a plastic bag. Kale bunches can keep in the fridge for a week. 2. Freezer: Kale, like many other vegetables, should be blanched before freezing.

How do you blend and freeze kale?

Puree Using the “juice” cycle on your blender, combine 3-4 cups of packed kale with 1 cup of water.
Fill ice cube trays halfway with juice and freeze.
Transfer the frozen cubes to a bigger freezer bag.

Can you freeze fresh bagged kale?

Yes, and it’s quite simple. Simply wash, dry, detach from the stems, and store in a freezer bag. There is no need for blanching!

How long does fresh kale last in the freezer?

Raw kale may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week and frozen for up to six months.

What happens if you don’t blanch before freezing?

Most veggies must be blanched before they can be frozen. It slows or inhibits enzyme function, which may result in taste, color, and texture loss. Blanching time is critical and varies depending on the produce and size. Underblanching promotes enzyme activity and is worse than not blanching at all.

What happens if you dont blanch greens before freezing?

If greens are not blanched correctly, they can soon lose their fresh taste when frozen. Greens should not be steam blanched since the leaves mat together and do not blanch effectively.

Should you blanch or massage kale?

Kale’s texture, taste, and color are best preserved by blanching. It will also take up less freezer space since the greens will diminish in bulk. Bring a saucepan of boiling water to a boil, then put in the kale leaves and cook for 2 minutes (via Frugal Hausfrau).

How do you store kale in a Ziploc?

It’s all about preventing extra moisture when it comes to a bundle of entire leaves. Wrap the kale in paper towels and place it in the refrigerator crisper drawer in a supermarket plastic bag or a zip-top plastic bag. The kale should be OK for another week.

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