How To Freeze Kale
Kale is a lettuce variety that can be consumed raw or cooked. It has a rich history of medicinal use dating back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who used it for its heart health, weight loss, and other benefits. In contrast to other vegetables, kale retains most of its nutrients and fiber from when it has been frozen. Keep reading to know how to freeze kale at home with no fuss.
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Why Should You Freeze Kale?
Kale is a great source of iron, vitamin A and C, calcium, riboflavin (vitamin B2), magnesium, manganese, and beta carotene. It’s high in antioxidants.
It contains no fat and has a high nutritional value. With its long lifespan, it is considered to be one of the most natural foods of all that are readily available for consumption.
You can add kale to recipes such as soups and stir-fries. You can also consume it raw in salads or homemade juices. You can easily freeze kale for further cooking as it spoils quickly after buying.
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Healthy Benefits Of Kale
If you are using kale in your home-cooked meals, it gives you the ability to:
Lover Blood Pressure Level
Kale can reduce blood pressure during exercise because of its high antioxidant content, which slows down oxidative stress on cells in the body’s circulatory system by blocking free radicals that damage DNA and cause fatty plaque deposits.
Kale contains fiber that helps lower your cholesterol levels and improve the health of your heart. It is also rich in B vitamins, which are necessary for energy production.
Reduce Risk Of Obesity
This leafy green vegetable is great for weight loss because it has relatively low calories and contains few carbohydrates and fat. Most of its calories come from dietary fiber and protein.
Protects From Heart Disease And Cardiovascular Disorders
Kale is fantastic at lowering cholesterol levels reducing heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, and other cardiovascular diseases. In addition, kale contains high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that work together to support the normal vision and reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
Mental Clarity And Focus
Kale also has a large amount of folic acid, which helps in brain development and supports mental health by fighting depression and increase memory power.
Reduction Of Mental Illnesses
As kale contains very few calories and carbs, it is a very beneficial food to consume particularly when you are low in energy or feeling depressed due to lack of sleep or stress.
Kale is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and these anti-inflammatory agents help slow the damage to cells that occurs during the inflammatory response of the body.
Potential Cancer Risk Reduction
As kale contains a high level of carotenoids, it helps to protect the body from harmful agents like free radicals, which can damage healthy cells and contribute to cancer development.
How To Freeze Kale – A Step-By-Step Guide
The process of freezing kale is fairly simple. You can freeze the green vegetables in any form, including chopped, sliced, diced, or whole.
Freezing the kale in large quantities will allow you not only to save money while ensure that they retain their tender texture and flavors during cooking at home. The process of freezing kale takes just a short time once you have done the preparation process outlined below:
Step 1: Prep Your Kale
You can freeze kale in two ways: blanched and not blanched. If you choose to blanch your kale, you should freeze it after blanching it for about two minutes in boiling water before cooling it for some time.
Here is how to freeze kale after blanching:
Rinse the kale leaves in cold water and pat them dry using a paper towel. The wet surface of the leaves will develop freezer burn more easily than the dry surface. Also, if you will put your kale in sandwich bags, it is better to use paper bags that can be purchased at any grocery store rather than plastic bags. The paper is more durable, and it will not alter the flavor of your kale.
Hold a handful of kale at a time and allow the leaves to dry by lightly waving the leaves back and forth with one hand. This will prevent them from sticking to each other when you put them into bags or containers.
Put your kale leaves on a chopping board and chop them into pieces no larger than thumb-size pieces. You should try not to chop them too small because they will be harder to cook, and you will have to cook them long before they get tender. If you are only freezing one or two servings of chopped kale, leave some of the large stems on the leaves so that they can cook enough that their texture is smooth and tender.
Step 2: Pack The Kale
You can use any type of container that you have available. Plastic bags are not recommended because they will alter the flavor of the kale. You can purchase special bags made specifically for frozen vegetables at grocery stores.
If you use paper bags, make sure that they are free of any visible food products or fibers because these might prevent your vegetable from freezing properly. You should also wash the paper bags before use to remove unwanted smells and odors.
You can fill your plastic or paper bags with kale leaves a little over half full, depending on the size of your bag or container in which you want to freeze them.
Step 3: Cook The Kale
While cooking your frozen vegetables, keep in mind that heat conductivity is reduced in frozen vegetables compared to fresh vegetables. Cook your kale as though you are cooking a fresh vegetable.
In order to prevent the leaves from discoloring, it is usually recommended to transfer the cooked kale into a strainer before eating so that excess moisture can be removed. You can serve them on their own or with any toppings that you like best for yourself and your family members.
Freezing Kale Without Blanching
The process of freezing kale without blanching allows more nutrients to remain in the kale while cooking, making them more potent and tasty when eaten later on. However, blanching your kale will make its texture softer.
If you are going to freeze the kale without blanching it, you can use any container available in your kitchen. You should remember that containers with tight-fitting lids are ideal for such purposes. Ensure that the container will allow enough room for expansion, as frozen vegetables tend to double in size once they are frozen.
We recommend using Ziploc bags because they have a double seal that maintains food safety, and these bags are durable and reusable.
How To Use Frozen Kale
You can use your frozen kale in any of the recipes you already use. You can even add it to smoothies or other blended drinks. If you are trying to lose weight or monitor your health, you can consider eating a lot of fresh kale and then freeze it for future use as a healthy vegetable for cooking.
Make kale-based recipes with frozen or fresh kale. Use the same greens as you would for steamed or sautéed kale. Blanch the kale after you have removed it from the freezer, then run it under cold water so that it does not burn when you cook it.
The Bottom Line
Freezing kale is not difficult, but it does take some time and preparation. You can easily freeze the vegetable in chopped pieces, in bunches, or as a whole leaf. If you are going to freeze kale for later use, you may need to blanch it because this will stop any freezer burn. I hope this guide gave you vast information about how to freeze kale at home.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Freeze Kale Without Blanching?
Yes, but the results will not be as good as using a quick-cook method. Blanching is the process of plunging vegetables in boiling water for some seconds and then transferring them to cold water or ice cubes. This procedure allows vegetables to maintain their color and keep their nutrients alive.
What Is The Best Way To Freeze Kale?
The best way to freeze kale is to blanch it first. This process of cooking the vegetables in hot water before they are frozen vacuums them, retaining more flavor and nutrients than if they are not heated beforehand.
Is It Better To Freeze Kale Raw Or Cooked?
You may prefer to cook your kale before you freeze it, as this will destroy any bacteria in the leaves. You can also freeze them raw, but do make sure to blanch them first by plunging the kale into boiling water for a few seconds.