Kale is an easy vegetable to freeze for smoothies or other recipes that don’t require fresh leaves. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is! For your convenience, I’ve included a few different methods on how to freeze kale and a few recipe suggestions.
How To Use Frozen Kale?
The sky is the limit! You can use frozen Kale in sauces, pesto, stir-fries, pasta, stews, and smoothies. The only dishes I wouldn’t use frozen kale for is in fresh salads since it will have a different texture when defrosted, and in dehydrated foods such as kale chips, because it will be too moist.
Vegan Kale Recipes:
- White Bean and Kale Soup
- African-Style Braised Kale and Tomatoes
- Sautéed Kale with Garlic and Onions
- Green Detox Smoothie
- Vegan Greens
- Vegan Kale Pesto
Kale Nutrition Facts
Kale is a leafy green vegetable from the brassica family, a sulfur-containing vegetable like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts. It has become very popular in Europe and the USA, especially in recent years.
Kale grows well in hot and cold climates, actually thriving in cold climates, where it tends to have a sweeter taste.
Kale is high in vitamin A, carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are great for protecting the eyes from UV light and preventing cataracts.
One cup of raw kale contains a 134% recommended daily serving of vitamin C.
Research seems to show that vitamin C helps fight infections, oxidizes cholesterol, and is anti-inflammatory which is also beneficial in autoimmune diseases. It also repairs and strengthens collagen in the skin, giving the skin a youthful glow.
Kale has a high dose of calcium, which strengthens bones and teeth.
It also has manganese, which is a trace mineral and a great fat burner, because it metabolizes and uses energy from protein and carbs, making it even greater for weight loss.
Kale is excellent for those who are trying to lose weight; one cup of kale contains only 36 calories. It is fat-free and high in fiber, which helps your body to stay full longer and helps to keep your blood sugar lower. It also promotes regular bowel movements and prevents constipation.
Kale fights heart disease by removing plaque from the blood vessels and may also prevent stroke.
How To Make A Smoothie?
You can freeze kale for later use in smoothies. However, you can also take it a step further by making smoothie prep bags.
What is this? It is a pre-assembled baggie that contains all the ingredients for the smoothie recipe that you like best, already portioned out for quick use.
It’s as easy as filling a freezer bag with your favorite fruits and vegetables, labeling, and freezing them. You can now make your smoothie in a minute or two by adding the liquid ingredients to the blender and blending it.
How to Prepare Kale for Freezing
The kale must first be washed thoroughly and completely dried, by patting it dry between two clean kitchen towels, before you can freeze it with one of these methods.
Ensure that you separate the leaves when you wash the kale and that you really clean all of the groves. Dirt is easy to hide in the curly leaves of kale!
It may also be best to remove the stems from the kale, depending on how you intend to use it (see my notes throughout this post).
The stems can be quite fibrous and difficult to chew. Kale stems should only be left on if you’re going to puree them or use them in soups and stews in the future.
The 3 Best Ways to Freeze Kale
Freeze Pureed Kale in Ice Cube Trays
To do this, I blend 3-4 cups of chopped Kale with 1 cup of water and use the “juice” cycle on my blender. Fill some ice cube trays with the kale juice, and freeze.
After the cubes have frozen, transfer them to a larger freezer bag. You can stash the bag in your freezer after you’ve labeled and dated it.
This method is perfect for adding kale puree in small amounts in recipes such as smoothies, soups, or sauces.
Freeze Chopped Kale In Baggies
Kale should be chopped finely, especially for cooking; at least I prefer mine that way. I also like my kale frozen in small freezer baggies in smaller amounts, so that I’m not constantly removing a big bag of kale from the freezer and allowing it to slightly defrost. This also helps to prevent freezer burn, possibly caused by frozen kale being exposed to air too much.
This frozen chopped kale can be added to any recipe that calls for chopped fresh kale. If you are making a recipe that does not need extra liquid, allow the kale to slightly thaw before adding, and squeeze out some of the water.
Typically, I squeeze the kale over a sink with my hand after placing it inside a paper towel. Additionally, you can sauté the kale for a few minutes to dry them out even more.
Freeze Whole Kale Leaves
Transferring kale straight to a freezer bag after washing it is an excellent option if you want to add it to various smoothies or recipes without doing any other prep work. I would recommend allowing the kale to drain, so that you are not freezing additional water from washing as well. Then, you can just pull out a handful of kale when you need some, and prepare it as the recipe entails!
How Long To Keep Frozen Kale?
You can store it in an airtight bag in the freezer for up to 12 months, but I would recommend using them before 6 months.
Defrosting frozen greens is as easy as pulling out the bag out of the freezer and letting it sit in a bowl of cold water. It is not necessary to take the kale out of the bag to defrost.
However, kale can be frozen in most recipes, especially in kale smoothies, sauces, and wherever you would add frozen spinach.
More How To Freeze:
- How To Freeze an Avocado?
- How To Freeze Garlic?
- How To Freeze Onions?
- How To Freeze Strawberries?
- How To Freeze Cauliflower?
- How To Freeze Apples?
- How To Freeze Broccoli?
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- Energy: 33 kcal / 138 kJ
- Fat: 0 g
- Protein: 2 g
- Carbs: 7 g
Freeze Puréed Kale
- To do this, I blend 3-4 cups of chopped Kale with 1 cup of water and use the "juice" cycle on my blender. Fill some ice cube trays with the kale juice, and freeze.
- After the cubes have frozen, transfer them to a larger freezer bag. You can stash the bag in your freezer after you've labeled and dated it.
Freeze Chopped Kale
- Wash and drain kale leaves. Remove stems and chop finely.
- Write down the date on the bags, add kale, and freeze!
Freeze Whole Kale Leaves
- Transferring kale straight to a freezer bag after washing it is an excellent option if you want to add it to various smoothies or recipes without doing any other prep work.
- I would recommend allowing the kale to drain, so that you are not freezing additional water from washing as well. Then, you can just pull out a handful of kale when you need some, and prepare it as the recipe entails!