Lacinato kale in my front yard garden just waiting to be preserved for winter eating!
I plant a lot of kale in my garden. But at this time of year I don’t seem to harvest it much. I’m focused on eating the hot weather vegetables I can’t get during the spring, summer and fall – tomatoes, eggplant, red peppers, melon and berries.
But come winter, I love to use kale in smoothies, soups, stews and stir fries. Unfortunately, by then my kale is usually standing dead in my garden from one too many below-20-degree nights.
Luckily, it’s super easy to freeze kale for use in winter meals. There’s virtually no prep involved!
Directions for freezing kale:
- If you tend to have worms and insects in your kale it might be best to wash the leaves before processing.
- Cut the leaves from the stems. Discard stems.
- Chop the leaves into desired bite sized pieces.
- Give them a turn through your salad spinner if you have one to get the excess water off.
- If you don’t mind them freezing into one big chunk simply pack the leaves into freezer bags. (This is what I do.)
- If you’d like the leaves to be loose and easily broken apart, spread them on a cookie sheet and pre-freeze them in the freezer for 60 minutes. Then pack into freezer bags.
- The best place to store your frozen kale is in the chest freezer. It will last up to one year – unless you eat it all first!
It’s true! You can freeze kale raw! I used to steam it first, but then once I started freezing it raw I couldn’t really tell the difference. Food preserving really doesn’t get much easier than that. I’ve used this method for several years now and it’s wonderful. I never buy kale from the grocery store in the winter.
Eat food from you garden all year round!
You can make every harvest last longer by learning how to quickly and easily preserve vegetables at the height of their season. And if you think canning is the only option, my book, Super Easy Food Preserving, teaches you how easy it can be to use your basement, fridge and freezer instead. Read more about it here.