This post is in line with last year’s posts about freezing carrots and parsnips, as well as the one about canning applesauce. I find it really hard to throw out food, and it’s just painful to throw out produce that came right from the backyard. Therefore, I try to preserve every thing I can! Last year, this included freezing some tomatoes, and this year it’s involved lots of jam making, eating corn constantly, and canning a batch of tomato sauce! I was telling this to someone recently, who replied “oh you’re a squirrel”. If a squirrel means I love preserving food in season to eat during the winter, then yes, I am proudly a squirrel.
With the dry summer we’ve had, the kale plants in the garden had a rough start. And then pretty much overnight after a handful of rain drops, they took off and started getting out of control! Even making a huge kale salad every day or two, we could not keep up with them. At that point we started hauling in giant armfuls once a week and blanching the leaves to freeze.
Kale is not super expensive to buy at the grocery store over the winter, and I’ll still choose fresh kale for a salad, but having these bags of kale in the freezer will be perfect for soups, stews, casseroles, frittatas, sauteing with some lemon zest and almonds… I have lots of ideas. And it’s cheaper to freeze the kale to use in these dishes than it is to let it go to waste and end up buying it all winter. I think I’m up to 5 large freezer bags stashed away now, so maybe that will be enough? An extra row of kale went in the garden recently that will be ready towards the end of the month, so there may be more to put away yet!
- Wash all kale and rinse well. Make sure there is no remaining dirt or bugs attached.
- Shred the kale into large leaves. Prepare a large bowl or sink of ice water.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. In batches, add the kale to the pot and stir to make sure it all gets submerged. Let cook 1 minute.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove kale leaves from water and place in ice water to stop cooking. Repeat until all kale has been blanched
- Divide kale between labelled resealable plastic bags and freeze.
- Frozen kale can be added to soups and stews while still frozen, but should be defrosted in the fridge for other recipes.