For a leafy green, kale is relatively hardy, although it may be a little picky about storage. You may believe you understand the best way to store kale, but are you sure? With the help of our detailed storage instructions, discover how to get the most out of your cooked and fresh kale.
Using up all the kale you’ve purchased can be challenging before it starts to wilt. However, you can increase the lifespan of your kale by freezing and refrigerating it. You might wonder how to store kale while planning a meal for the upcoming week or month. To keep crisp and fresh, you may do a few necessary actions. Entirely holds it in an airtight container; it can last up to two weeks. Kale can also be blanched before being frozen. The following advice will help you keep kale fresh.
What is Kale?
A cultivar of leafy cabbage called kale (Brassica oleracea) develops without forming a head as regular cabbage does. Kale is a versatile lush green used in soups, salads, appetizers, main courses, and side dishes. The texture and flavour of the kale will vary depending on the species you choose and how you prepare it.
Nutrition in kale
Here are just a few of kale’s great vitamins and minerals.
- Vitamins A, K, C, and B6!
How to Store Kale?
Although kale is a resilient green, it will eventually start to dry out and lose its crunch, flavour, colour, and nutritional value. To get the most use out of your head of kale, use the following storage techniques:
Fresh bunches of kale can be kept in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Wipe away any extra moisture before putting the kale leaves in a plastic bag with a paper towel wrapped around them. Bunches of kale keep for a week in the refrigerator.
Similar to many vegetables, blanching kale before freezing is a brilliant idea. Remove the kale’s veins and chop or tear the leaves into the appropriate sizes as if preparing a meal. They should spend one or two minutes in a big kettle of boiling water and rapidly removed from the boiling water and dropped into a sizable bowl of ice water. Use paper towels or a salad spinner to dry the kale completely. On a baking sheet, arrange the leaves in a single layer and freeze them for a few hours. They can be kept in the freezer for up to eight months after being frozen if placed in a freezer bag or other airtight container.
Kale can also be dried as a means of preservation. You can use this approach to make crispy kale as a snack or an ingredient in recipes, but it won’t extend the life of your kale as a fresh, green vegetable. Kale can be dried in the oven for several hours or using a more powerful dehydrator. Once dried, you may season the kale with salt, pepper, and other seasonings. You can then eat the kale chips on their own or use them as a crunchy salad element.
For Storing Kale
Follow this advice when keeping kale:
- Prepare your kale in advance. Remove the leaves from the stems after purchasing kale at the market or the supermarket, then slice the leaves before storing them. Unlike many other salad greens, kale leaves are tough and won’t wilt as rapidly if separated from the stem.
- Use frozen kale in pesto or smoothies. It can be beneficial to prepare and freeze kale smoothies and kale pesto in advance for use. A sauce or green smoothie is simple to freeze and thaw before eating.
- Dry your kale entirely. This is a tenet of proper vegetable storage, and less moisture is preferable because it will slow down wilting and spoiling. Keep your kale useable by using paper towels and allowing air to flow.
- In water, thaw the greens. To hasten the defrosting process, place the greens in a bag and submerge the bag in a bowl of chilled water.
For Buying Kale
Kale is available all year long, but it is the optimum time to eat it from late fall to early winter. When purchasing kale, consider a few things, whether you’re at the farmers’ market or your neighbourhood grocery store. First, pick kale with tiny to medium-sized leaves since they are the most flavorful and delicate. Additionally, search for reasonably tender, dark-green leaves with crisp edges. Buy kale that doesn’t have slimy, yellowing, or wilted leaves.
How to Store Raw Kale?
Fresh kale must be kept dry when stored because moisture will hasten the deterioration process. Saving a lot of raw kale in storage:
- When you are ready to utilize the kale, wash it. Once more, you don’t want to add extra moisture to the greens.
- Use paper towels to line a zip-top storage bag. About two cups of dry kale should be placed into the bag. Squeeze out any extra air, then tie the bag shut. For five to seven days, please keep it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. The stems should face the cooler air at the back of the fridge.
- Lay one paper towel on the bottom of the container and another on top of the kale if you’d like to use a hard-sided storage container.
- When ready to eat, give the kale a good rinse under cool—but not cold—running water. Before preparing it, run it through a salad spinner if you have one or gently dry it with clean paper towels.
How to Store Cooked Kale?
Cooked kale can be stored in a few different ways, but it’s not complicated. Just adhere to these easy steps:
- Make sure the cooked kale reaches room temperature.
- Put the kale in an airtight container or resealable storage bag. Refrigerate for approximately five days.
- Eat the kale cold, warm it on the stove in 10-second intervals, or microwave it.
How Long does Kale Last?
Kale’s shelf life depends on how it is stored, just like all food. In the refrigerator, raw kale can last up to a week and in the freezer, around six months. In contrast, cooked kale only lasts three to five days in the refrigerator.
Fresh kale lasts around 5 to 7 days, whereas bagged kale keeps for a day or two beyond the printed date and up to 5 days after opening the bag. Kale should be kept in the fridge in a plastic bag to extend its shelf life. Wait to wash it until you’re ready to consume it.
Ways to Use Kale
So many different sorts of recipes may readily incorporate kale. Here are a few of my favourite kale recipes.
- Make use of it by mixing it into a substantial salad, such as Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad, Crispy Chickpea Kale Caesar Salad, or Simple Kale and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad.
- Add it to your preferred soup, such as Easy Kale and Sausage Soup.
- When making these Mediterranean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, combine them with other vegetables.
- Use it as a green in recipes like this 5 Minute Creamy Green Goddess Dressing or Simple Lemon Basil Pesto to create nutritious green sauces.
How to Thaw Kale?
Frozen kale doesn’t need to be thawed before using; you can combine it with the other ingredients in your smoothie, add it to soup or stew, or throw it into pasta sauce.
However, if you need to defrost large kale fast, you can submerge the bag or bowl in a cup of cool water.
How to Spot Bad Kale?
Kale can easily be identified as being past its peak. Indicators to watch out for include discolouration, wilting, or mushiness.
The fresh kale’s deep green, firm, and crisp characteristics, and the stems must be robust and wet. Of course, throw out your kale immediately if it smells unpleasant or is beginning to mould.
How to Freeze Kale?
Do you need to use up a lot of kale before it spoils? Your best bet might be the freezer. Frozen kale is useful for smoothies, soups, stews, casseroles, and other dishes. Kale can be blanched, then frozen.
Blanching Kale Before Freezing
It is a good idea to blanch kale before freezing it for later use. Blanching is a rapid cooking technique that involves boiling water, steam, or a microwave. Foods can also be frozen or uncooked, and kale must be blanched before freezing to preserve the vegetable’s quality. Although cold water can also be used, boiling water is recommended when blanching kale.
Remove the stems and thinly slice the kale leaves before blanching them. The limbs can be frozen after being cooked in boiling water for about three minutes. The kale greens should then be drained and dropped into ice water to cease cooking. After blanching, put the vegetables in lidded containers, freezer containers, or zip-top bags.
- Bring water in a big pot to a boil. Fill a sizable dish with ice water in the interim.
- For about two minutes, or until the leaves begin to brighten in colour, cook the kale in the boiling water.
- Kale should be drained using a colander. Transfer it to the ice bath immediately to stop the cooking, then drain it. Kale should be thoroughly dried.
- Spread the kale on a baking sheet in a single layer after completely drying. Flash freeze for up to overnight or at least three hours.
- Transfer the frozen kale to a freezer-safe bag with the date written on it. For up to six months, freeze.
Kale is a robust, vitamin-rich green that is both delicious and nutritious. Because of this, proper storage is crucial. If you take care of it, it keeps its freshness for a long time. You should be aware of a few suggestions if you wish to preserve kale crisp. Kale is a rich, vitamin-rich green that stores well but may be delicate with other fruits and vegetables. Keep it out of apples, bananas, and onions to hold it correctly. Keep kale apart from products like these as it thrives in a relaxed, crisp environment.
Make sure to keep kale chips dry and cool when storing them. They should ideally be held in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. Kale chips hate humidity, so make sure your package has good oxygen barrier qualities. Make sure there are instructions and expiration date on the packaging. If properly stored, kale chips will remain crisp for up to a week.