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Greens on hand. In the freezer. Blanching 101.


I think I remember hearing how some of my ancestors used to store money in the freezer. Oh, maybe it was on the Sopranos or something. I am not doing that. I am too busy using our money to remodel our bathroom.
However, I do have some green in the freezer. Frozen kale. Hells yeah.
I have a new love for blanching and freezing kale. Three reasons why I am in love:
1. Greens always on hand. Sure, greens can go bad if they are in the back of the fridge for too long. Having them in the freezer in individual sizes, gives me no excuses to not add to smoothies, soups, stir-fries, whatever.
2. See ya later bitter taste. If you just freeze raw greens they get bitter. However, if you dunk them in boiling water for a few minutes, then stop the cooking abruptly you kill of the enzymes that create the bitter flavor. This is called blanching.
3. Better for our thyroids. Cruciferous vegetables like kale have goitrogens which are naturally-occurring substances that can interfere with function of the thyroid gland. Even though studies seem to be limited, cooking does seem to help inactivate the goitrogenic compounds found in food. Hence, blanching and storing. I recently had some blood work taken and my thyroid numbers were up a bit. Could be from the little peanut growing in my belly. I guess pregnancy can raise thyroid numbers. We will see. *
Basic Blanching and Freezing of Kale
1. Take 2 large bunches of kale and remove stems. Freeze stems in a separate freezer safe bag and add to soups and stews or use instead of celery in tuna salad!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2. Make piles of about 2-3 kale leaves.
3. In the meantime, bring water to a boil on the stove.
4. Also, get together a large bowl of ice water.
5. When the water is lightly boiling, add the first pile of kale leaves. Set a timer to cook the kale for 2 minutes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
6. After 2 minutes, take the kale out with tongs and dunk into the cold, icy water for a few seconds.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7. Then, dry the kale in a couple of dishtowels until pretty dry and then store in plastic sandwich bag.
8. Repeat with the rest of the kale.
9. Add all of the small bags of kale into a large freezer safe bag and date so you know how long the kale has been in the freezer.
10. Take out as needed and enjoy!
* Reference: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=47

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2 Comments

  1. So here’s my question…. after you freeze it, can you use it the same way you’d use fresh kale? (I have bunches in the fridge that I don’t want to lose!) I’m guessing that it can go into cooked recipes, but probably not into something like Kale Salad? Right?
    PS- do you know how many results come up when you search this site for Kale? Not that I’m surprised…

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