How to Freeze Kale?

Kale in Bowl

Kale is one of the most sorted-out leafy greens because it is rich in iron and powerful antioxidants that can improve our health.

As fresh kale leaves can be added to smoothies, frozen drinks, soup, and other food recipes, people tend to buy lots of them.

If you have more greens than you can use for the next couple of days or weeks, you are likely going to consider preserving it by freezing.

Read on to learn how to freeze kale, spinach, and other collard greens.

Can You Freeze Kale?

Just like other vegetables, kale can be frozen.

That said, you need to keep in mind that it is an art to freezing kale. Putting kale into a freezer bag and tossing it inside a freezer isn’t really the best way.

If you want your frozen kale to last for months, you should blanch it before putting it in an air-tight plastic bag and storing it in your freezer.

Using frozen kale is super easy. In fact, you don’t even need to defrost it first. You can add it directly to your food recipes and your drinks.

Do You Need to Blanch Your Kale?

There is no hard and fast rule that you must blanch greens like kale or spinach before freezing them. 

The blanching process helps to reduce the enzymes that make the leaves deteriorate quickly and develop a weird taste. 

You may be able to get away with freezing kale without blanching if you plan on using it within a couple of weeks (6 weeks) after freezing it. 

Note that unblanched kale isn’t great for making smoothies and frozen drinks, as they may have a strong and off-putting bitter taste. Un-blanched kale leaves work best in soups, stews, and food recipes with strong flavors that can overpower the bitter taste. 

If you plan on storing your kale in the freezer for 2 to 8 months, it is critical that you blanch it first before freezing it. 

You are going to need the following to blanch kale and other green vegetables. 

  • Boiling water 
  • Large pot 
  • Freezer bags 
  • Ice cold water

Here are some quick steps on how to blanch kale 

  • Wash your kale and put them in a large pot
  • Add boiling water and cover the pot for 3 minutes 
  • Place the leaves in ice-cold water for 3 minutes 
  • Dry the kale leaves with a towel and store them in freezer bags. 
  • Label the bags and put them in your freezer. 

2 Ways to Freeze Kale

There are two distinct ways to freeze kale, spinach, and other greens. While both methods are simple and straightforward, you should consider what you willbe using your frozen kale before choosing between them. 

Below is an overview of what both methods entail. 

Freezing Kale in Cubes 

Freeze kale in cubes gives you the convenience to portion it and include into your blender while making green smoothie.

Here is how to prepare frozen kale cubes 

  • Wash your kale and remove its stems 
  • Blend until you achieve an even consistency.
  • Pour into an ice tray and freeze. 

You can use frozen cubes to make smoothies, soups, and other food.  

Frozen Kale Leaves 

If you plan to use your kale whole, or you don’t want to blend them, you should try out this method. 

Here is how to freeze kale using this method. 

  • Wash your kale leaves 
  • Put it in boiling water and then ice-cold water (blanching)
  • Dry the leaves and store them in freezer bags. 
  • Label the bags and put them in a freezer 

You can add the frozen leaves to your soup and stew recipes.

Kale and green apples on the table

Can I Freeze Kale Without Blanching?

Yes, you can. However, you have to keep in mind that freezing kale, spinach, and other green vegetables without first blanching them isn’t the best way to preserve them long term.

On average, an un-blanched kale that is frozen in an air-tight freezer bag will last for 3-6 weeks. During this period, you can add them to your green smoothies and soup recipes.

Before learning how to freeze kale, you should first learn about blanching. This will go a long way in helping you preserve your kale better.

Do You Wash Kale Before Freezing?

If your kale isn’t pre-washed, you should wash it thoroughly with water before freezing it.

Just like other green veggies, unwashed kale may contain dirt and insects. To remove them, you have to wash and dry them before storing them in your freezer. 

Does Kale Lose Nutrients When Frozen?

Yes, it does. A fraction of the nutrients in kale are lost when it is frozen for a long time. But this shouldn’t bother you because the nutrient that is lost is very small.

Whether you use frozen kale or fresh kale, you will still get almost the same amount of nutrients. 

Kale smoothie in a glass

How Do You Defrost Frozen Kale?

After learning how to freeze kale, the next thing that may come to your mind is; how to defrost it when you want to use it.

Defrosting frozen kale is relatively easy. All you need to do is to take the freezer bag you stored it in out of the freezer and place it on your kitchen counter or in a bowl of water. 

Kale in Bowl

How to Freeze Kale - Step by Step

With the right technique, you can effectively freeze up kale for up to 12 months without it going bad. Below are some proven ways to freeze kale.


  • Fresh kale
  • Large pot
  • Boiling water
  • Cold water
  • Freezer bags
  • Knife
  • Blender


How to freeze kale for cooking later

  1. Wash your kale with water to remove dirt
  2. Remove the stems with a knife
  3. Pour boiling water into the bowl containing the kale and cover for 3 minutes
  4. Put the kale into a bowl half-filled with cold water for three minutes
  5. Dry the kale with a towel
  6. Put the kale in the freezer bag and label
  7. Store in a freezer

How to freeze kale for smoothies

  1. Wash your kale to remove dirt
  2. Remove the stems of the kale with a knife
  3. Blend the kale until you achieve a smooth result
  4. Pour the blended kale into an ice tray and freeze

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality freezer bags
  • Be sure to blanch your kale if you plan on preserving it for a long time
  • Use a powerful blender to blend your kale
  • Make sure you remove the kale stems before freezing it
  • Remove dead or yellow leaves when washing your kale.
  • Add a spoon of vinegar to the water you use to wash your kale. This will help remove stubborn dirt.
  • You don’t need to defrost your frozen kale if you plan on adding it to your smoothies or soup.
  • Unblanched kale may develop a bitter taste after a couple of weeks. When this happens, add them to soup, stew, and other food with a strong flavor.
  • Remove as much air as possible from your freezing bag before freezing it up.

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