Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Preserving Kale


I've been getting a lot of kale in my farm baskets lately, and I'm running out of ways to use it before it goes bad.  I hate to see any food go to waste, let alone local organic produce.  I've tried to make kale chips, but I have to confess, I haven't been successful.  I've only succeeded in over-baking them and ending up with charred kale dust.  I love using kale in smoothies, but can't possibly use it all up in time and make smoothies my family will drink.  Kale has a strong taste in smoothies, so I can't use as much as I'd like.  And with kale being a fairly new ingredient in my kitchen, I haven't established my go-to recipes for it just yet. 
**Enter Lightbulb Moment**

Freeze it!  Gosh I love my deep freeze, it's already paid for itself a few times over in the food it's preserved for our family.  I remembered a comment on one of my previous posts where my frugal foodie hero, The Cheapskate Cook, mentioned how she was blending kale in her blender to freeze and her toddler was saying, "Yum!"  This comment stuck out with me since I haven't met many toddlers who get excited about kale.  And I'm glad, because it reminded me of a way to preserve my abundance of kale. 

Woo Hoo, another excuse to use my VitaMix! 


I rinsed the kale and tore it into pieces, discarding the largest parts of the stem.  Added a bit of water to the blender.  I would imagine that the amount of water you need will vary depending on the blender you're using. 

Once mine was blended, I put it in the silicone ice cube trays I used to freeze homemade baby food when Baby Boy was on pureed food. 


Froze the kale, and VOILA, perfectly portioned kale cubes.  Oh the possibilities!  I can put them in smoothies easily and drop them in sauces to add some nutrition (Shhh! don't tell the kids).  I imagine I could even defrost them and add a cube to a chocolate zucchini bread and nobody would even know, mwa ha ha! 


Do you have any ideas or recipes which might incorporate these green cubes of nutritional goodness?


Find this tip and other great ideas for reducing food waste over at :


Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy

Shared At:   Tastetastic Thursday, Its a Keeper Thursday, Frugal Food Thursdays, Foodie Fridays, Little House in the Suburbs, Frugal Fridays, Foodtastic Fridays, Rattlebridge Farm, Fridays Favorites, Creative Corner, Makin' you Crave Mondays, My Meatless Mondays, Frugal Tuesday Tip, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesdays, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tiny Tip Tuesdays, Tip Me Tuesdays, Show Me What Ya Got, Traditional Tuesdays, Healthy 2Day Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesdays, Earning My Cape, Penny Pinching Party, What's Cookin' Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Delicious Dish Tuesday, Link It Up Thursday

33 comments:

  1. This is brilliant! I need silicone ice cube trays! (AND A VITAMIX HINT HINT lol)

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    1. Amazon is where I got them (hint hint) and the vitamix I got at Costco when they had a show, it really was the best price. :)

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  2. If Courtney gets a vitamix, so do I. I miss your smoothies, Athena!

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    1. Of course! just don't hold your breath that either of you are getting one... lol I'll have to be sure to make a bunch next time you visit. :)

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  3. What a brilliant idea. I don't currently have a plethora of kale, but do enjoy juicing with it and incorporating it when I can. Thanks for the useful hints. I will definitely keep my eyes out when it goes on sale, and won't hesitate to throw a few seeds in my garden!!!!

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    1. Oh i wish I could grow things in a garden! I'm not much talent in the garden, and living in the desert makes it extra-challenging. Best of luck growing kale! :)

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  4. What a fantastic idea! I have some kale aging in my fridge right now. Very clever!
    I don't know what you've tried as far as kale chips, but I have had no luck with the short baking time recipes. They turn out chewy. However, I do have a foolproof recipe for kale chips, if you like. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Remove the stems and ribs, rinse, and thoroughly dry the kale. Tear it into 2 x 3 inch pieces and put them in a bowl. Put in some olive oil and really massage the kale with it. Sprinkle in some sea salt for flavor, our whatever other spices you're in the mood for. Spread out on parchment paper on a baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for 33 minutes.

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    1. I haven't tried that method, thanks!! If I have kale this week, I'm gonna try it. :)

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  5. What a great idea....Thanks for sharing. :-)

    erica-sweetonyou.blogspot.com

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  6. Sounds deceptively delicious. Thanks for sharing this on foodie friday.

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  7. Good idea, I can think of a few other things that could be good in frozen cubes. (Tomatoes, shredded zucchini, berries, ect...) Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You're right! What a great idea. I've got some zucchini to try. Thanks! :)

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  8. This is fantastic!! I just found your site on Tip Junkie's linky party, love it! I'm definitely going to do this, I have more kale than I know what to do with in my garden!

    Lindsay

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    1. I hope to actually grow something someday. :) Kale is something I'm hoping to have in this dream garden of mine. :)

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  9. I did this a few weeks ago when our kale was going crazy - but I added lime juice instead of water - I figured since I always add lime to my green smoothies it would save another step this winter:

    http://behealthybehappywellness.com/blog/2012/06/save-your-kale

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  10. I used to do this with baby food! It really does go a long way! Thanks for linking to Foodtastic Friday!

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  11. I have never really used kale, but I was at my friend's home yesterday and she is having the same issue as you..... Overrun by kale and not wanting to waste it! She has become an expert at the Kale chips and I was impressed with how tasty her chips were. I happily passed your post to her. I know this way of storing kale will be helpful to her and many others! Thanks for linking to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

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    1. Thanks so much! I'd be glad to hear her kale chips secret too. :)

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  12. Great idea! I have only recently discovered my love of kale. I have a few recipes that I turn to, but now I know when I don't have time I can just freeze it. Now to get a much needed deep freeze!

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  13. Wow, never ever thought about this! How cool, if I had pinterest, I would pin! lol! I am going to do this, and I need some of those silicone trays!

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  14. This is a fabulous idea, I love the flavor of kale in smoothies. A couple cubes of these with bananas, frozen fruit, stevia and some almonds YUM!

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  15. Hi there ... you can freeze kale unblended as well. Just wash, tear apart into pieces, and freeze in a baggie. I throw it into quick soups and other meals. It holds up so much better than spinach does.

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  16. Great idea! I have yet to try kale, I think I need to! lol
    Thanks for sharing with my Super Link Party! :-)

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  17. Ahh Thanks so much for sharing this. I just harvested two large sacks of kale and could not decide what to do with it. I make kale chips and we love them! But it would take me a week to make all this kale up into chips. I also love a good reason to use the vitamix! Yeah for good green smoothies in the winter!!

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    1. Yay!! So glad to hear that not only will you have groovy green smoothies this winter, but that you, like me, love a good excuse to use the vitamix. :)

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  18. I just saw a you tube on freezing kale and they said to blanch it in hot water for 1 1/2 min to kill an enzyme so it won't go bad in the freezer.
    Jump dolly Jump

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  19. I always thought you had to blanch certain vegetables before freezing. How long will the kale last in the freezer without blanching? Can you do the same with other vegetables?
    Thanks,
    Dee

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    1. Hi Dee,

      I hadn't thought about blanching these. I imagine since the kale is pulverized it doesn't make much of a difference. I have heard of blanching certain vegetables before freezing though, like peppers, broccoli, and carrots. I don't know what difference that makes in terms of how long it lasts in the freezer. I wouldn't suggest using this method on anything other than leafy greens. Sorry I couldn't answer all your questions... Best of luck!

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