How Long Does Kale Last in the Freezer? Tips and Tricks for Freezing Kale

As a health-conscious individual looking for quick and easy meals, freezing your vegetables can be a game-changer. But the question often arises: how long can kale be stored in the freezer before it loses its nutritional benefits? The answer may surprise you, and it’s crucial to know to avoid any unnecessary waste.

Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables out there and is a must-have in any healthy diet. However, finding the time to prepare it fresh every day can be challenging. That’s where freezing comes in. But how long can you store kale in the freezer and still reap the benefits? It’s a valid question, and we’re here to give you the rundown on everything you need to know.

If you’re anything like me, you love incorporating kale into your meals whenever possible, but sometimes, life can get in the way. Freezing kale is an excellent way to keep it on hand for longer periods, but just how long can it be stored in the freezer before it becomes unrecognizable? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Lucky for you, we did the research, and we’re here to share all the key information on kale storage in the freezer.

Freezing Kale Properly

Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. It is a popular ingredient in smoothies, salads, soups, and stews. Kale is so healthy that people often buy in bulk and store them for future use. Freezing kale is one of the best ways to preserve the nutrients and flavor for an extended period. Here are some tips on how to freeze kale properly:

  • Wash the kale leaves thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt, debris, and pesticides.
  • Remove the tough stems from the kale leaves. You can use a sharp knife or your hands to separate the stems from the leaves.
  • Cut the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces or the desired size for your recipe. Make sure to dry them with paper towels or a salad spinner to remove excess water.
  • Blanch the kale in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the leaves. Blanching helps to preserve the color, texture, and nutrients of the vegetable.
  • Transfer the kale to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. This will also help to retain the color and texture of the kale.
  • Drain the kale and pat them dry again with paper towels. You can choose to freeze them immediately or place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze for about an hour.
  • Once the kale is frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. Remove as much air as possible and label the container with the date and contents.

Properly frozen kale can last up to 8 months in the freezer without losing its quality and nutritional value. It is important to note that kale may lose some of its crispiness once thawed, but it will still be delicious and nutritious to use in your favorite recipes.

Shelf Life of Frozen Kale

Freezing kale can extend its shelf life by several months, allowing you to enjoy this nutritious leafy green even when it’s out of season. However, it’s important to store frozen kale properly to ensure its quality remains intact. Here are some things you should know about the shelf life of frozen kale.

  • Frozen kale can last up to 8-12 months in the freezer if stored properly.
  • The quality of frozen kale may decline over time, leading to a change in texture and flavor.
  • While frozen kale can still be used even after its recommended shelf life, it’s important to inspect it for signs of spoilage before consuming.

When storing frozen kale, it’s best to use airtight containers or freezer bags to prevent freezer burn. This occurs when moisture from the food evaporates, leaving behind dry, icy patches that can affect the quality of the kale.

If you’re unsure whether your frozen kale is still safe to eat, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard it. Signs of spoilage include discoloration, funky odors, or a slimy texture.

Storage MethodShelf Life
Freezer bag or airtight container8-12 months
Freezer burn present3-4 months
Signs of spoilageDiscard immediately

In summary, while freezing kale can extend its shelf life by several months, it’s important to inspect it for signs of spoilage before consuming. Proper storage can help prevent freezer burn and maintain quality for up to 8-12 months.

Kale Storage Guidelines

Knowing how to store kale is essential to maximize its shelf life and maintain its quality. Improper storage can lead to a shorter lifespan of the vegetable and can result in a decline in nutritional value and taste.

  • Refrigeration: The best way to store kale is to keep it in the refrigerator. Store fresh kale loosely in a plastic produce bag, wrapped in a paper towel to absorb any moisture. Place the bag in the vegetable crisper in the fridge. This will keep kale fresh for up to a week.
  • Freezing: Freezing kale is a great way to preserve it if you cannot use the vegetable before it starts to spoil. Blanch the kale leaves in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then immediately cool it down in cold water before draining and placing it in a freezer-safe container. Frozen kale will stay fresh for up to 8 months.
  • Organic vs. Non-Organic: It’s important to note that organic kale may spoil faster than non-organic kale due to its lack of preservatives. Therefore, it’s even more crucial to properly store organic kale.

If you’re unsure when kale goes bad or if it’s time to discard, follow the golden rule of veggies. If it looks slimy, yellow, or has an off smell, it’s time to throw it away.

Here’s a helpful chart for easy reference on the shelf life of kale for different storage methods:

Storage MethodShelf Life
Refrigerator (loosely wrapped)1 week
Freezer8 months

By following these storage guidelines, you can enjoy fresh kale for a longer time and reduce food waste.

Nutritional Value of Frozen Kale

Frozen kale can be a great alternative to fresh kale as it can be stored for a longer period without compromising its nutritional value. In fact, according to the USDA, frozen vegetables can sometimes have more vitamins and minerals than fresh ones as the freezing process preserves the nutrients.

  • Frozen kale is rich in Vitamin A which is essential for maintaining good eye health and helps protect against infections.
  • It is a great source of Vitamin C which is important for boosting immunity, promoting healthy skin and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
  • It is also a good source of calcium which is essential for strong bones and teeth, and magnesium which is important for regulating blood pressure and maintaining heart health.

In addition to these important nutrients, frozen kale also provides other health benefits:

  • Chlorophyll, a pigment that gives kale its green color, has been shown to be effective in detoxifying the body and improving digestion.
  • Kales are also rich in antioxidants which help protect the body from harmful free radicals that can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
  • According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, frozen kale is higher in lutein and zeaxanthin compared to fresh kale. These two antioxidants are important for maintaining good eye health and reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Freezing and Thawing Frozen Kale: Impact on Nutritional Value

While freezing preserves most of the nutrients of kale, it is important to handle the vegetable properly to prevent any nutrient loss. For instance, exposing frozen kale to air and light for a prolonged period can lead to nutrient degradation. Therefore, it is important to store kale in air-tight containers or freezer bags.

To prevent nutrient loss, it is also important to freeze kale as soon as possible after harvesting. This ensures that the kale retains maximum nutritional value. Additionally, when thawing frozen kale, it should be done slowly, preferably in the refrigerator. Quick thawing can lead to nutritional degradation of the vegetable.

NutrientFresh KaleFrozen Kale
Vitamin A (IU)2060915376
Vitamin C (mg)12081
Calcium (mg)302257
Magnesium (mg)2419

As seen in the table, freezing kale can result in a slight reduction of some nutrients. However, the reduction is not significant enough to result in a substantial loss of nutritional value. Therefore, freezing kale can be a great way to ensure that the vegetable is available year-round while still retaining most of its health benefits.

Preparing Frozen Kale for Cooking

The process of freezing kale is quite simple. However, preparing frozen kale for cooking may require a bit of effort and understanding. Here are some useful tips that can make your frozen kale cook perfectly:

  • When cooking with frozen kale, you do not need to thaw it before adding it to your dishes. You can straightaway add it to your soups, stews, and smoothies.
  • Make sure to squeeze out excess water from the frozen leaves before cooking them. You can do this by wrapping the kale in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth and squeezing it tightly.
  • Frozen kale releases a lot of liquid as it thaws. So, if you are adding it to a recipe that has other vegetables, add it towards the end of the cooking process to prevent it from getting too soggy.

If you are planning to use frozen kale to make smoothies, you can blend it directly with other ingredients. The texture may be slightly grainy, but it will not affect the taste or nutritional value of your drink.

Now that you know how to prepare frozen kale for cooking, let’s take a look at how long it can last in the freezer.

Type of KaleFreezer TemperatureStorage Duration
Curly kale0°F/-18°C or lower8-12 months
Lacinato kale or Tuscan kale0°F/-18°C or lower8-12 months
Red Russian kale0°F/-18°C or lower8-12 months

If you follow the aforementioned tips, you can make the most out of your frozen kale and enjoy its nutritional benefits all year round.

Using Frozen Kale in Smoothies

Kale is a superfood that is packed with nutrients, and it’s no wonder that many people want to incorporate it into their diets. One of the easiest ways to do that is by throwing some kale into a smoothie. But what if you have kale in the freezer? Can you still use it for your smoothies? The answer is yes, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

  • First, make sure that the frozen kale you’re using is still good. As we discussed earlier, frozen kale can last up to eight months in the freezer, but after that, it may start to lose its nutritional value and flavor. It’s always a good idea to give it a sniff and a quick taste test just to be sure.
  • To make your smoothie with frozen kale, all you need to do is add the kale into your blender along with your other ingredients. You don’t need to thaw it out first. The blender will break it up and incorporate it into your smoothie.
  • One thing to keep in mind is that frozen kale can sometimes be a bit more bitter than fresh kale. To counteract this, you can add a bit of sweetness to your smoothie. Try using ripe bananas, berries, or a bit of honey to balance out the bitterness.

Another thing to keep in mind is that frozen kale is a bit more delicate than fresh kale. This means that it may not hold up as well if you’re using it to top off your smoothie bowl. Instead, try blending it into your smoothie for the best results.

When it comes to making smoothies with frozen kale, the possibilities are endless. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:

1 cup frozen kale1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp honey

With a little bit of creativity, you can use frozen kale in all kinds of smoothies. So don’t be afraid to experiment and see what delicious combinations you can come up with!

Freezing Kale Chips

Freezing kale chips is a great way to preserve them for later use. They can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months and can be enjoyed as a healthy snack or added to dishes like soups and salads.

  • Start by making sure the kale chips are completely cool before freezing. This will prevent them from getting soggy in the freezer.
  • Place the kale chips in an airtight container or freezer bag. Make sure to label the container with the current date so that you know when they were frozen.
  • Remove as much air as possible from the container before storing it in the freezer. This will help to prevent freezer burn and keep the kale chips fresh.

When it’s time to use the frozen kale chips, simply remove the container from the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature for a few hours. Once thawed, the kale chips will have the same texture and taste as when they were freshly made.

For those who plan on freezing kale chips regularly, it may be helpful to invest in a vacuum sealer. This will help to remove more air from the container and keep the kale chips fresh for even longer.

Steps for Freezing Kale Chips
1. Cool kale chips completely.
2. Place kale chips in an airtight container or freezer bag.
3. Label the container with the current date.
4. Remove as much air as possible from the container.
5. Store the container in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Freezing kale chips is a convenient way to have a healthy snack on hand whenever you need it. With the right preparation and storage methods, frozen kale chips can be enjoyed just as much as their freshly made counterparts.

Making Kale Puree for Freezing

If you want to guarantee that your kale lasts as long as possible in the freezer, making kale puree for freezing is a great way to accomplish this. This method involves blending your kale leaves into a puree before storing them in an airtight container in the freezer. Here are the steps to making kale puree for freezing:

  • Wash and dry your kale leaves thoroughly, removing any tough stems or large veins.
  • Add the kale leaves to a food processor or blender.
  • Pulse the blender until the kale is broken down into small pieces.
  • Add a small amount of liquid, such as water or olive oil, to help the kale blend into a smooth puree.
  • Making kale puree for freezing is a great way to preserve your kale and make it easier to use in your favorite recipes. Whether you’re adding it to smoothies, soups, or pasta dishes, having kale puree on hand in the freezer will save you time and ensure that you always have this nutritious leafy green available when you need it.

    Kale Varieties Suitable for Freezing

    When it comes to freezing kale, not all varieties are created equal. Some hold up better than others, maintaining their texture and flavor after thawing. Here are nine kale varieties that are particularly well-suited for freezing:

    • Curly kale
    • Lacinato kale
    • Red Russian kale
    • Siberian kale
    • Chinese kale
    • Scottish kale
    • Ragged Jack kale
    • Winterbor kale
    • Toscano kale

    Of these varieties, curly kale is the most common and widely available. It’s also often the hardiest and most versatile when it comes to cooking. Lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale or Tuscan kale, is another popular variety that freezes well. Its smooth, dark green leaves are delicious in soups and stews.

    Siberian and Russian kale are both hardy and cold-tolerant, making them good choices for gardeners in colder climates. Chinese kale, also known as Chinese broccoli, is a slightly sweet and tender variety that works well in stir-fries and other Asian-inspired dishes.

    Scottish kale, Ragged Jack kale, and Winterbor kale are all heirloom varieties with slightly different textures and flavors. Scottish kale is a particularly hardy variety that can survive cold and frosty conditions. Ragged Jack kale is noted for its attractive frilly leaves, while Winterbor kale has a slightly sweeter taste than traditional curly kale.

    Finally, Toscano kale, also known as Italian kale or black kale, is a particularly flavorful and tender variety that is often used in Italian cuisine. It’s great raw in salads or sautéed as a side dish.

    Kale VarietyTexture and FlavorBest Uses
    CurlyTough, slightly bitterCooking, smoothies
    LacinatoTender, slightly sweetSoups, stews, sautés
    Red RussianTender, slightly tangySalads, smoothies
    SiberianTough, slightly sweetStews, casseroles
    ChineseTender, slightly sweetStir-fries, soups
    ScottishTough, slightly bitterSlow-cooked dishes, winter soups
    Ragged JackTender, slightly frillySalads, sandwiches
    WinterborTough, slightly sweetCooking, smoothies
    ToscanoTender, slightly sweetRaw salads, sautés, Italian dishes

    While these kale varieties are all good candidates for freezing, it’s worth noting that you may have different preferences based on your individual taste preferences and intended uses. Experiment with different varieties to find the ones that work best for you.

    Benefits of Freezing Kale Over Fresh

    While fresh kale is a popular choice for healthy meals, freezing your kale can actually have some benefits over using it fresh. Here are ten reasons to consider freezing your kale:

    • Longer Shelf Life: Frozen kale can last up to 8 months in the freezer, whereas fresh kale only lasts for a few days in the fridge. This means you can stock up on kale when it’s on sale and not worry about it going bad before you can use it.
    • Convenience: Having frozen kale on hand means you can easily grab a handful and add it to smoothies, soups, stews, or sauces without worrying about washing and chopping it every time you need it.
    • Year-Round Availability: Frozen kale is available year-round, so you don’t have to wait for it to be in season to enjoy it.
    • Preserves Nutrients: Kale is a nutrient-dense vegetable, and freezing it can help preserve its nutritional value. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of Food Science, frozen kale often has higher levels of antioxidants and vitamin C than fresh.
    • Reduced Waste: When you freeze kale, you can use it up gradually over time instead of letting it go to waste in the fridge. This helps reduce food waste and saves you money.
    • Fresher than “Fresh”: Sometimes “fresh” kale at the grocery store has already been sitting for days or even weeks. Freezing kale while it’s still fresh means you can ensure it’s truly fresh when you’re ready to use it.
    • Pre-wilted: Kale can be tough and bitter when eaten raw, but freezing it can help break down the cell walls and soften it up before use. This can make it easier to eat and incorporate into meals.
    • Bugs and Dirt-Free: Freezing kale can kill any bugs or their eggs that might be lurking on the leaves, making it a more sanitary choice over fresh.
    • Save Time: When you freeze kale ahead of time, you can save time when cooking and meal prepping. Bonus points if you freeze it in individual portions for easy use.
    • Money-saving: Freezing kale allows you to purchase kale in bulk or when on sale, saving you money in the long run.

    How to Freeze Kale Correctly

    Now that you know the benefits of freezing kale over using it fresh, you may be wondering how to actually go about freezing it. Here are some steps to follow:

    1. Wash and dry your kale leaves to remove any dirt or debris.
    2. Remove any tough stems from the kale and tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
    3. Blanch the kale by briefly plunging it into boiling water, then immediately transferring it to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
    4. Drain the kale and pat it dry with a towel or paper towel.
    5. Divide the kale into individual portions if desired and place them into airtight freezer bags or containers.
    6. Label and date the bags before placing them in the freezer.


    Freezing kale is a great way to save time, money, and reduce food waste while also preserving its nutritional value and making it more convenient to use in meals year-round. By following the proper freezing technique, you can ensure your kale stays fresh and tasty for several months.

    Kale TypeFreezing Time
    Fresh Kale3-5 days in the fridge
    Blanched/Frozen KaleUp to 8 months in the freezer

    By referring to the above table, you can see the stark contrast between the length of time fresh Kale lasts versus that of frozen kale, so it is best advised to freeze them for a longer shelf life.

    How long does kale last in the freezer?

    Q: Can I freeze raw kale?
    A: Yes, you can freeze raw kale. However, it is recommended to blanch the kale before freezing it to maintain its quality and taste.

    Q: How long does raw kale last in the freezer?
    A: If stored properly in an airtight freezer bag or container, raw kale can last in the freezer for up to 8 months.

    Q: Can I freeze cooked kale?
    A: Yes, you can freeze cooked kale. Just make sure to let it cool down first before freezing and store it in an airtight container or bag.

    Q: How long does cooked kale last in the freezer?
    A: Cooked kale can last in the freezer for up to 6 months if stored properly in an airtight container or freezer bag.

    Q: Can I freeze kale chips?
    A: Yes, you can freeze kale chips. Just make sure to let them cool down completely first before storing them in an airtight container or freezer bag.

    Q: How long do kale chips last in the freezer?
    A: If stored properly in an airtight container or freezer bag, kale chips can last in the freezer for up to 6 months.

    Q: Can I freeze kale smoothies?
    A: Yes, you can freeze kale smoothies. Just make sure to pour the smoothie into an airtight freezer-friendly container, leaving some space at the top for expansion.

    Closing Thoughts

    Thanks for reading about how long kale lasts in the freezer! With proper storage in mind, you can enjoy frozen kale for up to 8 months for raw kale and 6 months for cooked kale and kale chips. Now that you know how to properly freeze kale, you can stock up on this nutritious leafy green and enjoy it all year round. Be sure to come back for more food storage tips!

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Dadang Oray

Dadang Oray is a blogger who writes about interesting topics on the internet. He has a unique writing style and covers a wide range of subjects. He enjoys exploring new websites and staying up-to-date on the latest trends in technology and social media.