3 Ways To Freeze Kale for Green Smoothies and Other Recipes

3 ways to freeze kale ahead of time for green smoothies and other recipes

It is hard to believe that just a year ago kale was not a part of my diet. That’s right up until recently I never used kale in any recipe and would never of thought to throw a handful into a smoothie. Of course, I heard of green smoothies but they just did not spark my interest for some reason. But then one day green smoothies did get my attention and I decided to give them a try. Don’t ask me what that moment was cause honestly I can’t remember but I think it was around October. Anyway, once I started to drink green smoothies I never went back. Honestly, these fruit and veggie packed beverages make me feel on top of the world. I have more energy, clarity, and everything about my body just feels better. So basically I love green smoothies.

My “green” of choice is almost always kale. I have sometimes used spinach – which is good – but I prefer kale. I always purchase a HUGE bag from BJ’s Wholesale Club and can easily get a couple weeks of smoothies out of it. However, a couple times if I did not use the kale right away – because I was in the mood for something else – it would go bad. I absolutely HATE throwing food out. To me it is equivalent to setting money on fire. So I am always trying to figure out ways to save food before it goes bad – especially if I am not going to use it right away.

Anyway, it only took me throwing a bag of kale out twice before the light bulb went off in my head to freeze it ahead of time. Don’t ask me why it took me having to waste 2 bags of kale before I finally had this revelation. I blame my kids – they are always distracting me 🙂

Check Out My Other Recipes

There are 3 ways to freeze kale. And yes this could be used for spinach and other like greens too. 2 of the options are super easy and the other one takes a little more effort.

Option #1: Freeze kale in plastic freezer bags.

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You can portion the kale out or just shove it all into 1 or 2 freezer bags and take out what you need when you need it. This has actually become my preferred method because it is easy. The kale can be used directly from the freezer to the smoothie – no need to thaw. You can also use it soups and other recipes straight from the freezer. The only recipe it would not work in is a kale salad or a recipe where you would need fresh kale. The texture of the kale changes once it is frozen and then thawed. Other than that it is good to go.

Option #2: Freeze kale as part of a smoothie kit

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This is another favorite way of mine to freeze kale. Smoothie kits are basically individual bags filled with your smoothie ingredients. When you are ready to make your smoothie you just dump the bag in your blender, add liquid, and blend. Smoothie kits are a great way to make sure you have all the ingredients you need for your smoothies. You don’t have to worry about running out of any ingredient – including kale – because it is all part of the kit. OYS writer Paula wrote a whole post of creating your own smoothie kits.

Option #3: Puree and freeze

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This one takes more effort and I personally do not think it is necessary for a smoothie. However, if you want to make sure your kale is completely pureed in your smoothie then yes maybe this option would be good for you. However, I see this option working should you want to sneak some pureed kale into a recipe like chili, soup, etc.

All you need to do with this option is throw kale in a blender, blend, and add water until it purees and becomes the consistency you want. Then pour into muffin tins and freeze. Once frozen remove from muffin tins, put into a plastic bag, and place in the freezer.

These three tips will help you save money and reduce waste by purchasing kale or other greens in bulk and freezing it ahead of time. Any other tips you would like to add?

Here are some of my favorite green smoothie recipes:

Tropical Green Smoothie

Blueberry Kale Green Smoothie

Banana Peanut Butter Green Smoothie

Strawberry Kale Smoothie

Apple Ginger Green Smoothie

 


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Comments

  1. Green smoothies are so nutritious and awesome. I never at greens until I started making green smoothies. I have to admit that I had to start freezing my kale too because we used up the spinach faster than kale when I buy greens. But, this cuts down on a lot of wasted greens. I love the way that you have your smoothie kit ready to go. This will save a lot of time. This just proves that no one really has an excuse not to eat healthier. I like tropical green smoothies to. Do you ever make blended smoothies? Here is my favorite blended smoothie recipe:

    1 handful of kale
    1 juiced apple
    1 juice orange
    2 bananas

    Blend… it is soo yummy. There is another awesome recipe I found below.

    Lilly ~ http://recipesforjuicers.info/green-smoothie-recipes/

    • I am into juicing lately and have a ton of kale in my garden…also have the ingredients you listed in your post…will be making I today! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I used method #3 for a year before not having time to do it once before the kale was going to go bad. I tossed the whole bag in the freezer. It is so much faster and easier for smoothies than pre purée ing it.

  3. In option #2, what all do you have in the bags?

    • Stephanie says:

      If you click the link in the text above (“creating your own smoothie kits”), you can see what Paula puts in her smoothies.

  4. I use option number one. I found a good source of prewashed baby kale at Cosco. The 1.5 lb. bag goes directly in our freezer as soon as we get it home. After it is frozen solid, I take it out of the freezer and hit the bag with a rolling pin to crush the frozen leaves into tiny pieces. It’s very therapeutic, and the bag takes up less space in the freezer that way. When I want to make a smoothie, I use a measuring cup to scoop out the crushed frozen kale.

  5. I actually purée it and freeze it directly in the zip bags. I don’t put it in muffin cups first and skipping that step works great. I just have to throw the Baggie away afterwards.

  6. I wonder about the loss of nutrients i.e. enzymes etc when kale etc is frozen or are the enzymes intact?

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I thought I had to blanch the kale first before freezing it. Actually let a huge bag go to waste because I didn’t have time to process it! As long as they stay in a frozen/semi-frozen state, is there any vegetable that wouldn’t work the same way for smoothies? I’ve been thinking about how I could use cucumbers other than fresh and in pickles or relish. Would be grateful to hear back. Thanks!

  8. I was wondering how long does the kale stay good in the freeze how long before i should throw it out if its not used?

  9. We had tons of Kale this year from our garden and my husband just tossed it in plastic freezer bags. I was hoping it would keep. Thank you for the article.

  10. carolina says:

    does it has to be a plastic bag? can i use a plastic container instead?

  11. Hello 🙂
    I am wondering if one can juice frozen kale?

  12. Great idea! Bumper crop of kale and new freezer. Done. Thank you!!!

  13. if i were to puree the kale or not, how long does it last in the freezer?

Trackbacks

  1. […] bags from my warehouse store and second I don’t need to worry about the fruit spoiling. I even freeze my spinach or kale ahead of time. The only fresh fruit I use is bananas but sometimes I will even throw them in the freezer if I […]

  2. […] up gobs of greens faster than a speeding bullet. Here are some ideas to get you ready for green smoothies in an instant. Let’s not forget about the now famous “kale” chips, which can actually be made […]

  3. […] Freezing your kale together with some sweet fruits (i.e. pineapple or strawberries) will help mask the flavor when you blend them all in the morning. Can you freeze kale you might ask? The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, freezing kale actually helps to ensure that the nutrients are preserved. But don’t keep them in your freezer for too long as it might become bitter due to the natural ripening enzymes which haven’t stopped functioning […]

  4. […] Low Fat Vegan Chef Go Dairy Free Everyday Maven Almond Butter: Sally’s Baking Addiction Kale: Organize Yourself Skinny: freezing. Mac n Cheese: Minimalist Baker, AlisainAlaska.blogspot Pizza: Food Republic, Minimalist […]

  5. […] One tip I have is to create pre-made single servings in freezer bags with all the ingredients you need so whipping up the smoothie is a breeze! And bonus, the ingredients are already cold, so no need for ice! If you choose to add leafy greens to your smoothie, you have the option to pre-blend and freeze ahead or add fresh greens directly into the smoothie.  I found this great tutorial here. […]

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