How to Store Kale in the Fridge or Freezer?
Kale is a ubiquitous green vegetable that often stands out amongst others because of its look and taste. That aside, many people, especially vegans, heavily acknowledge the many benefits this vegetable comes with, which is why it is the primary ingredient in many power smoothies and detox recipes.
Kale and the many benefits it possesses aren’t in any way a fad; it is a green leaf vegetable with a lot of staying power. It can be used for a wide variety of meals, such as kale spaghetti, kale salads, deep-fried kale, and wilted kale cromlechs. What’s more, it is hugely popular in noodles and tacos as it goes a long way to curb further hunger. However, as we all know how short the lifespan of vegetables is, it’s vital we find the best possible ways to keep them fresh. In this article, we’ll be looking at the many ways this vegetable can be kept fresh and tasty for prolonged use.
What is Kale?
Like many other items existing in nature, this vegetable has a backstory of how it was discovered. It goes back to the Middle Ages and was common, especially in Europe. What’s more, the growth and cultivation of this vegetable were encouraged in the UK, during World War II, since it was straightforward and quick to grow. As a leafy green that is exceptionally nutritious but doesn’t demand a lot of effort to cultivate, It was also known for its high nutritive value, which was a missing ingredient in the regular diet of many UK homes during that century. This heart, vitamin-packed green leaf vegetable, was discovered to be very delicious, as it’s healthy.
What’s more, although the taste of kale has been disputed, one thing remains; its ability to help cure diseases and illnesses has been well known for quite some time. It is for this reason that it must be stored appropriately once purchased or cultivated. To enable your kale to stay fresh for some time, it needs to be treated right.
How Long Does Kale Last
The duration or lifespan of your kale once purchased, will be determined by how best it is stored. When it is not treated right or stored in the right manner, kale can last for up to three days, after which it begins to deteriorate. Spoilt kale can give off a bad odor, with mold or little black spots appearing around the green vegetable.
Additionally, as many people see grocery shops spray their vegetables all the time, they assume that this method will keep kale fresh longer. However, this is not really necessary as there are many different methods for the storing of kale. They are pretty simple and can be done without much effort.
According to dietary experts and food lovers, you don’t need to pre-wash your kale before you begin using or storing it. This is a procedure that has no benefit on your kale or your health; thus, it is not needed. In the following paragraphs, we’ll be discussing how best to store your kale to avoid expiration.
How to Keep Kale Fresh
- Refrigerate your kale in bunches
This first technique is pretty straightforward. After purchasing, keep your kale in a group of whole leaves within your refrigerator. This helps the vegetable keep all excess moisture at bay. After placing the kale in bunches, wrap them in layers of paper towels, after which they can be placed in a zip-top plastic bag or a plastic supermarket bag. The bunch method will keep your kale fresh for up to a week.
- Wash and prep before storage.
This is another way to go, and it is prevalent in many homes. Before the kale is placed within your refrigerator, you can wash and prep it. This is one of the few vegetables which can be prepped days in advance without any damage. This is because kale hardly experiences wilting. The prep process can involve stemming, tearing, or slicing the leaves of your rinsing and drying them with kitchen towels or placing them in a salad spinner. After they’re dried, you wrap up your kale in paper towels, put the wrapped food in a plastic bag, and then finally, store it in your refrigerator. This process keeps your kale usable for three days.
- Blanching and freezing
The kale leaves can be blanched and keep in your freezer, as a means of storage. This method is appropriate when the kale isn’t going to be needed for a week, or it’s going to be used for green smoothies. The blanching process involves salted water, a large pot, and another large bowl of ice water. Prep your kale in the ice water after their stems have been removed, and toss them in the salted water for up to two minutes. During this time, their leaves should have brightened in color. Drain your kale leaves and cool them down in another bowl of ice water before storing them.
All blanched leaves should be dried thoroughly with paper towels or in a salad spinner, before being placed in your refrigerator. What’s more, the freezing should last for two hours and should be done on a rimmed baking sheet. The blanching process allows your kale to stay fresh for up to eight months. They can be used for your soups and stews and power smoothies.
Best Way to Store Kale
When storing kale, it is not enough to wash, prep, blanch, and freeze the leaves. Some considerations need to be made to keep these vegetables in their proper state. Kale is a very fragile food; thus, it must be held in the coldest part of your fridge. Also, they must be kept away from certain foods that have ethylene. This is a substance that kale is very sensitive to, and it can be found in foods such as apricots, apples, cantaloupes, ripe bananas, pears, figs, avocados, tomatoes, honeydew, nectarines, and plums. Store your kale away from these items, and you will have kale for your smoothies and meals all the time.
- FOOD STORAGE: REFRIGERATOR & FREEZER – HGIC Clemson