Kale is a good source of vitamins and nutrients and it can be a good addition to your diet. It is a dark and leafy green vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked which can be good in salads or green smoothies.
If you are thinking of adding kale to your meal, you’d be glad to know that kale is a sturdy and hearty green vegetable and it stores very well. If properly stored that is. If you are wondering how to store kale in the fridge, you are in the right place.
You can store kale in the fridge by the bunch or by just the leaves. Kale will last in the fridge for about a week if wrapped in a kitchen or paper towel and placed in a ziplock bag.
In this article, we have a step-by-step guide to help you how to store kale properly in the fridge to keep it fresh. We will also give you a detailed guide on how to freeze kale to increase the vegetable’s shelf life for months. If you want your kale fresh and full of nutrients, read on!
What Is Kale?
Kale is a dark and leafy green member of the cruciferous vegetable family. Among the cruciferous vegetable family are cauliflower, broccoli, turnip, Brussels sprout, collard greens, and bok choy. Crucifer vegetables are very nutritious and rich in vitamins C, E, and K. These vegetables are also rich in fiber, making for a satisfying meal.
Like its family members, kale is also rich in nutrients and can be eaten either raw or cooked. While kale is mainly known for its curly leaves, there are many different types of kale.
Some of the most common varieties of kale are:
As the name suggests, this kale has curly edges on its leaves. Curly kale has a bitter and peppery flavor and can be used for salads or soups. Curly kale can also be blanched, sautéed, roasted, or steamed.
Unlike curly kale, Lacinto kale has long, flat leaves with a bumpy texture – which is why it is also called dinosaur kale as it almost looks like the texture of a reptile skin. Lacinto kale is native to Italy and has a sweet and milder flavor than curly kale. This kale is usually used in soups and pasta.
Red Russian Kale
The Red Russian kale is a purple-stemmed kale and has an earthy but mild and sweet flavor. Red Russian kale stems are not usually used for cooking as it is fibrous. Red Russian kale is mostly used for salads.
If you find curly kale a little too bitter for your taste, starting with baby kale might be a good option. Baby kale has smaller leaves and it has a sweet, mild, and peppery flavor. This kale is a good addition to raw salads.
How To Store Raw Kale
Storing kale properly will prolong its freshness and keep the leaves from wilting. There are two ways to store kale: in the refrigerator and in the freezer.
How To Store Kale In Fridge
Storing kale in the refrigerator is the best option if you are going to consume it immediately. You can either store whole kale bunches or prep and chop them before storing.
To store whole kale bunches in the fridge:
1. If storing kale in bunches, you do not need to wash them before storing them in the fridge. This keeps moisture away and keeps the kale fresh longer. Make sure the kale is completely dry before doing the next step.
2. Wrap the fresh kale bunch in a clean kitchen towel or a couple of paper towels and place them inside the ziplock bag. Remove excess air from the bag before sealing. Tip: if you have a lot of kale, portion and place them in separate ziplock bags to prevent the leaves from crushing each other.
3. Place the ziplock bag/s inside the refrigerator. If your fridge has a vegetable or crisper drawer, place the ziplock bags there. A properly stored whole kale bunches will last in the fridge for about a week.
To store prepped kale in the refrigerator:
1. Fill a bowl with clean water, put the kale in the bowl, and wash the kale thoroughly. You can also gently wash the leaves under running water to get rid of any dirt between the kale leaves.
2. Remove the leaves from the stem and chop them according to your preference.
3. Dry the kale thoroughly. You can pat the kale leaves with a paper towel or use a salad spinner to dry them. Pat the kale leaves dry with a paper towel after drying them in a salad spinner to make sure the kale leaves are totally dry and reduce excess moisture.
4. Wrap the kale leaves in a clean kitchen or paper towel and place them inside a ziplock bag. Portion the kale leaves and place them in separate ziplock bags if you have a lot to store.
5. Place the ziplock bags in the vegetable or crisper drawer of your refrigerator. When properly stored, kale leaves will last for about a week in the fridge.
How To Store Kale In The Freezer
If you want to increase the kale’s shelf life, storing it in a freezer is the best option. While you can store whole kale bunches in the freezer, it is best to prep and remove the leaves from the stem so you can take out only what you need. If you are using kale to make smoothies, there is no need to thaw frozen kale.
Before freezing kale, you need to blanch the kale leaves first. Blanching vegetables before freezing will slow down the enzyme action that causes the loss of flavor, color, and texture. You can place blanched kale leaves in a ziplock or an airtight container before storing them in the freezer.
To store kale in the freezer:
1. Remove the kale leaves from the stem and wash the leaves thoroughly. Give the kale leaves a chop so they will be easier to blanch.
2. Fill a big pot of water and bring it to a boil. While you wait for the water to heat, prepare an ice bath by filling a medium-sized bowl with water and ice. Tip: You can add salt to the boiling water to add more flavor to the kale.
3. Blanch chopped kale leaves by putting them in the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes or when the color of the leaves brightens.
4. After 1 to 2 minutes, remove the kale leaves using a slotted strainer and drop them in the ice water for about 30 seconds. Tip: do steps 3 and 4 in batches if you have a lot of kale leaves.
5. Once the kale is cool enough to handle, dry them using a salad spinner to pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Make sure the kale leaves are completely dry.
6. Layer the dry blanched kale leaves on a baking sheet and place the tray in the freezer for about 2 to 3 hours.
7. After 2 to 3 hours, remove the baking sheet from the freezer and transfer the frozen kale leaves to a ziplock bag or an airtight container. If properly stored, frozen kale can last up to 6 months in the freezer.
Things To Keep In Mind When Storing Kale
One of the things to keep in mind is to keep the kale dry before placing it in the refrigerator or the freezer. Keeping the moisture away will keep the kale fresh and crispy until you are ready to use them.
When storing fresh kale in the refrigerator, keep it away from other fruits and vegetables such as apples and onions. Store kale in the vegetable drawer together with other leafy greens.
Also, make sure to properly store kale so that it can last you for about a week in the fridge and up to 6 months in the freezer. While kale is a hearty vegetable and stores well, not storing kale properly can wilt the leaves fast.
Kale is considered a superfood because of its many vitamins and nutrients. Storing kale properly not only will keep it fresh but will also keep its nutrition. Kale can be stored in the fridge for about a week and in the freezer for up to 6 months.
We have talked about how to store kale in the refrigerator and freezer in detail so you can have fresh kale at any time. If you have any more questions, do not hesitate to let us know! You can reach us via the contact form on our website.