Can You Freeze Greens? Which Green Vegetables Freeze Well?

Can You Freeze Greens?

Fresh green, leafy vegetables are indeed a delight. And after a sparse spring and a white winter, summer always delivers a beautiful harvest of green food. You can make a variety of flavorful indulgences with greens. If you have huge garden produce of greens or bought extra greens from the store, what can you do? Can you freeze the greens?

Can You Freeze Greens

Yes, you can freeze the greens. In fact, freezing is a great way to preserve your greens for later use, and they are one of the simplest foods to store. Also, these greens are seasonal and tend to rot sooner than other vegetables. So, freezing the greens will be beneficial.

However, you can’t preserve tender lettuce when frozen, while tougher greens like kale and Swiss chard are ideal for freezing. Freezing leafy greens means you have a year-round supply of them. It also cuts down on your cost and saves you time.

How Can You Freeze Leafy Green Vegetables?

Freezing greens preserve their nutrients longer than usual. It is considerably simpler to freeze greens. But, how to freeze greens? Here is a simple step-by-step guide to freezing greens.

How Can You Freeze Greens

  1. Rinse your greens properly: It is essential to rinse your fresh greens because doing this removes all kinds of dirt that could be present in them. Regardless of where you get them from, clean them well with cold water to prevent wilting.
  2. Chop the greens evenly: Cut the greens into exact sizes or to the extent you would like to use once they have thawed. Some greens have thick and large stems, you can cut them off too. Doing this will reduce the blanching time.
  3. Blanch the cut greens. Pour water into a big saucepan and bring it to a boil. Put the cut greens in and submerge them entirely with tongs or a spoon. Blanching will stop the enzyme activity and improve freezing.
  4. Let the greens cool: Quickly transfer the blanched greens carefully to an ice bath. Normal tap water will not be effective. Submerging them in cold ice water will stop further cooking and help them keep their bright green color while freezing.
  5. Squeeze out the water: After removing the greens from the water, carefully squeeze any remaining water out of them. If you remove all the water and dry the greens adequately, the flavor and texture of the greens will not deteriorate.
  6. Pack the greens: Transfer the greens carefully into freezer-safe airtight containers or ziplock bags. Make sure you remove as much air as possible from the bags. This will prevent freezer burns and keep the flavor intact when frozen.
  7. Label and freeze: Label and date the packages before freezing, so that you know how long they have been in the freezer. Your greens are ready to freeze. Stack them in the freezer with other food items.

Does Freezing Greens Kill Their Nutrients?

Does Freezing Greens Kill Their Nutrients

Freezing your greens will not affect their nutritional value if you follow adequate freezing techniques. Many minerals and vitamins are not easily damaged by either the blanching or freezing processes. However, freezing greens raw is by far the quicker solution, if you want to avoid blanching.

Therefore, freezing is a great way to preserve your greens for longer without altering their nutritional value. This way they will also keep well for a long time.

How Long Do Leafy Greens Last In The Freezer?

Applying proper freezing techniques is crucial to keep your greens for longer. And by doing this, your greens can last for about 6-10 months in the freezer. Also, greens can be stored in the freezer for up to a year if they are blanched first.

Their shelf-life in the freezer is determined by the type of green you choose to freeze. Whatever you choose to freeze, you are always freezing the freshness along with the greens. And this keeps greens safe to eat almost indefinitely.

How Long Do Greens Last In The Freezer

Which Greens Freeze Well?

You can freeze almost any type of greens. However, the very tender ones, such as lettuce are not suitable for freezing. Check out the list of greens that freeze well.

  • kale
  • spinach
  • turnip greens
  • Geneva chard
  • collard greens
  • radish greens
  • beet greens

How To Defrost Greens?

Frozen greens are a great substitute for freshly produced greens that is off-season. They are often chopped before freezing, so it takes less time to cook them later. However, greens that have been poorly frozen tend to lose water fast and become rather mushy.

How To Defrost Greens

Defrosting greens in proper ways keeps the frozen produce safe and does not let it go mushy or watery. Whether you are using them for a straightforward stir fry or in other recipes, it is crucial to defrost your greens.

Defrosting In The Refrigerator

Take out the frozen greens from the freezer, and let them defrost in the refrigerator for a while. Put the frozen packs in a container to prevent condensation from dripping into other meals. It is important to squeeze the defrosted frozen greens into a clean kitchen towel. This is because they release a lot of water when thawed.

Defrosting In The Refrigerator

Defrosting In The Microwave

If you run short of time, you can easily defrost your frozen greens in the microwave. Make sure you do not overheat the microwave. It might ruin the frozen ones and alter the texture. While defrosting greens in the microwave, always opt for low-power mode and do not use heat for more than a minute. Microwaving rapidly releases water, so be careful.

Summing it up, it is quite easy to freeze greens. Because they contain a lot of water, make sure you follow the proper freezing techniques so that they do not turn watery and mushy. These greens when frozen will last for years.

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