I am quickly becoming known as The Kale Lady. I hand out big bunches to family and friends, and make anyone who tours our garden eat a piece, especially if they’ve never had it before, and extra-especially if they try to tell me they don’t like it. I love cooking with it and try to put it in as many dishes as possible, much to Karl’s dismay. I love growing it, picking, it… and even just looking at it’s vibrant colors gives me great joy!
This year’s kale patch was bigger than ever. And although we often dig kale out of the snow to eat in winter, I like to preserve some at the peak of freshness, while it is in its prime. These frozen kale pucks are infinitely useful. Dehydrating is also a great option… How to Make Kale Flakes here!
Scarlet Kale has become my new favorite variety. It’s the beautiful purple-y variety you see in my picture. It is tender, mild and sweet with a more broccoli-esque flavor than other varieties I’ve grown. My other two staple kales are Dinosaur Kale, which gets its name from its reptile-looking skin. This variety is a little tougher, but I just love the color- and it’s my favorite for kale chips. Blue Scotch Curled Kale is a gorgeous plant and produces tender, intensely curled, vibrant green multi-purpose leaves.
How to Freeze Kale
The quantity is up to you. When using a 12-cup silicon muffin pan (highly recommended) I can fit about 2.5-3 cups of raw kale pieces in each muffin cup… so, to fill the entire muffin pan I aim for around 36 cups of kale pieces. Yes, that’s a lot! But they do have a lot of volume when they’re raw, and they cook down quite a bit. You can certainly put less in each muffin cup.
- Gather kale, start a pot of boiling water with a steamer insert, ready your silicon muffin pan and your tongs.
- Only fill the steamer insert a little over half full of raw kale. Place the lid on and steam for one minute.
- Use the tongs to jostle the kale around and move the top layer towards the bottom. Steam for one more minute.
- Again jostle, and steam for one more minute… so, three minutes total steaming, approximately.
- Remove the kale to a holding bowl and start the next batch steaming.
- Heap the steamed kale into the muffin cups and use your fingers to press it down (pretty hard). Keep adding more kale to each cup, even when you think you can’t add anymore. You can smash quite a bit in one of those little cups! The hotter it is, the easier it is to smash, so work fairly quickly.
- Freeze for 12+ hours, pop out kale pucks and store in a zip-top freezer bag. The silicon muffin pan makes this really easy… and for less than $10 it is a great homesteading investment! Freeze broth and stock pucks, applesauce portions, you name it!
To use your frozen kale pucks, simple throw one or two right into a pot of soup or stew, or thaw in a colander just like you would frozen spinach. Once thawed, sauté in butter or bacon grease, add to tomato sauces and cream sauces, whisk into eggs, or use in my Beef and Kale Stroganoff.
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