You had big goals of juicing kale when you bought that 32-ounce bag of it at the grocery store. Eight days later, it hasn’t even been opened, the juicer is still under the counter, and you find yourself questioning what you’re actually going to do with these wilting leaves.
We’ve all been there. Luckily, it is possible to freeze your greens and use them later when you finally drag out the juicer. We’ll explain how to do it properly and give you an “easy button” hack to get greens into your body (no juicer required).
Can You Freeze Greens To Keep Them Fresh?
Yes, it is possible for you to freeze greens, but there are a few rules to follow. First, it’s important you freeze your greens while they’re still fresh. If they’ve already begun to wilt, or if the stems are slimy, they should be thrown away.
Second, the greens you freeze will most likely need to be blanched. Blanching is a process of quickly boiling and cooling fruits and vegetables to deactivate some of the enzymes inside of them that can cause them to spoil, even once they’re frozen.
How To Freeze Frozen Greens
To freeze your greens, follow these steps.
- Prepare your greens by trimming away dead leaves and bad spots and rinsing them.
- Blanch greens in small portions so that it is easier to dry them. Use a 4:1 ratio — four cups of packed greens to one gallon of boiling water.
- Most greens will take about two minutes to blanch, followed by two minutes in an ice bath. Collard greens need an additional minute.
- Once you’ve cooled your greens, they need to be dried completely. You can use a paper towel to press the additional moisture from the leaves before storing them. If they’re still damp, try placing them in a salad spinner to remove excess moisture.
- After the leaves are dry, pack them in airtight containers in the freezer.
Most greens will store well for 8-12 months. Using a freezer bag is also possible to store your greens, but keep in mind that the more air that is trapped inside the bag, the more opportunity you’ll have for your greens to get freezer burn.
What Greens Can Be Frozen
You can freeze just about any green, leafy vegetable, including microgreens. Microgreens only need to be rinsed, dried, and frozen on a baking sheet before being placed into an airtight container.
Greens that freeze well include:
- Swiss chard
- Beet greens (the tops of beets)
- Mustard greens
- Turnip greens
- Bok choy
Remember to only freeze the leaves. For instance, the woody stems of kale need to be completely removed before freezing.
How Can You Use Frozen Greens?
The great thing about frozen greens is that they thaw very quickly, so it’s very easy to add them to meals, toss them in your blender (or that juicer) or use them to top a salad.
Adding raw greens to your smoothies is a great way to get in your green vegetables and add additional nutrients to your favorite drink. A green smoothie usually gets its sweetness from fruit like an apple or a banana.
If you want the benefit of veggies in your smoothie without using greens that require blanching, freezing, and storing, try adding a greens powder to your smoothie. L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens is a whole food that gives you the vitamins, nutrients, and superfood power you want from your favorite green leaves in the convenience and ease of a scoopable powder.
In Soups and Stews
Anytime you want to add color, flavor, and nutrients to a soup or stew, toss in a handful of those frozen greens. When added to warm liquids, they don’t even need to thaw.
What Are the Best Ways To Preserve Greens?
If you decide not to freeze your greens, you can still preserve your fresh greens so that they last as long as possible. Our favorite ways of storing fresh greens include a few hacks for keeping them fresh.
1. Wrap Them in Paper Towels Inside a Container
Using a paper towel helps keep the moisture away from tender greens, which could wilt in the fridge.
2. Store Them in a Bag Filled With Air
Contrary to how you want to freeze greens, air is your ally when storing your greens in the fridge. The air doesn’t help preserve their freshness, but it does prevent the leaves from sticking together and wilting. Add your fresh greens to a bag and seal it with as much air as possible inside.
3. Only Wash Them By the Handful as Needed
When you come from the grocery store, your habit may be to go ahead and wash and prep your greens, and this is great if you plan to use them immediately.
If not, keep them inside the crisper drawer in the fridge and only wash them when you need to use them. This will prevent excess moisture that could spoil or wilt your leaves.
4. Store Leafy Green Herbs in a Jar With Water
Herbs are small leaves that usually spoil quickly in the fridge. The best method for keeping these little leaves fresh is by trimming the stems and placing them in a jar with cold water on your countertop.
They’ll last about five to seven days, and you’ll probably find yourself using them more frequently since they’re in your line of vision and you have easier access.
5. Go With a Greens Powder, Instead
Life is busy. Food prepping can be a challenge. If the thought of blanching times, a bowl of ice to cool your veggies, and storage sounds like too much, there’s an easy button.
L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens makes it incredibly foolproof to get your greens without prepping, freezing, canning, or watching your veggies spoil in the crisper drawer.
Just one scoop a day supplies you with:
- 30 superfoods and nine greens
- M-Charge complex to support mitochondrial function and energy levels
- Digestive blend of probiotics and prebiotics to help protect your gut health
- Antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients to support overall cell health
- Mushroom blend that supports healthy cholesterol and sodium levels and helps support emotional wellness and cognitive function.
You might pull that juicer out one day, but until then, make it easy on yourself. Adding a scoop of L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens to water, a smoothie, or even yogurt makes sense for busy people.
The Bottom Line
We all want to do the best we can for ourselves. Eating our greens is important, but sometimes life gets in the way of our goals. Don’t let that stop you from succeeding. Work smarter, not harder with life hacks that help you meet your health goals and support your body so it can thrive at any age.
L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens is a convenient way to get your greens on the go.
What Is Blanching? | Cooking School | Food Network
Freezing leafy greens for later use | UMN Extension
Preserving Spring Greens | College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences | Clemson University, South Carolina