Kale: a love story.








The garden is brimming with kale.


Our favorite green.


Whom we crave and eat all through the year.


That we (guiltily) buy from California in February long after our freezer stockpile has run out.

Oh, kale. How we love you.

So I planted twice as much this season as I did last year in hopes of a stash in the freezer to last us through until spring. Recently I looked into the garden and couldn't believe how much kale there was. Despite the aggressive and enclosing weeds, there was serious kale happening out there. A few good rains and the plants (as one friend put it about her own crop) had "turned into palm trees".

So Lupine – my faithful garden helper – and I headed out with our harvest baskets.

We picked kale until we couldn't carry any more, than brought it inside to process.

Kale is pretty straight forward to put by, like any sturdy cooking green.

Quite simply: Rinse. (If you care to. Which I don't.) Stem (As in cut out the tough rib down the center). Chop. Blanch. Chill (with a dip in some ice water). Drain. Bag or jar up. And freeze.

That's all there is to it.

And armload after armload of kale was transformed into a (rather small) armload of bagged kale headed to the freezer. Greens are funny that way, aren't they?

Regardless, it's (good, nourishing, homegrown, affordable) food for winter. With more to come in long after the first frosts.

Food for the winter.

It's stocking up.

12 thoughts on “Kale: a love story.

  1. Tameka says:

    kale is my favorite green too, along with swiss chard. i freeze my greens without blaching — just wash, dry a bit, sometimes cut, bag and then freeze. what is the purpose of blanching?

  2. Rachel Wolf says:

    It is supposed to allow a better texture when you thaw and cook the chard, especially after it’s been frozen for a while. My cousin has sworn off blanching, but I’m not convinced yet. Maybe I’ll try a few bunches unblanched for my next harvest.

  3. KC says:

    I was hoping for a bumper crop of chard this year, but the heat out here has been a killer, literally. My whole garden is dead minus the mint plant. I’m glad you got some lovely greens!

  4. winterwood says:

    Ive just discovered Kale, and did the same – froze most of it to eat at another time, and made the best kale omlette ever! its so yum! coul dyou please also post in a few kale recipes?

  5. Jodi Jepson says:

    LOL yup I am that cousin. The only disadvantage that I see to no blanching is it takes up more freezer space. I have 16 gallon bags of spinach that I froze this spring, no blanching. I have a bag of spinach I froze LAST SPRING / no blanching and it was excellent. If you ask me it is just running off all the godd stuff in the water that ends up in the drain. Ill do cabbage, brussels, broc this way too. I just did up a bunch of our corn, beans, okra eggplant, zuc. no blanching..I am drying all these things no blanching either besides eggplant. I grill it w/olive oil then dry really good treat as is.

    Beans, corn, broc. and other things you like crispy are far superior non blanched. I am not so into soggy. Plus I will keep all those vitamins in my freezer bag 🙂
    We do not have ac so I skip the boiling whenever I can!

    One more time saver, I do not sterilize jars (GASP) I am going to water bath process (I run through dishwasher) why would I do am this twice, arent the germys killed in the 20-40 min we are boiling in the canner?? Never had a problem and for jellys jams etc that do not get canned…I fill 1/4 with water and micro till water is boiling, no problems. Dump boiling water over caps.
    Short cuts that work, good stuff!
    Either way we can be thankful here in WI with all the rain we have been blessed with. I am sorry for anyone reading this still experiencing a drought!
    I have to admit, I have everything but kale too..lol!

  6. Rachel Wolf says:

    Glad you chimed in, non-blancher. 😉 The truth is I don’t love the texture of most frozen veggies. I’m thinking I need to lean more on root cellar in the future. But who knows. I’m testing your theory this year on some beans. I’ll let you know what i think!
    Love, Rachel

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