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Freezing leafy greens for later use

kale plant in a garden

Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, beet greens, along with mustard and turnip greens freeze well for year-round enjoyment.

Freezing directions

Follow the steps below to safely freeze your leafy greens.

  1. Select young, tender greens with good color and no blemishes.
  2. Remove soil and grit by rinsing several times under cold running water.
  3. Cut or tear large leaves as desired. Small leaves can be frozen whole.
  4. Blanch greens in small quantities: 4 cups packed greens per gallon of boiling water. Start counting blanching time when water returns to boil. If greens are not blanched properly, they will lose their fresh flavor quickly in frozen storage. Steam blanching of greens is not recommended as the leaves mat together and do not blanch properly.
    • Collard greens blanch for three minutes.
    • Other greens for blanch two minutes.
    • Very tender spinach leaves blanch for 90 seconds.
  5. Cool greens in ice water after blanching for the same of amount of time as blanching.
  6. Drain well.
  7. Pack in freezer containers.
  8. Cover with ice water leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
  9. Label with date and contents.
  10. Store in freezer for 8 to 12 months.

Suzanne Driessen, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2018

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