Freeze Those Plentiful Winter Greens!

freezewintergreens.jpg

Don’t let this winter’s greens take up valuable real estate in your fridge, threatening to “turn”!  This season, get proactive and preserve them at the peak of their freshness and nutritional value.  Freezing winter greens like collards, kale, mustard, turnip & beet greens, and Swiss chard can help you get a jump on preparing your next casserole, soup batch or frittata.  Here’s how to do it:
 

  1. Pick up your favorite combination of greens at the market.
  2. Dunk and swish the greens in a bowl or clean kitchen sink full of cool water.
  3. Stem and trim the greens, cutting them into whatever size pieces you prefer.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Place a large bowl full of ice water next to the stove.
  5. Drop the greens into the boiling water, cooking for only 2-3 minutes, depending on their tenderness.
  6. With a slotted spoon, lift the greens from the boiling water into the ice water; let them cool there for a few minutes.
  7. Drain in a colander and pat the greens gently with a clean dishcloth to absorb excess moisture.
  8. Transfer blanched greens to pre-labeled and dated heavy-duty freezer bags, leaving ½ inch of headspace to allow for expansion.  A vacuum sealer is also a good method to use. 
  9. Kick back and revel in how prepared you are for upcoming meals!

This method works for preserving a vast array of veggies.  Check out Colorado State Extension’s page (page down a bit) for the various cooking times.  

Heather Cross