Collard greens are a popular vegetable during the summer. These leafy greens can be used for making smoothies, casseroles, and soups, and stews. Collard greens are only available during the summer. If you want to save them to eat throughout the year, would freezing collard greens be possible?
So can you freeze collard greens? Yes, you can freeze collard greens. These leafy greens will need to be blanched first before freezing. Otherwise, you’ll end up with mushy vegetables. Collard greens that are blanched and properly stored will last for up to a year in the freezer.
Do Collard Greens Freeze Well?
If the collard greens are blanched, they tend to freezer very well. However, the vegetable will have a small change in texture and flavor.
After thawing, the collard greens will become softer and retain more moisture. This happens to all leafy greens.
Using frozen collard greens for salads or eating them fresh will not taste very good.
On the other hand, if you’re going to use them for cooking, you won’t notice any difference.
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How To Freeze Collard Greens
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Collard greens are packed with nutrition and great for your health. For that reason, it’s a good idea to have them stored in the freezer.
Before you can freeze collard greens, you’ll need to prep them first. This means the leafy greens need to be blanched first.
While you don’t need to blanch them, the greens will not last very long in the freezer. Also, their texture will be mushy and have a loss of flavor.
Below are the steps in detail to freezing collard greens:
1. Choosing the Freshest Greens
Always make sure the collard greens are the freshest. The leafy greens should have undamaged stems and no tears or blemishes on the leaves.
If you’ve grown them yourselves, harvest them on the day you’re preparing them for the freezer.
Wash them under cold running water for a minute or so. This will help remove any dirt, bugs, and grit from the leaves. The last thing you want to do is freeze bugs with the greens.
3. Cut the Leaves
Collard greens have very large leaves. You may want to cut them into smaller sizes to make it easier to freeze them.
4. Boil Water
Using a large pot, pour water about a quarter full. Heat the water until it starts to boil.
5. Prepare for Blanching
Grab another pot or use a container. Pour water halfway and add ice. Then place them close to the pot on the stove. This is needed to cool down the collard greens once it’s blanched.
Once the water in the pot starts to boil, place the collard greens into the pot. Blanch the vegetables for about 3 minutes.
Blanching is an important process prior to freezing. Doing so will ensure the collard greens will retain their texture, taste, and nutrition while it’s in the freezer.
7. Ice Water
After about 3 minutes, using a tong, grab the leaves and transfer them to the ice bucket immediately. This will stop the cooking process.
Let the blanched collard greens sit for about 5-10 minutes.
After that, scoop the leafy greens and place them into a colander. Allow them to drain off water and dry for about 10 minutes.
You can use a paper towel to gently wipe any excess moisture from the leaves. The drier the leaves are the better they will freeze.
9. Storage Container
Put the collard greens into the freezer bag or an airtight container. Try not to put too much that the leaves will become cramped.
For an airtight container, check the seal in the lid for any damages. If there are none, secure the lid to the container tightly.
If you’re using a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air from the bag before sealing it.
10. Label and Freeze
Using a marker, write the date of freezing on the container or bag. Then place them into the freezer for storage.
How Long Can You Freeze Collard Greens?
It will depend on if the collard greens are blanched or not. Collard greens that are blanched will last for up to 12 months in the freezer. After that time, it will still be safe to eat them, but the quality of the leafy greens will deteriorate.
On the other hand, collard greens that are not blanched will last for about 1 to 2 months. For the best quality, you’ll want to use them within that time.
How Do You Defrost Collard Greens?
The great thing about collard greens is that they don’t need to be thawed. You can simply take them out from the freezer and place them directly into the recipe or cook them.
If you are not planning to use them right away, you can thaw them in the fridge. Place the frozen collard greens into a bowl and leave them overnight to thaw.
Can You Refreeze Collard Greens?
It’s not a good idea to refreeze collard greens. This vegetable has a very delicate texture, and freezing them more than once will cause them to be degraded in quality.
When you freeze and thaw them the second time, you may notice the collard greens will be mushy.
However, if you have a change in plan, you may be able to refreeze collard greens. Only if they have not completely thawed yet, you can refreeze them. There will be not a lot of change in texture or taste.
To avoid having to refreeze collard greens, try to portion them in small quantities. This way, you’ll only need to remove the amount you need from the freezer without having to worry about refreezing them.
Other Questions about Collard Greens
Can you freeze uncooked collard greens?
You can freeze uncooked collard greens, but it won’t last very long in the freezer. Blanching is the recommended method before freezing the vegetable. Doing so will help retain their flavor, texture, and nutrition.
Can you freeze collard greens juice?
Yes, you can freeze collard greens juice. Once you’ve made the juice, pour them into an airtight container and seal it tightly. Then place them into the freezer for storage. For the best result, try to consume the collard greens juice within 3 months.
Can you freeze collard greens soup?
Yes, you can freeze collard greens soup. With collard greens soup, you risk overcooking the vegetables when reheating. This will result in mushy, stringy, and overly grainy collard greens.
To prevent that problem, if you’re planning to freeze collard greens soup, try to undercook the vegetables before freezing them.