Collard greens are a leafy green vegetable from the cabbage family that can be found in many cuisines. The leafy greens can be cooked by boiling, steaming, or pressure cooking. They have a rich, earthy flavor, but they’re mild enough to work well in any dish – whether it’s a quick side dish or a main course.
After making a meal, you may end up making too much. Instead of throwing them away, you may wonder if you can freeze cooked collard greens.
Yes, you can freeze cooked collard greens. Since the vegetable is already cooked, there’s no need to blanch them first before freezing. All you need to do is flash freeze them, place them into a freezer bag, and store them in the freezer. Cooked collard greens will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Do Cooked Collard Greens Freeze Well?
Collard greens are typically high in water content and that is why they freeze well, unlike other vegetables like corn or peas that often lose moisture during the freezing process.
Though they contain a lot of antioxidants and phytochemicals that lose their potency when frozen.
Cooked collard greens freeze well so long as you follow these tips:
- They should be cooked thoroughly before freezing
- They should be cooled to room temperature before freezing
- Freeze them flat on a cookie sheet covered with foil
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How To Freeze Cooked Collard Greens
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It’s easy to freeze cooked collard greens, but the best way for you to do this is by using an ice cube tray or a bag with some water in it.
Since the collard greens are already frozen, there’s no need to blanch them first. You can follow the steps below to freeze the collard greens:
Step 1: Allow to Cool Down
After the collard greens are cooked, allow them to cool down to room temperature. It’s never a good idea to freeze the vegetable while it’s still warm. The heat from collard greens will produce moisture in the bag. This extra moisture will damage the vegetable during freezing.
Also, the heat produced will cause other foods around it to thaw prematurely.
Step 2: Transfer to Freezer Bag
Once the collard greens are cooled down, put them into the freezer bag. Leave a small space at the top of the bag so you can zip the bag.
Then press on the bag to remove the excess air and seal it.
Step 3: Label and Freeze
Write the date of freezing on the bag and place them into the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Cooked Collard Greens?
Collard greens can be frozen for about three months before they lose too much quality, flavor, and texture.
Mix the cooked collard greens with broth, in a Ziplock bag in the freezer.
How Do You Defrost Cooked Collard Greens?
Collard greens are a popular ingredient in the southern United States. They are often served as a side dish or as part of an appetizer. They take time to cook, but they are worth the effort.
The best way to defrost them is by using the microwave to heat them for 4 minutes on high power and then transfer them into the refrigerator to cool down for 10 minutes.
If you have already cooked collard greens and you need to defrost them, you should wrap them in paper towels so that they don’t lose moisture. Then place them in a bowl with cold water and ice cubes until they are cool enough to work with.
Can You Refreeze Cooked Collard Greens?
When it comes to cooked collard greens, it’s not a good idea to refreeze them. Freezing the leafy greens more than once will only cause the quality to deteriorate even more.
To prevent having to freeze the greens again, try to portion them in smaller freezer bags.
How To Tell When Cooked Collard Greens Are Bad
Collard greens will stay fresh for a long time in the freezer. However, when they are removed from the freezer, they may go bad depending on where you store them and how long it’s been out of the freezer.
The bad signs include the following:
- The leaves curl up on the stem
- There is a white, powdery substance on the leaves or stems
- The leaves are slimy (especially if collards have been in water)