When it comes to dandelions, most people don’t think too much of it when it comes to food. This wildflower that grows plentiful in your backyard each spring is very nutritious. Dandelion greens are packed with vitamins and minerals. Like other leafy greens, the leaves of the dandelion plants are very perishable. Once the plant is harvested, it will not last very long. You can store them in the fridge, but it will last only a couple of days. What if you need to store them longer than that, would freezing dandelion greens be an option?
So can you freeze dandelion greens? Yes, you can freeze dandelion greens and it will last for a very long time too. However, the leafy green will need to be prepped properly first. Prepping dandelion greens is necessary to help retain their texture, taste, and colors. If now, it won’t taste as fresh as it should.
In this short guide, we’ll through the proper way to freeze dandelion greens, how to prep them for the freezer, defrosting them, and how long you can expect them to last. If that’s the information you’re searching for, keep reading.
Can You Freeze Dandelion Greens?
Dandelion greens can be frozen and it actually freezes very well too. This is due to their high content of moisture in the leaves.
These green leafy vegetables grow only during the warm seasons of the year, which is the spring and summer. These plants are not usually grown in the garden since they are wildflowers that grow by themselves starting in the spring.
There are other methods to preserve them such as hydrating the leaves and storing them in the pantry. Another option would be to store them fresh in an airtight container in the fridge. However, storing these ways will usually be for the short-term or the taste will be diminished.
For the longest storage time and keeping them fresh, preserving them by freezing dandelion greens is the best method of doing so.
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Like other leafy greens, dandelion greens freeze very well in the freezer. Due to their leaves being high in water content, it freezes without any issues.
Even though it freezes well, the dandelion greens aren’t a great choice if you’re planning to use them or eat it fresh. Like salad, dandelion greens will not make a choice. As it thaws, the textures and structures of the leaves will change. The taste will also be not that fresh.
However, if you’re making soups and other food that requires blending, dandelion greens are great to use. It can help add additional flavors, nutrients, and extra texture to it.
How to Freeze Dandelion Greens
Freezing dandelion greens is simple and requires a little bit of time to prep them for the freezer. You will either need to blanch them or flash freeze them first.
However, it’s not necessary to freeze this leafy greens if you’ll be using it within 2 months. Any longer than that time period, you’ll need to prep them first to preserve their quality.
Freezing Fresh Dandelion Greens
If you got fresh dandelion greens that you’re ready to freeze, you’ll either want to use the process of blanching or the flash freezing method. Both work great and will help retain their quality for up to a year.
Below are the instructions on how to prep them before storing them in the freezer:
Blanching and Freezing Fresh Dandelion Greens
- Start by cleaning the dandelion greens by rinsing them under running water.
- Once it’s clean, put them aside.
- In a pot, heat the water until it starts to boil.
- In a colander or a steamer basket, put all of the dandelion greens into the basket.
- Submerge the basket of the leafy greens into the hot boiling water.
- Blanch them for about 3-4 minutes or until the leaves turn bright green.
- While it’s cooking, in an empty container, fill it with water and add ice to it.
- After the dandelion greens are cooked, remove the basket from the boiling water and place it into the ice container right away.
- Let it sit in the ice water for about 5 minutes or until it’s completely cooled.
- After it’s cooled, take a paper towel and gently pat it down to remove any excess water.
- Place the blanched dandelion greens into a freezer bag.
- Leave about half an inch of space at the top of the bag so can seal it.
- Press the bag to squeeze out as much air as you can.
- Seal the bag tightly and label it with a date.
- Place it in the freezer and let it freeze.
Flash Freezing Fresh Dandelion Greens
- Start by cutting the leaves of the dandelion off its stem.
- Cut the leaves into small pieces or your preferred size. The smaller the size of the leaves, the quicker it will freeze.
- In a colander, place all the leaves and wash them thoroughly.
- Once it’s washed, let it sit for about 5 minutes to let any excess water drip out.
- Those that still have moisture on them, take a paper towel, and gently pat it dry.
- On a clean tray, lay a single sheet of baking paper on it.
- Place the dandelion greens onto the tray even spaced out.
- Transfer the tray to the freezer and flash freeze them for about 3-4 hours.
- After it’s completely frozen, take the tray out from the freezer.
- In a freezer bag, transfer the dandelion greens from the tray into the bag immediately.
- Leave about half an inch of space at the top of the bag so you can zip it.
- Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag tightly.
- Label the bag with a date and place it in the freezer.
Freezing Cooked Dandelion Greens
If you cooked some dandelion greens as part of a meal, you can freeze them in the freezer, but it can’t be stored for a long time. It will usually last about 2-3 months, depending on what ingredients you cook it with as well.
If the dandelion greens were cooked by itself, you can freeze them for up to 6 months. Simply let it completely cool down first. Once it’s cooled, put the leafy greens into an airtight container or in a resealable freezer bag.
How Long Can You Freeze Dandelion Greens?
The great thing about dandelion greens is how long you can actually freeze them. If they are properly stored in the freezer, these leafy greens will last for up to 1 year! This is just enough time to harvest them in the spring again.
Leafy greens can last in the freezer for a long time due to their texture. The leaves of the dandelion contain a lot of moisture. Due to the high content of moisture, freezing them is the same as freezing water.
While it usually fresh for 1 year, dandelion greens can actually last much longer than that. After a year, the leafy greens can still be eaten, but the taste will decrease. This is mainly due to the dandelion greens impacted by freezer burn.
There’s not much you can do about freezer burn as it’s natural for food that is stored in the freezer for a prolonged time.
How Do You Defrost Dandelion Greens?
Dandelions greens are one of the vegetables that are not recommended for eating fresh or used in a meal that requires them to be fresh.
Defrosting dandelion greens is usually for preparing food that requires them to be frozen. These leafy greens will not work in any meal that requires them to be fresh such as in salads and food topping.
They should be used in a meal that requires them to be cooked right away such as soups, dipping sauces, and other meal that requires blending.
If you do need to thaw them, it’s best to leave them in the fridge to let it defrost overnight. Just remember, once the dandelion thaws, it will be water and soft.
How Long Does Dandelion Greens Last?
At room temperature, dandelion greens will not last very long once it’s harvested. It will usually last for a couple of hours before it starts going bad. As it starts to go bad, the leaves will begin to wilt and become soft. They are still fine to eat, but if you’re looking to add them to a salad or eating it raw, it may not be very tasty.
In the fridge, dandelion greens will usually last for up to a week. They will need to be stored properly for them to remain fresh. These leafy greens can be stored in a plastic bag with a couple of holes punched in the bag. This will allow air to circulate in an out of the bag.
Another way to store them in the fridge is in the crisp section of the fridge. Make sure to never wash them before storing them in the fridge. The moisture that’s left on the leaves will cause the leaves to start rotting.
What part of the dandelion can you eat?
The leaves, flowers, stems, and roots of the dandelion plants can be eaten. The stem should be thrown away as it’s not very healthy to eat due to the sticky white resin that it contains. The white sticky substance contains a toxin that can be harmful depending on how much of it is eaten. If it’s eaten in moderation, it doesn’t pose any health concerns. Too much of it could cause stomach aches and other digestive issues.
How do you get the bitterness out of dandelion greens?
Raw dandelion leaves will naturally be bitter. One way to get rid of the bitterness is to blanch them in boiling salted water for a couple of minutes.