How to Blanch Kale

Four Methods:Preparing the KitchenPreparing the KaleBlanching the KaleUsing the Kale

Preserving the nutrient content of bitter greens can be difficult. Blanching them stops the enzymes from breaking down and making them bitter. Follow these instructions to blanch kale for freezing and sautéing. [1]

Method 1
Preparing the Kitchen

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    Place a large stockpot on the stove. Fill it with water and set it on high heat. Cover it with a lid to get a roiling boil.
    • Do not add salt to the water because it will take longer for the water to come to a boil.
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    Grab a large bowl to make an ice bath. The larger the batch of kale you want to blanch, the larger your stockpot and ice bath should be. Fill it one half full of water, and then add a dozen cubes of ice.
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    Find a salad spinner. It will speed up the process of drying the leaves.
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    Lay out a large towel on a flat surface. You may want 2 layers of towel for faster drying of the blanched kale leaves.

Method 2
Preparing the Kale

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    Wash your kale thoroughly. Soak it in a bowl of water for a few minutes, and then brush the stem and leaves with your hands in running water.
    • If you have picked fresh kale, there may be some bugs attached to the leaves or stem, which you can dislodge using this method.
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    Shake your kale to remove excess water.
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    Place the kale leaves on your cutting board. Fold the leaves over, so that they are layered with the stem exposed.
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    Drag your knife across the inside of the stem, where it meets both leaves. It should cut the stem away so that you can discard it. Repeat this with the rest of your kale.
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    Stack your leaves. Cut them horizontally into 1.5-inch (3.8cm) sections. Set the cut leaves aside as you wait for your water to boil. [2]

Method 3
Blanching the Kale

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    Drop your kale leaves into the boiling water. If your batch is larger than your stockpot, boil the leaves 2 to 3 handfuls at a time.
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    Stir the leaves down once with a wooden spoon. Cover the pot with your lid, so that all the leaves cook evenly.
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    Set your timer for 2 minutes. [3]
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    Remove the kale with the slotted spoon. Place it directly in the ice bath.
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    Add your next batch of kale to the boiling water. You can reuse it several times. Remember to reset your timer.
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    Transfer the kale from the ice bath to the salad spinner after 1 to 2 minutes. Spin it to remove excess water.
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    Lay your kale out on your paper towels in an even layer. Roll your towels horizontally to squeeze out excess water.

Method 4
Using the Kale

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    Freeze blanched kale by placing your kale leaves in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
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    Place it uncovered in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
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    Remove the cookie sheet and transfer the leaves to an airtight bag or storage container.
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    Heat 2 tbsp. (30ml) of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat to sauté your frozen or freshly blanched kale. Sauté some garlic, and then add the kale after 1 minute. Sauté for 2 to 5 minutes. [4]
    • Frozen kale will take slightly longer to sauté than freshly blanched kale.
    • Season with salt and pepper.
    • Use frozen blanched kale in recipes that call for spinach or other bitter greens.

Tips

  • Blanching kale will allow it to keep a brighter green color, as well as many of its nutrients. Boiled kale can wilt and appear grey. If you choose to boil kale for longer than a few minutes, it will leave some nutrients in the water, which you can use to make stock.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Stock pot
  • Stove
  • Large bowl
  • Ice
  • Salad spinner
  • Cloth kitchen towels
  • Wooden spoon
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Slotted spoon
  • Timer
  • Cookie sheet
  • Freezer-safe storage containers
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic


Article Info

Categories: Food Preparation