It is so easy to freeze fresh collard greens and be able to have them whenever you want!
A few simple steps and you can have frozen collard greens to add to soups, pastas or use as a side dish!
You might be wondering why you would want to freeze collard greens, why not just cook up a big pot of them right now?
There are plenty of reasons for freezing collard greens. In this instance, I got a bunch of collard greens in my CSA two weeks in a row. Rather than have collards again, I decided to freeze them so that I could use them through the winter to add to soups or beans.
Maybe your store is having a big sale on collards. Here in the south, they go on sale around New Year's so that everyone can make Hoppin John. When they are on sale, I buy several bunches and freeze them.
Collard greens are so good for you - check out these 7 Health Benefits of Collard Greens!
Step by step instructions for freezing collard greens.
Begin by starting a big pot of water to boil. It should be big enough to hold the collard greens.
Remove the stems from the collards. Don't get rid of those! Use them in this easy and tasty Quick Pickled Collard Stems! I just pull the stems off, some people use a knife and cut them off.
Place the collard greens in a sink of cool water to wash off the dirt.
Remove the collards from the sink and coarsely chop them into pieces. I like to do slightly larger than bite sized.
Drop the collards into the boiling water, tongs are great for this. Blanch the collards by boiling for 3 minutes.
While they are boiling, prepare an ice water bath. Fill a large bowl with water and ice. I like to use my salad spinner because I can easily drain off the water.
Use tongs or a big slotted spider to remove the collard greens from the boiling water and immediately drop them in the ice water bath.
Let them chill for about 3 minutes to stop the cooking.
Use the salad spinner to remove as much of the excess moisture as you can.
Then, grabbing handfuls of it (I usually make about a tennis ball sized ball,) standing over a sink, squeeze out as much of the moisture as you can. Really squeeze tightly.
Place the collard green balls on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer and flash freeze for at least 2 hours.
When frozen, remove the collards from the baking sheet and put them in a zip loc or vacuum sealed bag. They will keep for 12 months in the freezer.
These frozen collard greens are the perfect side to add to a soup or a pasta recipe. Finely chop and sauté them and use them to top beans. So many uses! I love having these in my freezer!
You can also use the same instructions for freezing kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, any sturdy greens! You can also use the technique for tender greens like spinach, just boil them for 2 minutes.
More freezer techniques for you!
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Freezing Collard Greens
- 1 bunch collard greens
- Start a large pot of water to boil. It should be big enough to hold all of your greens.
- Strip off the stems from the collards and wash the leaves in a sink of cool water.
- Coarsely chop the collards.
- Blanch the collard greens by putting them in the boiling water for 3 minutes.
- White the collards are blanching, fill a large bowl (I use a salad spinner) with ice and water. Plunge the collards in the ice bath to stop the cooking. Leave them in for 3 minutes.
- Remove excess moisture with the salad spinner or draining them really well.
- Using your hands, grab about a tennis ball size handful of the greens and compress them into a ball. Squeeze as hard as you can, over a sink, to remove as much of the liquid as possible. There will be a lot!
- Place the balls on a baking sheet and flash freeze for at least 2 hours.
- Place the balls in a freezer bag, label and use within a year.