How To Store Kale To Keep It Fresh (3 Ways To Do It!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Did you know that the biggest importer of kale was, at one point, Ruby Tuesday’s? It’s true. Kale was once just a garnish for the Ruby Tuesday’s salad bar. Oh, how times have changed. Kale is now a major superfood and people are adding this bitter leaf to just about every dish from soups to wraps. Now that the heat is turned on for kale’s demand, it’s a good time to learn how to make this green last.

Kale is a fairly no-fuss vegetable to store. There are several easy storage options that you can choose to lengthen the lifespan of kale. The best include:

  • In A Hard Container
  • In A Plastic Bag
  • Freezing The Leaves

If you want to get the best results possible when you make kale chips, you need to know how to store kale the right way. This guide will help you crunch on kale chips for longer than ever before.

How Long Does Kale Last?

Kale is a fairly durable plant in terms of storage times. Like most other leafy greens, kale can last for up to 10 days when it’s stored properly. After the seven-day mark, you are going to notice an increase in bitterness with most storage systems. If you freeze kale, you can expect it to be great for up to six to eight months.

Before You Begin: Pick Some Good Kale

If you’re like many health fans, you’re going to try to say, “Any kale is good kale!” Well, yes, but no. In order to get great results from our storage methods, you need to select the best kale at the store. These signs below will help you pick out a good bunch:

  • When you smell the kale, it has a very earthy aroma. Some even describe it akin to the flavor of green tea. You want that fresh, foresty scent.
  • The leaves are firm and crisp. Kale is famous for being one of the more “solid’ leafy greens. You want to see that fresh and slightly stiff look that kale is famous for.
  • You notice that the color of the kale is nice and green. You want to see a vibrant green, not a pale yellow or a pale green.
  • There are no black spots or white spots on the kale leaves. Those spots are a sign of mold, which means that your kale could be a major health risk.
  • Oh, and the kale shouldn’t be soggy. Just like with any other leafy green, kale is fairly susceptible to moisture. If it’s already soggy and limp, it’s been exposed to too much water for it to be good.

How To Store Your Kale

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of how to pick kale, it’s time to go over the basics of how you should store it. To make your search easier, we’re going to explain how to store it perfectly, three different ways.

In A Hard Container

Much like eggplant, kale is a vegetable that is known for being pretty sensitive to the moisture in the air. It also doesn’t fare too well in areas where you get a lot of ethylene gas emissions from other plants. To make things easier, you can use a hard Tupperware container. Here’s how to store it:

  • Start by rinsing off your kale and giving it a solid drying session. Pat it dry with a paper towel, then use a salad spinner to remove any excess moisture.
  • Add a paper towel to the container. This will absorb extra moisture.
  • Put the kale in the hard container, and then place the container in the fridge. While you can put it in the crisper, the truth is that you can store it in the middle of the shelf you want. Keep the container in the fridge mildly ajar, so that air can travel back and forth.

Note: Both hard containers and plastic bags are ideal for people who want to store some kale for a salad. They also happen to work well for people who want to use kale as a garnish.

In A Plastic Bag

While the solid storage compartment can help you reduce the amount of crushing that could bruise the leaves, a plastic bag is still the most popular option for storage. Plastic bags are cheap, and kale often comes in them. Of course, there are still some other ways that you can store it, we suggest following these tips below:

  • Start by drying the kale off with a paper towel and a salad spinner. Much like with the hard container method, you still need to dry off the kale. So many stores tend to spray them down to make the kale look better, but it’s just not a good idea.
  • Add airflow to the plastic bag by keeping it open or adding airholes with a knife. Ventilation is still important with kale either way.
  • Ziplock bags work best. If you need to, you can also use a tie-off.
  • If you tend to prep your kale a certain way, do so before you put it in the fridge. It’ll
  • Consider adding a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. While this isn’t necessary, we strongly encourage it if you have a humid fridge. Most of us, of course, do.

Freeze Your Kale

Kale can also be frozen for long-term storage, if you need it to be kept for a longer period of time. Freezing your kale has to be done in a particular way to preserve flavor. Much like with broccoli, kale needs to be blanched in order to be properly stored. Here’s how to freeze your kale and preserve its flavor…

  • Start by boiling a large pot of water. Add a tablespoon of water.
  • Remove the kale leaves from the stems. You can use shears or your hands.
  • While you’re waiting for the pot to boil, set aside a bowl of cold water. Thing swimming pool-style cold or colder. Ice water is better.
  • Dunk the kale leaves in the boiling water and wait for a minute or two. Use tongs to drop it in.
  • After the minutes are over with, use the tongs to transfer them to the ice bowl. Let them sit for a bit to cool.
  • Transfer the kale to a sheet and use a paper towel to dry them. Then use a salad spinner to remove any excess. Wipe down the sheet.
  • Place the kale back on the sheet and put them in the freezer for an hour or two. Transfer them to a larger ziplock bag to keep them more compact.

Note: If you are a fan of adding kale to smoothies and soups, this storage method is both the best for kitchen use as well as the best for your food’s flavor. You can add the kale directly from the freezer to the blender, no problem!

Why Are My Kale Leaves Turning Yellow?

If you had your kale in your fridge or freezer for a while, you might have noticed the leaves turning yellow. Or maybe, you’ll notice them turning a light lime green with yellow accents. If this happens to you, you’re probably wondering if the change in color means that your kale has expired.

Believe it or not, this is technically not a sign of expiration. This is a sign of aging, but that doesn’t mean it’s unsafe for you to eat that kale. Though it’s not unsafe to eat, most people don’t want to eat yellow kale leaves for a good reason.

The yellowing is a sign of chlorophyll in the plant dying. When this change occurs, the leaves you’re eating will become increasingly bitter. This makes yellow kale one of the less appealing options on the table in terms of flavor. However, if you have a kale stew or a curry that you want to try, you might be in luck.

Related Questions

Why do I feel sick after eating fresh kale?

If you ate rotten kale, it could be a case of food poisoning. However, eating fresh kale can make you feel a little sick too. This is because kale is a high FODMAP food, like many other cruciferous vegetables. Many people do not have bodies that handle the digestion of FODMAPs well, which leads to bloating, gas, and an upset stomach after noshing on kale.It’s also worth pointing out that people can develop food allergies to cruciferous vegetables. If you have similar reactions to cauliflower or developed a rash, go to an allergist to get an allergy test.

Is kale dangerous to eat?

With kale, the dose makes the toxin. Eating moderate amounts of kale will not harm you, and will actually provide you a bunch of nutrients that will boost your energy. When eaten in very large quantities, certain compounds in kale can start to interfere with thyroid function. This can have an adverse effect on your health.The bottom line? When eating kale, do it in moderation—especially if you already have a thyroid condition. If your doctor has warned you against eating kale due to an issue with medication (yes, it happens) listen to them and walk past the kale when you hit the supermarket next time.

How much kale is too much?

The dangers of excess kale have been grossly overstated throughout internet forums. In order for kale to become a danger to your health, you have to eat more than 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) every single day, for months on end. So while it is possible to “overdose” on eating kale, the truth is that most people will not ever have to deal with this in their lifetimes.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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